World War II ended for the people of Guåhan in 1944 when the US recaptured the island after 32 months of Japanese occupation. For most war claims against the Japanese, including Guåhan’s, the US appropriated funds for settlements after World War II. However, for the next seven decades CHamorus made many attempts through US Congress to resolve other war claim issues and disparities while the number of war survivors continued to decline.
Since 1977, Guam Congressional Delegates Antonio Won Pat, Ben Blaz, Robert Underwood, and Madeleine Bordallo carried on the effort with proposed legislative action in Congress for the US to provide war claim parity and justice to the people of Guåhan. Fourteen Congressional bills were introduced to establish a Commission to review the history and results of the Guam Meritorious Claims Act of 1945 or provide additional recognition of loyalty and war claim compensation parity but were unsuccessful. Finally, in 2016, the US Senate passed a bill and President Barak Obama signed into law legislation that would allow for war reparations for Guåhan.
In 2017, the US Justice Department’s Foreign Claims Settlement Commission sought approval from the Office of Management and Budget to gather information from as many as 5,000 people and estates in Guam to decide claims for compensation. War claims would be paid to those who were killed, injured, or subjected to forced labor, march, or imprisonment during the Japanese occupation. By January 2020 payments were made to the first of over 3,700 claimants submitted to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.