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28/03/2006

Compensation scheme extended for Japanese POWs

The government has announced an extension of the compensation scheme for British POWs and civilian internees held by the Japanese during the Second World War.

Veterans Minister Don Touhig announced that the scheme had now been extended to cover any people who lived in the UK for 20 years, since the Second World War and up to the introduction of the scheme in 2000.

The scheme was introduced in 2000 to provide support to those who were interned by the Japanese during the Second World War. Individual payments of £10,000 were made to claimants who were normally resident in the UK before and after their internment.

However, in 2001 the criteria was changed to what become known as the 'birthlink criteria', meaning that those people who were not born in the UK, or whose parents or grandparents had not been born in the country, could not claim payments.

Mr Touhig announced a review of all 30,000 claims last December.

On Tuesday, he announced that around 500 people would be able to receive the £10,000 after the changes were made.

The Veterans Minister said that details of how the 20-year-rule would be applied needed to be resolved and the details of the qualifying criteria would be publicised as soon as they were agreed.

(KMcA)


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