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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (December 21, 2001 – Marshall Islands Journal)---Kejjo Bien and a team of international lawyers are working to breathe life into the World War II claims of Mili Islanders against the Japanese government.

Attorneys working with Bien have pro posed an eight-point plan of action for Mili, including petitioning the United Nations, resuming "friendly negotiations" with Japan, and investigation of a settlement with the U.S. under the principle of breach of fiduciary duty for its handling of claims against the Japanese while the Marshall Islands was a Trust Territory.

The detailed history and analysis of the Mili war claims case prepared by attorneys working with Bien says that if these and other suggestions "are implemented by the Mili Atoll victims group and supported by the government of the RMI in the same determined fashion that has characterized Mili Atoll war claims and the RMI in the past, there may be a fair and final settlement with Japan in the near future."

Three lawyers are spearheading the project with Bien:

• Jonathan Levy, a California attorney who has represented organizations and individuals in a variety of Holocaust-related lawsuits.

• Tom Easton, a veteran civil and human rights lawyer also based in California.

• Duncan Macdonald, an English attorney based in Brazil who specializes in offshore banking and war claims.

Putting the spotlight on Mili's war claims, Bien and Easton participated in the "50 Years of Denial" conference sponsored by the Rape of Nanking Coalition that was held in September in San Francisco.

Bien has been promoting war reparations for the people of Mili since the 1980s.

Mili was the location of a major Japanese base in World War II, and in the latter stages of the war, a number of Mili Islanders were killed by Japanese military personnel.

An Internet website has been established with much detail on the Mili war claim

The Marshall Islands Journal, Box 14, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960 E-mail:  Subscriptions (weekly): 1 year US $87.00; international $213.00 (air mail).

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