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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CR

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1998

ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO ANNOUNCES UPCOMING END OF PROGRAM

TO COMPENSATE JAPANESE AMERICANS INTERNED DURING WORLD WAR II

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than 2,000 Japanese-Americans who


were interned during World War II are running out of time to seek
compensation, Attorney General Janet Reno said today. A program
established to provide redress for these individuals ends in six
months.

The Civil Liberties Act, signed into law on August 10, 1988,
acknowledges, apologizes, and makes restitution for the
fundamental injustice of the evacuation, relocation, and
internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

The Justice Department's Office of Redress Administration


(ORA) is charged with administering the ten year program which
ends on August 10, 1998. Potential claimants are urged to file
claims by April 10, 1998 to allow for a thorough review of each
claim by ORA. Generally, ORA takes about 6-8 weeks to make a
determination once a claim is fully documented.

"This was a tragic chapter in the history of our nation. It


was a time when we took away the liberty of an entire community
of Americans," said Reno. "Time is running out. I urge anyone
who might be eligible to come forward."

Since the program's inception, ORA has provided $20,000 in


redress to 81,278 eligible claimants. Historical research
suggests that an additional 2,200 individuals may be eligible for
redress. Despite extensive outreach efforts, these persons
remain unaccounted for.

"We have been working hard to reach out to every possible


claimant, and will continue to do so," said DeDe Greene, ORA
Administrator. "No cases may be opened or payments made after
the closing of ORA on August 10, 1998."

Over the past 10 years, ORA has organized more than 100
community workshops; spoken to hundreds of church, legal and
community groups; conducted nationwide historical research; and,
sent out thousands of letters and applications.

The program has paid out nearly $1.65 billion in reparations


to the 81,278 eligible claimants. The program has more than $19
million remaining to compensate any additional claimants who are
found eligible. To contact ORA with any information on
potential claimants, please leave a message on the 24 hour, toll-free Help line at 1-888-219-6900; write the Office
Administration at P.O. Box 66260, Washington, D.C. 20035-6260;
or, visit the web site at:
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ora/main.html.

ORA requests that individuals provide the following


information, if known: full name, name used during the internment
period, date of birth, place of internment, relocation or
evacuation, current address and telephone number. # # #

98-058