Filing of Claims Under the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, 16124-16127 [2017-06461]

Download as PDF 16124 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 62 / Monday, April 3, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Dated: March 27, 2017. Michael M. Grimm, Assistant Administrator for Mitigation, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. electronically through http:// regulations.gov using the electronic comment form provided on that site. An electronic copy of this document is also available at the http:// www.regulations.gov Web site. The Commission will accept attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF formats only. [FR Doc. 2017–06426 Filed 3–31–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–12–P FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Brian M. Simkin, Chief Counsel, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, 600 E Street NW., Room 6002, Washington, DC 20579, Tel. (202) 616–6975, FAX (202) 616–6993. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Foreign Claims Settlement Commission 45 CFR Parts 500 and 510 [Docket No. FCSC 101] Public Comments Filing of Claims Under the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States, Department of Justice. ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comments. AGENCY: The Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act authorizes the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States to adjudicate claims and determine the eligibility of individuals for payment for harms suffered by residents of Guam resulting from the occupation of Guam by Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II. This rule establishes procedures for the filing and adjudication of claims brought under the Guam Loyalty Recognition Act. The rule also provides definitions for the statutory terms ‘‘severe personal injury’’ and ‘‘personal injury,’’ and amends regulations concerning the payment of attorney’s fees. DATES: Effective date: This rule is effective April 3, 2017. Comment date: Written comments must be submitted on or before June 2, 2017. Comments received by mail will be considered timely if they are postmarked on or before that date. The electronic Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of that day. ADDRESSES: Please address all comments regarding this rule that are submitted by U.S. mail to Jeremy R. LaFrancois, Chief Administrative Counsel, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, 600 E Street NW., Room 6002, Washington, DC 20579. To ensure proper handling, please reference FCSC Docket No. 101 on your correspondence. Comments may also be submitted mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Mar 31, 2017 Jkt 241001 The Commission is publishing this interim final rule, effective April 3, 2017, in light of the statutory requirements of the Act. The Commission is providing a 60-day period for public comment. Posting of Public Comments Please note that all comments received are considered part of the public record and made available for public inspection online at http:// www.regulations.gov. Information made available for public inspection includes personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter. If you wish to submit personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not wish it to be posted online, you must include the phrase ‘‘PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION’’ in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also locate all the personal identifying information that you do not want posted online in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what information you want the agency to redact. Personal identifying information identified and located as set forth above will be placed in the agency’s public docket file, but not posted online. If you wish to submit confidential business information as part of your comment but do not wish it to be posted online, you must include the phrase ‘‘CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION’’ in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also prominently identify confidential business information to be redacted within the comment. If a comment has so much confidential business information that it cannot be effectively redacted, the agency may choose not to post that comment (or to only partially post that comment) on http:// PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 www.regulations.gov. Confidential business information identified and located as set forth above will not be placed in the public docket file, nor will it be posted online. If you wish to inspect the agency’s public docket file in person by appointment, please see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT paragraph. Background Pursuant to the Guam War Claims Review Commission Act, Public Law 107–333, 116 Stat. 2873 (2002), the Guam War Claims Review Commission (‘‘GWCRC’’) was established to evaluate the war claims compensation program conducted by the U.S. Navy on Guam during and after World War II, and to compare it with other compensation programs covering claims of U.S. nationals arising in other areas in the Pacific attacked by Japanese forces during the war. The GWCRC was required to submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior and specified Congressional committees within nine months of its establishment. Public Law 107–333, section 5(6). In September 2003, the Secretary of the Interior requested the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States (Commission) to provide part-time technical assistance to GWCRC. Between 2003 and 2004, members of the Commission’s staff were detailed to the GWCRC, where they planned and organized GWCRC meetings and conducted research on the Guam claims program and the other compensation programs with which it was to be compared. The GWCRC held hearings on Guam in December 2003, at which it received testimony by numerous residents of Guam who had survived the 32-month Japanese occupation of the island. The hearings on Guam were followed by a legal experts’ conference convened in Washington, DC, in February 2004 to discuss the nature and extent of the United States Government’s legal