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17 students from Uwajima school leave for training in Hawaii.

TAKAMATSU, Japan, Jan. 10 Kyodo

Seventeen students from Uwajima Fisheries High School embarked Thursday on a fishery training voyage to Hawaii, where the Ehime Prefecture school's ship, the Ehime Maru, was sunk in a fatal collision with a U.S. submarine last February.

The students joined 11 others from Tadotsu Fisheries High School on board the school's Kagawa Maru as the 499-ton ship left the port of Tadotsu in neighboring Kagawa Prefecture. The ship will return to the western Japan town in late March.

The Uwajima high school students will offer silent prayers when they visit the collision site in mid-February, and will also pay their respects at a memorial to be erected in Oahu Island in Hawaii for the nine teachers and students who were killed in the accident.

''A senior student who was a good friend of mine died in that accident. When we get to the site, I'm going tell him that he did a great job,'' Wataru Yamamoto, 17, a second-year student from Uwajima high school said before the Thursday departure.

The joint training voyage with the Kagawa prefectural high school was set up last May despite concerns raised by some students and teachers at the Uwajima high school about the safety of conducting fisheries training at sea following the Ehime Maru's demise.

A replacement for the Ehime Maru is currently being built and is scheduled to be completed in November.

The 499-ton Ehime Maru was struck and sunk by the 6,080-ton U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Greeneville on Feb. 9 off Hawaii as the submarine performed a rapid-surfacing drill for the benefit of civilian guests.

The remains of eight of the nine victims were recovered during a 20-day search of the ship that ended last November. The body of Takeshi Mizuguchi, one of the students, was not found.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Jan 14, 2002
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