Japanese experts to assist in Ehime Maru recovery

U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (Aug. 1, 2001) -- Two structural technical experts are scheduled to arrive from Tokyo Aug. 2 to assist the U.S. Navy in the Ehime Maru recovery operation. This represents the latest example of the continued cooperation between Japan and the United States during the operation.

One expert, Dr. Isshin Fujii, is from the same company that built Ehime Maru. He is manager of the Hull Structure Planning Section, Ship Design Department of Shin Kurushima Dockyard Company, Ltd.

Hiroyasu Takemoto is from the Structural Mechanics Division of the Japanese government's National Maritime Research Institute.

These technical experts will serve as advisors to help ensure both nations are united in decisions affecting the recovery operation, particularly technical feasibility and diver safety.

Although the Navy is confident it will be able to successfully conduct the operation, the recovery is not without risks and there is no guarantee of success. The structural damage to Ehime Maru may be greater than anticipated and thus pose a safety risk to recovery personnel or prevent the vessel to be moved intact.

Japan Maritime Self Defense Force divers will also observe and participate in the operation.
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Revised 8/1/01 at 5:46 p.m. (HST)