Far Eastern Prisoners of War (FEPOW)
Veterans' Minister: £10,000 payments scheme extended
to more civilians interned by Japan in Second World War
28 Mar 06
Veterans Minister Don Touhig has today announced an extension
of the ex-gratia payment scheme for former Far East prisoners of war and
civilian internees (FEPOW).
The scheme was introduced on 7 November 2000 to provide support
to those who suffered internment by Japan during the Second World War. Individual
payments of £10,000 were made to claimants who were normally resident
in the United Kingdom before and after their internment. In March 2001, the
criteria was changed to what became known as the Birthlink Criteria.
Veterans Minister Don Touhig said:
"In Dec 2005, I ordered a review of all 30,000 claims to the Far East
Prisoners of War payment scheme, which recognises the terrible hardship of
individuals who suffered during the Second World War.
"As a result of this review, I have decided to extend
the scheme to individuals who lived in the UK for 20 years, since the Second
World War, and up until the introduction of the scheme in November 2000.
As a result, we estimate that some 500 individuals will also receive ex-gratia
payments of £10,000.
"We need to resolve details of how the 20 year rule will
be applied and will publicise details of the qualifying criteria as soon
as these are agreed. I would ask potential claimants not to apply until then
so that they can provide the information required."
The decision to extend the criteria has involved discussions with the Association
of British Civilian Internees - Far East Region (ABCIFER) and the All-Party
Parliamentary Group on FEPOWS. Both ABCIFER and the Chair of the All-Party
Parliamentary Group on FEPOWS have accepted the Minister's invitation to
join a working group to consider how the 20 year rule should be applied.
1. The ex-gratia payment scheme for former Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOW)
and civilian internees was announced on 7 November 2000. The scheme awarded
a payment of £10,000 to certain individuals held captive by the Japanese
or the surviving spouses of those who died. Some 25,000 payments have already
2. Don Touhig, the Veterans Minister, announced a Review of
the criteria that had been used for deciding payments to the scheme when
he appeared before the Public Administration Select Committee on 1 December
3. The revised criteria announced to Parliament today will
cover those civilian internees who were:
4. Under the separate Japanese Asset Registration Scheme
modest compensation payments were made in the 1950s to some who had been imprisoned
or detained by the Japanese, following the UK's ratification of the 1951 San
Francisco Peace Treaty. The British Government funded this from its share of
the proceeds of liquidated Japanese assets.
- interned by the Japanese during the Second World War; and
- British at the time of internment; and one of the following:
- resident in the United Kingdom for 20 or more years in the
UK as at 7 November 2000, or,
- named on a Japanese Asset record and interned or, would
have met the Japanese Asset criteria ie interned and normally resident
in the UK before the Second World War and returned shortly afterwards;
an interned child of the above or surviving spouse