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Hawaii, Japan Mark Anniversary of Deadly Collision


Family members from Japan place flowers at a memorial during a ceremony to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the sinking of the Ehime Maru, at the Ehime Maru Memorial in Honolulu, February 9, 2011.

Family members from Japan place flowers at a memorial during a ceremony to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the sinking of the Ehime Maru, at the Ehime Maru Memorial in Honolulu, February 9, 2011.

Dignitaries from the United States and Japan gathered in Hawaii to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragic collision between a U.S. Navy submarine and Japanese fisheries training vessel.

More than 200 people attended the service Wednesday at a park in Honolulu named after the Ehime Maru, the vessel which sank after it was rammed by the U.S.S. Greenville in the waters off Honolulu in 2001. The accident killed nine of the 35 people aboard the Ehime Maru, including four students, two teachers and three crewmen. The body of one student was never recovered.

A moment of silence was observed at the exact anniversary of the collision.

Ehime Prefecture Governor Tokihiro Nakamura, Hawaii's Governor Neil Abercrombie, and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Kathleen Gregory joined the surviving family members of the victims at the service.

Meanwhile, about 300 family members, students and survivors marked the anniversary with a memorial service in Japan's Ehime Prefecture.

An investigation revealed that the commander of the U.S.S. Greenville, Scott Waddle, had rushed through mandatory safety procedures while demonstrating an emergency surfacing drill for civilians touring the ship. Waddle was honorably discharged from the navy while maintaining his rank, a decision many Japanese felt was too lenient.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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