Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Democrats: Screwing American taxpayers from beyond the grave

In 1951, President Harry Truman - along with 49 other international leaders - signed a treaty that absolved Japan of any future reparations claims against it. The document, known here as the Treaty of Peace With Japan, specifically said the following (Article 14, Section 5B):

Except as otherwise provided in the present Treaty, the Allied Powers waive all reparations claims of the Allied Powers, other claims of the Allied Powers and their nationals arising out of any actions taken by Japan and its nationals in the course of the prosecution of the war, and claims of the Allied Powers for direct military costs of occupation.

Basically, the point was that Japan should pay reparations, but its economy was in no shape to do so. Had Japan been forced to pay all of the claims against it, it would have gone bankrupt and its millions of residents would suffer.

Sounds reasonable, right? No reason to kick the Land of the Rising Sun while she's down.

The trouble is, though, there was no mention of how long this would continue, if Japan's economy should happen to improve. (And no, this isn't the first time a well-meaning program has existed far past its original intent.)

Well, here we are, 62 years after the war and 56 years after the treaty. Japan is, in fact, doing a tad bit better. And now survivors of the Japanese occupation of Guam are seeking - you guessed it - reparations. Japan, though, isn't being held financially responsible for this, even though it was its forces that invaded Guam in December 1941 and held it captive until July 1944 (thanks, Wikipedia!).

According to The New York Times:
The Guam compensation program would cost about $135 million: $12,000 to each of the roughly 9,000 survivors of the occupation, and lump sums of $25,000 to children of about 1,000 Guam residents killed by Japanese occupation forces.

Want to take a stab at who is expected to foot that bill? Let me give you a hint: I wouldn't be writing this if it were, say, Germany paying for Japan's past transgressions.

Thanks, President Truman. 'Preciate it.

(Apologies to The Girl, by the way. I only hold her half responsible, as she's only half-Japanese.)

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