Last families of sub crash victims sign settlement
TOKYO -- The last two families of the 35 people on a Japanese fishing boat that was accidentally hit and sunk by a U.S. submarine settled with the Navy on Friday.
The settlement, signed at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, ends all negotiations over compensation from the accident, said Makoto Toyoda, a lawyer representing the two families.
Nine people were killed when the Ehime Maru sank on Feb. 9, 2001 after the USS Greeneville smashed into it during a surfacing maneuver. There were 35 high school students, teachers and crew aboard.
Friday's signing brings the total settlement paid to the families of the nine victims and 26 survivors to $16.5 million, the U.S. Navy said in a statement. The figure includes a combined package of $13 million for the other 33 families signed in November.
Toyoda refused to disclose the amount paid to the two last families. Kyodo News reported that the amount roughly matched that of the others.
The two families accepted the U.S. offer earlier in January after the submarine's former skipper, Scott Waddle, visited Japan last month. The relatives of 17-year-old student Yusuke Terata and ship engineer Toshimichi Furuya said they would settle only if Waddle visited.
During his December visit, Waddle placed flowers at a memorial for the dead and met four young survivors and their families.
Waddle was reprimanded by a U.S. military court of inquiry but retired with full rank and pension.