HONOLULU – Relatives of the nine Japanese lost at sea in the Feb. 9 sinking of the Ehime Maru by the U.S. Navy submarine Greeneville said Tuesday they are not satisfied with testimony by the sub’s captain and want to see him punished.
Tatsuyoshi Mizuguchi, 47, whose 17-year-old son Takeshi was lost after the sub surfaced into the fisheries training ship, listened to Cmdr. Scott Waddle’s testimony on the last day of the navy’s Court of Inquiry into the accident. He said he is not happy with what Waddle told the court and hopes he will travel to Japan to apologize to the relatives as soon as possible.
Ryosuke Terata, 45, who also lost his son, Yusuke, 17, said the incident “ruined the lives of my family” and the relatives’ grief will not ease unless Waddle is punished.
The two fathers returned to Honolulu in time for Waddle’s deposition, which was made under oath in a surprise move Tuesday after he was refused testimonial immunity.
After hearing the inquiry might wrap up as early as Tuesday, Mizuguchi, Terata and two other relatives left Japan on Tuesday for Honolulu in the hope that Waddle would testify.
Waddle had refused to testify without immunity, but then acted against his counsel’s advice and took the stand. He accepted responsibility for the accident, but blamed his crew for not following orders.
Waddle said he decided to speak under oath and without immunity as “this court and the families need to hear from me . . . and because it is the right thing to do.”
Immunity would have guaranteed that his testimony could not be used against him in a possible court-martial.
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