Ehime Maru memorial ceremony to highlight Hawaii-Japan relations

Ehime Maru memorial ceremony to highlight Hawaii-Japan relations
(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When the USS Greeneville submarine collided with the Japanese Uwajima Fisheries High School training ship Ehime Maru, nine people lost their lives.

Four of them were students.

A memorial ceremony to be held on Feb. 9 will commemorate the 17th anniversary of the accident. Hawaii-Japan relations will also be highlighted in the ceremony.

In the years following the accident, Hawaii and Japan developed a nature of gratitude and friendship, according to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii.

In Buddhist tradition, memorial ceremonies don't happen annually. Memorials are marked on the third and seventh years.

"This year is the significant Jyuunanakaiki, or 17th anniversary memorial," event Co-Chair Kenneth Saiki said. "Because the next major anniversary memorial is not until the 33rd year, the bereaved families wish to now thank those who helped them during their period of distress when the accident occurred."

The last ceremony for the Ehime Maru happened in 2013.

Gov. Ige, Mayor Caldwell and Japan officials are expected to attend the event. Island musician Jake Shimabukuro will also perform an original song created specifically for the ceremony.

The ceremony will be held at the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park beginning at 1:00 p.m.

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