Japanese sailors see devastation after docking in Hawaii

Mitsutake Chihara
Mitsutake Chihara

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

PEARL HARBOR (HawaiiNewsNow) - The images from Japan are unimaginable and heartbreaking and 87 Japanese sailors aboard the JS Uzushio submarine haven't seen any of them.

"I cannot imagine the whole thing so I want to see the movies or pictures soon," said Mitsutake Chihara, JS Uzushio Submarine Commander.

Commander Chihara says the crew members have been able contact family and to his knowledge they are all safe.

"I confirmed the safety of all the families," said Commander Chihara.  "They want to contact their families again and we want to know more information."

It's the first time they've stepped foot on land since the disaster.  They left Japan January 17 and docked in Hawaii February 7.  They've been at sea ever since.  Now that they're here again they'll have access to Japanese newscasts and internet connections.

"To complete our mission is very important for us now," said Commander Chihara, about this previously scheduled mission.

That's why they'll continue their training saying there services aren't necessary at home because the submarine isn't suited for search and rescue.  But that could also make the mission in Hawaii seem even longer.

The sub will be at Pearl Harbor until March 24.  It won't be back in Japan until April 28.

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