§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Ivor Caplin)
The Government have carried out a detailed review of the eligibility for the ex-gratia payment scheme established in 2000 for far east prisoners of war. This follows the ruling in the High Court by Mr. Justice McCombe in November 2002.
I am now able to announce that, in accordance with the principles set out in the judgment of the Court, the scheme will be formally extended to include those 34WS Gurkha far east prisoners of war (FEPOW) who were held captive by the Japanese in the second world war and who, in 1951 when the peace treaty between the United Kingdom and Japan was signed, were citizens of Nepal. Claims can be made by the FEPOW or by their surviving spouse for the payment of £10,000.
In order to deal with applications, a team from the Ministry of Defence will be established in Kathmandu and in Delhi by the end of February 2004. Application forms will be available for claims after this date but in the meantime an internet site http://www.army.mod.uk/fepow is available now for potential claimants to register their interest.