Jane Yano, right, born a prisoner at Crystal City Texas in 1947, states her case for compensation Thursday, January 6, 2000, while Rep. Xavier Becerra, left, and Doug Kato, son of an internee who was also denied redress listen.
Six Sue U.S. for WWII Reparations
Former internees Jane Yano, Kay Kato and the Ogura family want equitable treatment in receiving compensation from the U.S. Government.
By TAKESHI NAKAYAMA
RAFU SHIMPO ASSOCIATE EDITOR
LOS ANGELES.—A Sansei woman who was born in captivity, an Issei former internee and members of a Japanese Peruvian family abducted from their homes and interned in the United States, filed a joint lawsuit last month in federal court seeking redress from the U.S. government.
Jane Natsue Yano, 52, Kay Sadao Kato, 91, and the four members of the Ogura family are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 13, 1999, their attorney Paul Mills revealed during a press conference held Thursday.
The six plaintiffs have two things in common: all were imprisoned by the United States during World War II; and all have been refused redress by this country, which, under terms of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, has provided an official apology, education funds and payments of $20,000 each to more than 82,000 other former internees.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit—Kay Sadao Kato, Jane Natsue Yano, Makoto Ogura, Shizue Ogura, Kenjiro Ogura and Yasuo Ogura v. United States of America—served a stamped copy of their federal lawsuit Thursday on the U.S. Attorney's office in downtown Los Angeles. The defendant has 60 days to file an answer denying they did anything wrong.
The claimants, born of Japanese ancestry on three different continents and wrongly imprisoned more than 50 years ago, were refused the official apology and other redress on technical grounds.
Yano, born Jan. 28, 1947, in a U.S. internment camp at Crystal City, Texas, and held for seven months there with her family, was denied reparations because her birthdate fell after an arbitrary cutoff date of June 30, 1946, imposed by the U.S. government.