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Four young students. Two respected teachers. Three seasoned crew members. The nine remain missing in the waters off O'ahu since their training vessel, the Ehime Maru, sunk in a few fateful minutes following a harrowing collision with an American submarine on Feb. 9. Friends and families await word on the continuing search for survivors. To express your support and aloha, send your comments to We will post the comments here and send them to the families of the missing boys and men.

Posted on February 28, 2001

I was astonished with fear when I heard that the Ehime Maru was struck by the U.S. nuclear attack submarine and sunk off Hawaii.

To the nine missing mariners including the four high school students and their families, I'd like to extend my sympathy from the bottom of my heart.

At first, some figures were thought to be alive in the sunken vessel, but hopes of finding survivors have dimmed.

By far more sacrifice on the Japanese side compared with only superficial damage on the U.S. side makes this accident more miserable.

Amid neglect, carelessness and misbehavior in the operations of the submarine, the families of the victims and the people concerned have strongly demanded the U.S. government's sincere apology for this terrible collision.

Further investigation of the cause of the accident should be done from both technological aspect and human errors, so that such a tragedy will never happen again. Waters are no longer immune to the traffic congestion as well as roads. May missing highschool students, teachers and crew members rest in peace.

Yuriko Kohmoto
Okayama, Japan

Posted on February 21, 2001

Sad to say, it is no different driving an automobile. One or two moments of carelessness and distraction allows a tragedy to take place.
All our condolences to the families of the missing from Canada. Now it is time to correct the situation and pay reparations and compensation to the next-of-kin. Procedures must be reviewed immediately. The commander deserves a reprimand.

Thank you.
Bert MacKay

By clarifying whose fault it was is not enough for you now. Your loss is permanent. We feel your pain. Let our prayers comfort you and heal your wound soon.

Margaret Leong

My prayers are with the missing, the lost and the victims of the Ehime Maru/U.S. Navy accident. I also send my deepest condolences to the family, friends of the students, the two sensei and the fishery school members.
There are many of us who visit Hawai'i for fun, training and for holidays from Japan. I cannot imagine what shock and sadness people have to feel ; that could have been any of us.
In such a wonderful place like Hawaii, that the tension between two nations have to come like this is very tragic.
I hope the wounds will heal without much bitterness and in a timely manner in all of us. I hope we can implement things to decrease or eliminate the possibilities of accidents like this, which is caused by human error.

Yoko Momoyama, M.D.
Chicago/ Tokyo

Posted February 18, 2001

My heart goes out to parents, siblings, classmates, teachers, co-workers and neighbors of the nine Uwajimajin who disappeared in the sinking of the "Ehime Maru" training ship by a U.S. Navy attack submarine on Friday afternoon, 9 February 2001.
The students who perished are the same age as Japanese high school students visit O'ahu, Hawai'i, to study English. Several years ago, I was a "conversation partner" for some of them.
Like you, I also look forward to a more peaceful world where all governments are disarmed.

Vincent Kelly Pollard (sensei)
University of Hawai'i at Manoa

To the family, friends and loved ones of the Ehime Maru accident:

We wish to extend our condolences for the mishap of what happened. My family's prayers and thoughts are all with you. I hope that our government can somehow answer and help ease the pain, although I know it would never be enough, for their presence physically would never be there, but their memories would live on in your hearts and thoughts. Again, I am so sorry for your losses.
Rev. Saifoloi M. Lefotu and family

My wife and daughter and I know that there is nothing we can say or do that will change this terrible tragedy. We are sickened by the magnitude of your loss. We are more sickened by the callous acts of our government not sparing any cost to find the bodies of your missing loved ones immediately.
More Americans than you know share your feelings of sadness and anger for your loss. Though you have every reason to despise Americans as dreadful, careless, arrogant people, please believe that some of us are aware and ashamed of what the leaders of our government do and are fighting an uphill battle in demanding them to be accountable on the global stage. As you so painfully have found out, it is not working. We are sorry.

Dan Moray
Mary Grzeskowiak
Olivia Moray

To the families of the Ehime Maru:

I am a mother of three, and every time I read or watch the news about the Ehime Maru, my heart is full of wrenching pain and sorrow, because I can imagine what enormous heartaches you all must be going through.  I cry for you all and your loved ones and hope that there will be comfort and relief ahead.  My most heartfelt sorrow and apologies that such a tragic and senseless incident happened.  Please know that my compassion and aloha go out to you all.

With a heart full of aloha,
Jeanne Arakaki

Posted February 16, 2001

Please accept my apology for the crass misbehavior of my fellow countrymen that led to the loss of your friends, colleagues and relatives. Such carelessness cannot be readily overlooked by any conscientious people or nation. I am saddened by this event and add my voice to those demanding complete disclosure of the circumstances surrounding the "accident," as well as restitution and a formal apology to Japan from the United States.
You are in my prayers and, I know, the prayers of all caring people.

Therese Dietlin

I cannot find words to express my shame over my government's disrespect for the lives of your loved ones.

Aisling Donnal

My students and I have discussed the tragedy that occurred between the Navy submarine and the Japanese fishing vessel .  The students feel compassion for all parties involved in this terrible accident. We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the families of the missing.  We will think of you as we reflect and pray. 

Reyn Ogino
Hongwanji MIssion School
Grade 4

To the families of those killed in the submarine/fishing boat crash:

Please accept my sincere condolences over the unnecessary and untimely death of your loved one. I am horrified, as an American citizen, that such carelessness could be exercised on such a powerful and potentially dangerous vehicle as a military submarine. I can see no reason for such an event to occur except for thorough thoughtlessness.

I have written President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee to let them know that I do not approve of their plans to modernize our military with yet more weapons of destruction. How can they possibly claim that better, newer technology will allow them to envision an entire battlefield on a computer screen, will allow them to monitor activity "beyond the horizon," when one submarine in the vast Pacific Ocean is not even capable of locating a ship floating peacefully above it?
Please forgive us.

Kathryn Eastburn, Editor
The Colorado Springs Independent
Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Posted February 14, 2001

My prayers go out to you and your families.  Please know that you are not alone in your grieving.  We care and we are thinking of you at this painful time.
Respectfully,  Edwyna Fong

My prayers to the families, friends and survivors of this horrific tragedy.  Though people have many times commented that this being a "freak accident," please keep in mind that as a parent, a wife, brother, sister and possibly a child of the "missing" members of this school afloat, it will be nothing less then negligence of the men who are in a position of accountability.  So, we must also pray for them and their family members that God will bring His peace and comfort into their lives and as tragic as this has all been for all involved, it is only God who can and will give that peace and comfort.
Thank you, Lord for your unwavering love! 
Marsha Meinel

To the families, relatives, friends, and community of the missing students, teachers, and crewmembers of the Ehime Maru:
My heartfelt sympathies to all of you. A friend of mine in Hawai'i said his mom and three of her friends had the recent honor of talking to three of the four missing students at a get-together prior to their last trip, and remarked how those students were "fine representatives" of Japan. I'd like to say that all of those on the Ehime Maru are, and will always be remembered in this way.
Julius Kaneshiro

To the families of the missing: In this time of tragedy and sorrow I would like to wish the families of the missing people my love and prayers. We are with you in your sorrow. The peoples of Hawai'i send their love, respect and prayers.

Lee Laquihon
Bellevue, Nebraska, USA

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