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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 11, 2001

Ehime Maru families demanding 'whole truth'

Associated Press

Lawyers and family members of those hurt or killed in the USS Greeneville collision Feb. 9 launched a campaign yesterday to pressure the United States on revealing more information about its responsibility for the accident that killed nine Japanese men and boys.

Relatives say Japan and the United States. are trying to settle the Feb. 9 accident through compensation, even though a clear picture has not emerged on what caused the collision and who was at fault.

Lawyers for the families said talks on compensation are premature, because they may still sue the United States based on the information Washington discloses in the future.

"We still don't know the whole truth, including the issue of responsibility," said Shinsuke Kimura, a lawyer for the families, in Tokyo.

Families of the victims are split on the question of compensation. A group of the victims' relatives met with U.S. Navy officials and lawyers yesterday to discuss the issue.

Kimura represents a group of eight family members and 26 lawyers who are refusing to let the issue die with payments from the U.S. government.

The nine Japanese were killed when the Greeneville rammed and sank the Ehime Maru off Diamond Head. The victims included four students and two teachers from a fisheries high school in Uwajima, 470 miles southwest of Tokyo.