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USS Greeneville (SSN 772) incident

Ehime Maru families, Japanese leaders thank people of Hawaii

HONOLULU (March 2, 2001) -- Special Envoy to Japan, Adm. William J. Fallon, arrived in Hawaii last night en route Washington from his mission to Japan to apologize for the February 9 Ehime Maru incident. Fallon offered the following statement.

"I have completed my mission to Japan, where I personally offered the apologies and regret of President Bush, the U.S. Navy, and the American people for the tragedy which occurred on February 9. I also provided updates on the status of the upcoming Court of Inquiry, and I reiterated our firm commitment to attempt to raise the Ehime Maru.

"The families of the victims have graciously accepted our apology. They are appreciative for our intensive search and recovery efforts, and are reassured that we will do everything we can to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

"One theme which I heard frequently while in Japan was an appreciation for the understanding and warm hospitality of the people of Hawaii. In each of the meetings I attended - with the Prime Minister, Diet Members, other government officials, and most importantly with the family members and schoolmates of the victims - there was a sincere appreciation and gratitude for the compassion and assistance offered by the people of Hawaii.

"I thank all the people in Hawaii who stepped forward to provide help to these grieving families in the aftermath of this tragedy. The people of Japan will not soon forget your compassion and your concern."

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Revised: 3/2/01