TOKYO – Relatives of nine people missing and presumed dead after a U.S. nuclear submarine sank their ship two months ago will no longer demand that the vessel be raised, a government official said Monday.
The family members also decided to ask the United States to end the search for the missing during their meeting Sunday at the high school that owned the fishing training vessel, said Masaru Inagaki, an official of southwestern Ehime prefecture [state].
Prefectural Gov. Moriyuki Kato on Monday conveyed the message to the Foreign Ministry, which passed it along to U.S. authorities.
With the request, family members will now begin talks with the U.S. over compensation, Inagaki said. The U.S. has offered to hold a meeting over the issue, he said.
The bodies of four students, two teachers and three crewmen are believed to be entombed in the 190-foot fishing training ship, which lies some 2,000 feet below the surface in waters off Hawaii's Pearl Harbor.
Family members of the victims had demanded that the ship be raised so they could recover personal belongings as well as the bodies.
The U.S. has expressed concern that the full recovery of the ship off the waters could damage the environment around the area.