Navy chief explains court decision

Kyodo

The commander of the U.S. Navy in Japan met Friday with Ehime Gov. Moriyuki Kato to explain a navy court’s decision not to recommend courts-martial for officers aboard a submarine that sank a fisheries training ship from the prefecture.

At the outset of the meeting at the Ehime Prefectural Government building, Rear Adm. Robert Chaplin apologized for the Feb. 9 collision off Hawaii on behalf of the U.S. Navy.

During the meeting, Chaplin was expected to explain the recommendation by the navy’s court of inquiry that the sub’s former captain face a nonjudicial punishment for the accident that left nine Japanese missing, presumed dead. After the meeting, Kato told reporters that Chaplin explained the situation regarding the former captain and two other officers.

Later in the day, Chaplin met with the relatives of the nine Japanese as well as members of the crew rescued when the Ehime Maru sank.

He was expected to seek the understanding of the relatives, who have protested the court’s decision.

Cmdr. Scott Waddle, former skipper of the submarine Greeneville, is expected to face 30 days’ confinement within a U.S. Navy facility and a one-month pay cut.

In a report to Adm. Thomas Fargo, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, three admirals who sat on the bench of the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry reportedly recommended April 13 that Waddle not be court-martialed.