• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering visiting a monument dedicated to the victims of a 2001 collision between a Japanese fisheries school training boat and a U.S. submarine off Hawaii when he goes to Pearl Harbor this month, according to Japan-U.S. diplomatic sources.

Abe, who will go to Hawaii Dec. 26 to visit Pearl Harbor with President Barack Obama, is expected to lay flowers at the training boat memorial, the sources said Monday.

The monument was built in 2002 on a hill at Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu that overlooks the waters where the collision took place.

The accident occurred Feb. 9, 2001, off Oahu Island while the 6,080-ton nuclear submarine USS Greeneville was performing a rapid-surfacing drill. The training boat Ehime Maru sank and four of the 13 students aboard, two teachers and three crew members died.

Abe will be the first prime minister to visit the monument since Yoshihiko Noda did so in November 2011.

Abe plans to go to Pearl Harbor with Obama to remember those lost in the 1941 Japanese attack that prompted the U.S. entry into World War II. He is to spend two days in Hawaii.

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