The President finally signed off on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017 officially establishing the Guam World War II Claims Fund. An article from KUAM News discussed the beginning of the program as war survivors seeking claims are being urged to get paperwork in sooner rather than later.
More than a decade ago Mauricio Tamargo, former commissioner of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, was tasked with heading the Guam War Claims Review Commission in 2005. As stated in the article, the Commission concluded that, “The Navy’s wartime era claims program fell way short of adequate compensation for those who suffered under Japanese occupation.” The enactment of the NDAA for 2017 has launched a new commission which has 180 days to come up with the final filing procedures.
“I think I understand what documentation is going to be needed because it’s really up to the commission, but I already know the elements of the claim that need to be documented so I think this time that we’re in should be used productively to prepare that,” Tamargo told KUAM News.
Tamargo went on to say it’s premature to get bogged down on where the money will come from. He estimates payments are still about two years away, and once the one year filing period closes and its known how many, and how much will be paid out, then its possible he says that a new source can be identified. “Whether its improved or not, I’m sure this is all going to work out,” Tamargo shared.
“And the claimants will finally find justice and closure from their experience from the war.”
To read the entire article in KUAM News go here.