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Ex-captain of U.S. sub apologizes for Ehime Maru collision on 20th anniversary

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Seems like he got off lightly. Never went to jail, never met the families to apologize in person even. it’s no wonder the family member above feels cheated by an apology by mail twenty years later

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

Apologized? OK. Everything is fine then. Go on about your way.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Two of the Greeneville civilian passengers that day were Texan oil men who'd "paid" for the privilege; the US Navy was influence-peddling:

https://www.salon.com/2001/02/21/sub_2/

By a strange coincidence, the Japanese Prime Minister that day was Mori Yoshiro who was out playing golf. When told of the accident he finished his round before returning to Tokyo.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Apologized? OK. Everything is fine then. Go on about your way.

Heck Mike, when the PM of the victims didn't even bother cutting short his golf game, we should be grateful that he at least had enough empathy to express remorse, which more than you can expect from Mori

18 ( +23 / -5 )

I was still back home in Hawaii when this happened. What a surreal scene and somber time it was.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Yoshiro Mori, then Japanese prime minister, who is head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee and is currently under fire for making sexist remarks, was heavily criticized for continuing to play golf after he was first notified of the incident.

What is it with golf that can make people that should be taking care of a crisis forget about this duty so easily?

13 ( +18 / -5 )

He should have been imprisoned for negligence causing death.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

I'm not sure about the military law and the ocean navigation rules, but if I show off with my car and take my girlfriend or friends for a joy ride, speed and crash into another vehicle causing several people to die, I will be arrested and do some lengthy jail

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Considering a few of the comments above, I think it might be in some people's interest to read about the incident and the actual involvement of the former captain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehime_Maru_and_USS_Greeneville_collision

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Yes. Now that he's an ex-Captain, he apologizes. Very big man of him (sarcasm).

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Seems like he got off lightly. Never went to jail, never met the families to apologize in person even. it’s no wonder the family member above feels cheated by an apology by mail twenty years later

Waddle's trip to Japan in 2002.

"On 14 December 2002, Waddle, accompanied by Charles Gittins, traveled to Japan to apologize personally to the victims' families. On 15 December, Waddle visited the Ehime Maru memorial at Uwajima Fisheries High School and placed a wreath of white lilies before a monument to the dead, bowed in silence and then read the victims' names aloud. No local officials were present during Waddle's visit, citing statements from some victims' families that they did not want Waddle to visit. Later that day, Waddle met with some of the families of the victims and with some of the survivors. The next day, in Tokyo, Waddle met with Masumi Terata. Speaking of her meeting with Waddle, Terata stated, "I am first and foremost the family member of a victim and Mr. Waddle is first and foremost a victimizer. But when I saw Mr. Waddle as a person who was crying and apologizing, I thought he was apologizing from the heart."

Whilst it is a great shame that Waddle didn't face a more severe punishment for his actions that resulted in the deaths of 9 people. To say though that he never made the journey to Japan to apologise in person, is factually incorrect.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Yeah, I remember Mori finishing his round of golf when he got the urgent news. He wasn't liked by anybody in Japan as PM and when they put "the putter" in charge of Japan's Olympic preparations, I was disgusted.

I remember hearing Waddle really wanting to go and apologize but the US Navy wouldn't allow him to due to possible litigation implications. A bit of disgust for the US Navy too at the time too.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

It will be interesting to see how the current submarine incident pans out.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

He should've done jail time for his criminal negligence that resulted in 9 deaths. Once again, the American Empire showed just what contempt it holds the province of Japan in.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

Its weird how current this is, given that a Japanese submarine did almost the exact same thing a couple of days ago (thankfully without fatalities) and Mori is still being an idiot in public.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

A terrible accident but he has apologised multiple times now. An apology is required and accepted for all transgressions here but when a foreigner does it it's not accepted? Double standards once again

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Apologies and compensation won't bring back loved ones but both were made.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It was an accident.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Next time, get off your phone! No texting and subbing! Or is it submarining?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the United States military may do well to consider changes to its policy. Japan is hardly the only country that's unhappy with it.

https://www.rokdrop.net/2008/06/gi-flashback-2002-armored-vehicle-accident/

In essence, in these cases even the United States military does not dispute that mistakes, rather big ones too, were made. Since it is on duty, they get jurisdiction, and that's fine too.

The part that peeves the locals is that the United States will then apply a high standard for "criminal negligence", find that the perpetrator came up short by that standard, and then acquit him. Consistent with US law, I guess, and it may indeed be disproportionate to sentence him to the States' long sentences for negligent homicide, but the end result is that he goes unpunished.

Perhaps a better move in future would be for the United States, on finding that there are significant mistakes made that are insufficient to convict back home, to voluntarily waive its jurisdiction and hand him over to the local authorities. He will of course confess and get say 3 years, making it a proportionate sentence to his degree of actual liability.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From the wiki, it sounds like it all stemmed from the US Navy giving a joy ride with dangerous maneouvers to civilians, but when it went wrong, someone controlling the narrative (either side's government, media, protestors, I dunno) tried to pin it all on the captain.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anniversaries like these are important, not only to grieve the dead but also to ask whether any changes in procedures have been made that would prevent this from ever recurring, or changes in how these allied nations resolve such incidents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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