Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Milestones: Japanese War Notes Claimants Asso v. United States, 373 F.2d 356 (U.S. Claims Ct. 1967)


Plaintiff, a corporation of Philippines, held counterfeit Japanese war notes during World War II. The Allied Forces issued the counterfeit notes to support U.S. intelligence agents and the Filipino resistance movements. At the time of the court's decision in 1967, the war notes were worth slightly less than ten billion dollars (!!!!) if the notes were redeemed in full with interest. Plaintiffs filed suit in 1958 to seek redemption of the counterfeit war notes.

The court found the six-year statute of limitations has run. The court found that the claim accrued in 1945, when Imperial Japan's occupation of the Philippines ended. The court then found that ignorance of the claim did not toll the statute of limitations.


Here's a piece of World War II history that is not commonly known. Imagine if the United States had to pay ten billion dollars (in the late 1960s!) as a result of this litigation. Yet one cannot escape the sense that the Filipinos who fought alongside the US soldiers against Imperial Japan deserves something better than the dry analysis of statute of limitations.

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