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Guam continues fight for war reparations

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Guam re-started its push for war reparations this week as Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo announced new hearings on Capitol Hill.

The territory has been seeking payments from the United States for decades for atrocities committed by Japan during its occupation of the island during World War II.

Many Guamanians feel the U.S. abandoned the territory during the war and has never made good on its commitment to take over Japan’s war debts, which has included reparations to other victims of imperial aggression.

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But supporters have had a hard slog in Congress, where the Senate blocked attempts at getting the payments passed last year as part of the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act.

Now, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs has scheduled a July 14 hearing on the resurrected reparations bill, according to Bordallo’s office.

“This hearing will continue to build on the legislative record for Guam War Claims,” Bordallo, D-Guam, said in a prepared statement Wednesday. “Our community will have another opportunity to make the case for war claims for those who endured the occupation of Guam.”

The committee has supported the war claims bill during three Congresses and the House has passed it on five separate occasions.

Still, the Senate has blocked the measure due to cost and the concern that it could open the U.S. to paying compensation to many others affected by the war.

Bordallo said the reparations push has “faced many obstacles” but that she will try to “resolve this issue for the people of Guam.”

From staff reports

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