42              
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.R. NO.              
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     HOUSE  RESOLUTION
  URGING THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO RESTORE REDRESS FUNDS TO
    COMPENSATE INDIVIDUALS OF JAPANESE ANCESTRY WHO WERE
    UNJUSTLY INTERNED DURING WORLD WAR II.



 1        WHEREAS, during World War II, the United States forcibly
 2   removed and interned over 120,000 United States citizens and
 3   legal permanent residents of Japanese ancestry from their homes
 4   and relocated them to government internment camps; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, in addition, the United States arranged the
 7   deportation of over 2,264 men, women, and children of Japanese
 8   ancestry from thirteen Latin American countries to the United
 9   States to be interned and used in prisoner of war exchanges
10   with Japan; and
11   
12        WHEREAS, in 1988, the United States Congress passed, and
13   President Reagan signed, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 (the
14   Act), which acknowledged the fundamental injustice of that
15   evacuation, relocation, and internment, and to apologize on
16   behalf of the people of the United States for the wrongs done
17   to United States citizens and legal permanent residents of
18   Japanese ancestry; and
19   
20        WHEREAS, that Act further sought to make restitution to
21   those individuals of Japanese ancestry who were interned by
22   authorizing a $20,000 redress payment to each citizen and legal
23   permanent resident of Japanese ancestry who was deprived of
24   liberty or property as a result of government action; and
25   
26        WHEREAS, the Act directed the United States Treasury to
27   distribute these payments, to which Congress appropriated
28   $1,650,000,000 between October 1990 and October 1993; and
29   
30        WHEREAS, in a subsequent settlement of a class action
31   suit, the United States agreed to send a letter of apology and
32   to pay a $5,000 redress payment from the same fund to each
33   formerly interned Japanese Latin American; and
34   
35        WHEREAS, to fulfill its educational purpose of informing
36   the public about the internment so as to prevent the recurrence

 
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 1   of similar events, the Act also created the Civil Liberties
 2   Public Education Fund to make disbursements for research and
 3   educational activities up to a total of $50,000,000; and
 4   
 5        WHEREAS, Congress specified in the Act that the principal
 6   of $1,650,000,000 was to be invested in government obligations
 7   and earn interest at an annual rate of at least five per cent;
 8   and
 9   
10        WHEREAS, in 1998, a Japanese Peruvian former internee and
11   the National Coalition for Redress/Reparations filed a class
12   action suit alleging that the Treasury Department breached its
13   fiduciary duty by failing to invest the funds mandated by
14   Congress, and seeking to recover the lost interest which is
15   estimated to be between $50,000,000 and $200,000,000; and
16   
17        WHEREAS, while the reparations fund has made payments to
18   approximately eighty-two thousand claimants, there will not be
19   sufficient money in the trust fund established by Congress to
20   pay all of the remaining claims by Japanese Americans and
21   Japanese Latin Americans or to meet the goal of $50,000,000 in
22   educational grants; and
23   
24        WHEREAS, a United States Justice Department official has
25   apparently acknowledged that the funds were not invested as
26   originally mandated by Congress, and that the $1,650,000,000
27   has all been spent, although claims are still pending; and
28   
29        WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that while nothing can
30   replace the loss of civil liberties suffered by those who were
31   forced to evacuate their homes and relocate to internment camps
32   on the basis of their ancestry, a formal apology and token
33   redress payment to these individuals of Japanese ancestry is
34   the least that can be done to compensate them for the loss of
35   their rights; now, therefore,
36   
37        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
38   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
39   of 1999, that the United States government is urged to restore
40   redress funds to pay all outstanding Japanese American and
41   Japanese Latin American redress claims and to fulfill the
42   educational mandate of the Act; and
43   

 
 
 
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 1        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
 2   Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United
 3   States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker
 4   of the United States House of Representatives, Hawaii's
 5   congressional delegation, and the Governor of Hawaii.
 6   
 7 
 8 
 9 
10                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________