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Debate Over Paying Reparations to Japanese-American Internees

April 30, 1988

I usually read the news everyday and resign myself to the fact that there is nothing I can do about it, but the bill breezing through Congress to give away $20,000 to former World War II Japanese-American interned individuals is too much. America does owe an apology to these individuals but let's hold up on the money! I doubt if any of the individuals earmarked for this money truly needs it, while Congress seems too eager to give away taxpayers' money that it doesn't have. Don't our representatives realize there is a major deficit?

And when we give away such money to the Japanese-Americans, how long will it be before every ethnic group in the country that has suffered some wrong will see a weak-willed Congress as a way for easy money?

I was disappointed to see Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.) endorsed this bill. Is it really political courage to pass this legislation 46 years after the fact? Of course not--it is an act of political mediocrity, a key reason for the monstrous deficit we now have.

KEVIN C. CHIARAVALLE

Lakeside

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