U.S. Navy to pay $13 million in Ehime Maru settlement

Kyodo

The U.S. Navy will pay about $13 million in compensation to families of seven victims and 26 survivors of a collision last year between a Japanese fisheries training ship and a U.S. nuclear-powered submarine, sources said Saturday.

The total, equal to about 1.62 billion yen, includes compensation for the fatalities in the sinking of the Ehime Maru and medical treatment for the survivors for posttraumatic stress disorder, they said.

However, lawyers representing the families of two other victims are still discussing compensation with the navy.

Capt. Richard Evans, who is in charge of the U.S. Navy’s legal affairs, is expected to visit Japan to sign a document on the settlement in mid-November.

Nine of the 35 people aboard the 499-ton Ehime Maru were killed after it was hit from below by the 6,080-ton submarine Greeneville in waters off Hawaii on Feb. 9, 2001.

The rest were rescued.

The Ehime Maru belonged to Uwajima Fisheries High School in Ehime Prefecture.

The families of seven of the nine people killed and those of the 26 survivors reached an agreement with the navy over the compensation issue.

Morio Hatakeyama, head of the group of lawyers representing the 33 families, declined to disclose the exact amount the navy will pay.

The compensation was agreed on following negotiations since spring last year and discussions by video-conference link between July and September this year, according to the sources.