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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:20 a.m., Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Hawai'i leaders to visit Ehime Maru town

By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

The governor and first lady will lead a contingent to Uwajima next month to pay their respects in the Japanese fishing village that was home to the Ehime Maru.

The Hawai'i group, to include the Kamehameha Schools Chorus and mayors of three counties, will visit June 7, said Tony Vericella, head of the Hawai'i Visitors & Convention Bureau. The trip is part of a biennial visit of Isle tourism and government leaders to Japan.

Nine people died when the submarine USS Greeneville collided with the Ehime Maru south of O'ahu on Feb. 9.

"Because of what did occur, and the great outpouring from the people of Hawai'i — and because the governor himself sent a letter to the people of the village expressing our sympathies — we felt we should try to get there," Vericella said.

Uwajima, a city of 65,000, is the last outpost on the island of Shikoku.

Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris is the only mayor not traveling with the group and will send a representative.