9 Dec 2016

Guam welcomes US reparations bill

3:29 pm on 9 December 2016

The US Senate has passed a bill which includes war reparations for those who suffered during Japan's occupation of Guam.

The bill passed by a Senate vote of 92 to 7 and is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Guam's Delegate to the US Congress Madeleine Bordallo said it was an historic day as the passage of the bill brought Guam closer to honouring the island's 'greatest generation' and rightfully recognising the survivors of the occupation during the Second World War.

The passage of the bill also marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Guam on December 8, 1941 and the start of what would be 32 months of occupation by Japanese forces.

Guam's representative to the US Congress Madeleine Bordallo

Guam's representative to the US Congress Madeleine Bordallo Photo: US House of Representatives

Ms Bordallo said over the coming year, processes will be established for the survivors and heirs of those who died during the occupation to receive their claims.

She said she will work to ensure the claims process is appropriately carried out, and has called on the Guam Governor to join her in petitioning the incoming Trump Administration to hold Guam's treasury harmless in the payment of claims.

The bill also contains a provision that will require a review of service records for each military department of Asian American and Pacific Islanders who served during the Korean or Vietnam Wars and earned the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, or the Air Force Cross, but may be eligible for the Medal of Honor.

Ms Bordallo said it contains full funding for Guam's military construction program and frees up funding for the construction of a cultural repository.

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