Senator Blas: Defense & Interior Reaffirm Support for War Survivors

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Guam – Senator Frank Blas Jr. has received letters from the Department of Defense and the Department of Interior affirming support of compensation for the survivors of the World War II Japanese occupation of Guam.

One letter is from Assistant Interior Secretary Tony Babauta and the other from Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Asian Affairs Michael Schiffer.

In his response, Interior Assistant Secretary Babauta writes “I look forward to working with Congresswoman Bordallo and others on legislation that the Administration can once again strongly support to provide compensation for the people of Guam.”

Read Assistant DOI Secretary’s Letter to Senator Blas

In his letter, Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Schiffer writes “The Department of Defense will continue to support appropriate legislative efforts to bring closure on this issue for the people of Guam.”

Read the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense’s Letter to Senator Blas

In a release, Senator Blas says he is “encouraged” by their support but “Guam needs to maintain and expand its support from different federal government agencies to bring closure for our man’amko. Each month they are being lost to the ages.”

Read Senator Blas’ Release in FULL below:

BLAS: DEFENSE AND INTERIOR REAFFIRM SUPPORT FOR WAR SURVIVORS

HAGATNA – Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr. welcomed both the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior’s continued support of compensation for Guam’s war survivors. “I’m encouraged by the continuing support from DOD and DOI for our war survivors. Guam needs to maintain and expand its support from different federal government agencies to bring closure for our man’amko. Each month they are being lost to the ages,” says Blas.

Blas noted, “Our island people are the only people who have yet to be recognized. The Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act addresses a compensation the United States has conceded it adopted through the 1951 Peace Treaty. That treaty forgave Japan for the atrocities committed on the people of Guam and absolved them of any responsibility to settle war claims.”

Responding to the Senator’s March 24th letters to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Defense Deputy Assistant Secretary R. Michael Schiffer and DOI Assistant Secretary Anthony Babauta confirmed their respective department’s continued support for the war claims effort.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Schiffer wrote, “The Department of Defense will continue to support appropriate legislative efforts to bring closure on this issue for the people of Guam.” In his response letter, Interior Assistant Secretary Babauta wrote, “I look forward to working with Congresswoman Bordallo and others on legislation that the Administration can once again strongly support to provide compensation for the people of Guam.”

BLAS: DEFENSE AND INTERIOR REAFFIRM SUPPORT FOR WAR SURVIVORS

 

HAGATNA – Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr. welcomed both the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior’s continued support of compensation for Guam’s war survivors. “I’m encouraged by the continuing support from DOD and DOI for our war survivors. Guam needs to maintain and expand its support from different federal government agencies to bring closure for our man’amko. Each month they are being lost to the ages,” says Blas.

 

Blas noted, “Our island people are the only people who have yet to be recognized. The Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act addresses a compensation the United States has conceded it adopted through the 1951 Peace Treaty. That treaty forgave Japan for the atrocities committed on the people of Guam and absolved them of any responsibility to settle war claims.”

 

Responding to the Senator’s March 24th letters to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Defense Deputy Assistant Secretary R. Michael Schiffer and DOI Assistant Secretary Anthony Babauta confirmed their respective department’s continued support for the war claims effort.

 

Deputy Assistant Secretary Schiffer wrote, “The Department of Defense will continue to support appropriate legislative efforts to bring closure on this issue for the people of Guam.” In his response letter, Interior Assistant Secretary Babauta wrote, “I look forward to working with Congresswoman Bordallo and others on legislation that the Administration can once again strongly support to provide compensation for the people of Guam.”

 

Copies of the letters from DOD and DOI are attached.