Guam: War reparations waiting for Barack Obama’s signature
Legislation that includes reparations for Guam residents who experienced atrocities during World War II is waiting for President Barack Obama’s signature. The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that passed in Washington, DC, on Thursday includes reparations for rape, forced labor and other harmful acts by Japanese occupiers, reported the Pacific Daily News.
“The United States recognizes that, as described by the Guam War Claims Review Commission, the residents of Guam, on account of their United States nationality, suffered unspeakable harm as a result of the occupation of Guam by Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II, by being subjected to death, rape, severe personal injury, personal injury, forced labor, forced march, or internment,” the bill states.
US military members and federal employees in Guam pay income taxes that go to the territory. Any funds beyond $70 million annually would pay reparations.
“We intend to work with Gov. (Eddie) Calvo to seek appropriations from the Trump Administration that would hold our local treasury harmless,” said the office of Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo.
Bordallo said she will also collaborate with Sen. Frank Blas Jr. and the Guam War Survivors Memorial Foundation to find ways to prepare residents for the process.
“It is the recognition by the United States government that there was a population, a group of loyal citizens, individuals who really had no say, as far as the war, and they were basically left to fend for themselves,” Blas said.