UN To Deal With World War II Era Claims in the Former Pacific Trust Territories
Added: (Fri Aug 09 2002)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
United Nations To Deal With World War II Era Claims in the Former Pacific Trust Territories
Date: August 8, 2002
Origin: Mili Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands
For Immediate Release
Jonathan Levy and Tom Easton, Attorneys
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Marshall Islands Senator Kejjo Bien and a team of lawyers from the United States, Great Britain, and Australia have placed the matter of World War II era Pacific region war claims against Japan before the United Nations Secretary General and the United Nations Trusteeship Council. Bien who has been patiently and persistently pursuing the issue of Japanese war crimes in the Pacific for well over a decade may have finally found a forum for a fair hearing.
The United States and Japan, without input from the former Pacific Islands Trust Territory residents, reached an agreement in 1969 to settle all Pacific war claims in the Trust Territory (Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, & Northern Mariana Islands) for approximately $10 million dollars when actual damages were estimated at $3 billion. The Pacific wartime theater however was the site of some of the heaviest fighting of World War II and islanders caught in the crossfire were the victims of mass murder, slave labor, torture and even cannibalism at the hands of the Japanese military. Local economies like Mili Atoll from where Bien hails have never recovered and wartime damage there was estimated at $10 million in 1969.
Bien and attorney Jonathan Levy chose the Trusteeship Council, a once important but now semi dormant UN organ, as the destination for their petition because the Trusteeship Council had in the past consistently pressured the US and Japan to treat the Pacific islanders fairly. The Trusteeship Council has not met for several years according to its President, Yves Doutriaux. But Bien and Levy hope other former victims of Japanese atrocities in the Pacific will also file petitions and add their claims against Japan.