FORMER NEW ZEALAND POW’S OF JAPAN TO PRESS FOR COMPENSATION

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (January 4, 1999 - Radio Australia)---Former New Zealand wartime prisoners of the Japanese say they plan to take the New Zealand government to the United Nations Human Rights Commission to press their demand for compensation.

The action is being taken after Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, in a letter, rejected a call to pressure the Japanese government on the victims' behalf.

She said New Zealand’s 1951 peace agreement with Japan had provided full and final settlement for wartime victims.

The latest action follows a Japanese court's rejection of a demand by an international group of victims, including New Zealanders, for an official apology and more than US$ 20,000 for each detainee.

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