Wreaths decorate the Ehime Maru Memorial for the 21st Memorial Ceremony.

On Wednesday, February 9, 2022, the Ehime Maru Memorial Association (EMMA) held a remembrance ceremony for the 21st anniversary of the sinking of the Uwajima Fisheries High School training ship Ehime Maru at the Ehime Maru Memorial in Kakaako Waterfront Park. The Ehime Maru suffered the loss of nine lives, including four students, two teachers, and three crew members after it was unexpectedly struck by the USS Greeneville submarine.

Unfortunately, due to travel restrictions posed by the ongoing pandemic, most of the bereaved families and officials from Ehime Prefecture and Uwajima City were unable to join this year’s ceremony. Yet, three family members who lost their loved one traveled from Japan to Honolulu to attend this ceremony. Consul General Yutaka Aoki, Governor David Ige, and Mayor Rick Blangiardi along with over 40 members of the community also attended the ceremony to pay tribute to the nine souls who were lost in the tragic accident 21 years ago.

While offering their condolences to those who were lost and their families, Consul General Aoki, Governor Ige and Mayor Blangiardi assured all that the Ehime-Hawaii relationship that has developed after this tragedy remains strong and vibrant even during the pandemic through grassroots endeavors and online exchanges.

Consul General Yutaka Aoki offers words of remembrance.

Messages of remembrance from Governor Tokihiro Nakamura of Ehime Prefecture and Mayor Fumiaki Okahara of Uwajima City were also read, and wreaths and lei were offered in memory of the nine who were lost in the tragedy on behalf of the bereaved family members and Ehime Prefecture/Uwajima City officials.