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March 28, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bill Orton at (562) 598-9630 or Mark Pulido at (562) 712-2093
Orton calls on President to start talks with Japanese over compensation for WWII prisoners      (ORANGE COUNTY) -- Assembly candidate William R. "Bill" Orton (D-Seal Beach) is calling on President Bush to begin direct talks with the Japanese government, to secure compensation for veterans and civilians held captive during WWII.
"The veterans and civilians of the United States, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand deserve better than to have their claim for justice squashed by a Japanese court," said Orton, in a March 28 letter to the White House.
Orton is referring to a class action suit first filed in 1995 that seeks $440 million -- or about $22,000 -- for 20,000 Allied veterans and civilians held during WWII.
The Tokyo High Court on Wednesday rejected the compenation lawsuit, stating that only governments can raise the issue.
Orton is contacting VFW and American Legion posts, seeking letters in support of compensation talks between the American and Japanese governments.
"The talks are needed," says Orton, "because a peace treaty signed in 1951 prohibits individuals or groups fom seeking compensation from the Japanese."
Orton is the Democratic nominee in the race for State Assembly in the 67th District. A copy of Orton's letter to the President can be seen at http://billyorton.com.
If elected, says Orton, he will introduce legislation exempting veterans from state fees for hunting and fishing licenses.
TIDBITS: Orton picked up support for his candidacy from KENNETH BECKNER and JOHN VINCENT, each WWII veterans living in Downey. Beckner charged Utah Beach on D-Day. Vincent served in the Pacific, under Douglas MacArthur. Also supporting Orton are veterans JOE ESQUIVEL, of Lakewood and ROBERT ("Bob") DENNY, of Seal Beach, a bombadier who won the Distinguished Flying Cross for action over the English Channel.
BILL ORTON is the Democratic candidate for State Assembly in the 67th District, which covers Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, and portions of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Stanton and Westminster.
FPPC ID# 1240194