The Miami Herald
Saturday, June 13, 1998

             U.S. to pay WWII Latin-Japanese internees

             LOS ANGELES -- (AP) -- Latin Americans of Japanese ancestry who were
             interned by the United States during World War II will receive $5,000 in reparations
             and an apology from the U.S. government.

             ``This was a tragic chapter in the history of our nation,'' Attorney General Janet
             Reno said Friday, when the settlement of a lawsuit was announced. ``It's time to
             right this wrong and close the book.''

             A hearing to make the agreement final was scheduled for Nov. 17.

             More than 2,200 people -- most were of Japanese ancestry from Peru -- were
             forcibly brought to the United States and held during the war. The government has
             never provided an official explanation.

             After internment, some were exchanged for U.S. prisoners of war held by Japan.

             Between $5 million and $6 million is available to pay former internees and eligible
             heirs, said Bill Lan Lee, an assistant attorney general for civil rights.

             The internees will receive far less than the $20,000 paid to each Japanese American
             interned after Pearl Harbor under a 1988 reparations law. The lawsuit filed in Los
             Angeles in 1996 had sought equal treatment for the Latin American internees.

             ``It has been very difficult to relive the horrible memory that we have been trying to
             forget, but I feel that for this cause, reliving this pain was worth it. I feel a sense of
             closure and peace from the process,'' said one of the victims, Carmen Mochizuki.

             The settlement covers surviving internees and heirs of those who were alive Aug.
             10, 1988, when the reparations law was signed. The Justice Department has
             received about 600 claims and believes that 700 more are still alive and eligible to file

             President Clinton endorsed the settlement for those ``who suffered serious injustice.''