responsibility for the various types of claims that arose out of World War II, and the treatment the Government accorded the claims of the people of Guam as compared with that given to the claims of United States nationals elsewhere in the Pacific Ocean area. The GWCRC’s Final Report, issued on June 9, 2004, determined that, in some respects, there was a lack of parity of war claims paid to the residents of Guam compared with awards made to other similarly affected U.S. citizens or nationals in territory occupied by the Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II. Based on this E:\FR\FM\03APR1.SGM 03APR1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 62 / Monday, April 3, 2017 / Rules and Regulations determination, the GWCRC recommended that Congress enact legislation providing for additional compensation to compensate the people of Guam for death, personal injury, forced labor, forced march, and internment. As required by statute, the GWCRC terminated 30 days after submission of its report. Public Law 107–333, section 7. Following from the findings and recommendations of the GWCRC, on December 23, 2016, the President signed into law the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, Title XVII, Public Law 114–328, 130 Stat. 2000, 2641–2647 (2016) (the ‘‘Guam Loyalty Recognition Act’’ or ‘‘Act’’). The Act provides, inter alia, that ‘‘[t]he United States recognizes that, as described by the Guam War Claims Review Commission, the residents of Guam, on account of their United States nationality, suffered unspeakable harm as a result of the occupation of Guam by Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II, by being subjected to death, rape, severe personal injury, personal injury, forced labor, forced march, or internment.’’ The Act further recognizes that ‘‘[t]he United States forever will be grateful to the residents of Guam for their steadfast loyalty to the United States, as demonstrated by the countless acts of courage they performed despite the threat of death or great bodily harm they faced at the hands of the Imperial Japanese military forces that occupied Guam during World War II.’’ Public Law 114–328, section 1702. Pursuant to section 1705(a) of the Act, the Commission is authorized to adjudicate claims and determine the eligibility of individuals for payments under the Act, in recognition of harms suffered by residents of Guam as a result of the occupation of Guam by Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II. The Commission is issuing this Interim Final Rule to enable the Commission to carry out its functions under the Act. Specifically, this rule adds a new subchapter to the Commission’s regulations—subchapter D, 45 CFR part 510—to establish procedures for the filing and adjudication of claims brought under the Act. Subchapter D also provides definitions for certain statutory terms (‘‘severe personal injury’’ and ‘‘personal injury’’), as required by the Act. Finally, miscellaneous amendments are made to the Commission’s existing regulations at 45 CFR part 500 (Appearance and practice) to reflect an attorney’s fees provision contained in the Act. With respect to the filing of claims, as required by the Act, the Commission VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Mar 31, 2017 Jkt 241001 intends to establish a claims filing deadline, and will publish notice of the deadline in the Federal Register and in newspaper, radio, and television media in Guam. This notice will be published on or before June 20, 2017 (i.e., not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of the Act). Thereafter, claimants will have one year from the date on which the Commission publishes this notice to file claims under the Act. See Public Law 114–328, section 1705(b)(2). Regulatory Certifications Administrative Procedure Act The Commission’s implementation of this rule as an interim final rule, with provision for post-promulgation public comment, is based on Sections 553(b)(3)(A), 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553. Under Section 553(b)(3), an agency may issue a rule without notice of proposed rulemaking and the pre-promulgation opportunity for public comment where ‘‘good cause’’ exists or for ‘‘interpretive rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice.’’ The changes made by this interim final rule fit within the exceptions to the requirement for pre-promulgation opportunity for notice and comment set out in Section 553. An agency may find good cause to exempt a rule from provisions of the APA if it determines that those procedures are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). The Commission has determined that it is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest to seek public comment prior to promulgating this interim final rule for several reasons. First, delaying the implementation of the rule would delay the determination and payment of appropriate compensation. Eligibility determinations and corresponding payments will not be issued until the rule is effective. Thus, eligible claimants would be harmed by any delay. Second, the interim rule will be subject to public comment before its final implementation. The Commission will consider any public comments made following publication of this interim final rule and make any appropriate adjustments or clarifications in the final rule. Finally, the deadline imposed by Congress to implement the regulations is strict and therefore the Commission has a limited period of time within which to promulgate the regulations. Furthermore, several of the changes made by this interim final rule fit within the exceptions to the requirement for pre-promulgation opportunity for notice PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 16125 and comment set out in Section 553 for ‘‘interpretive rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice.’’ See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A). First, miscellaneous amendments are made to the Commission’s existing regulations at 45 CFR part 500 (Appearance and practice) to reflect the attorney’s fees provisions contained in the Guam Loyalty Recognition Act. These changes reflect general statements of policy; they serve only to advise the public that the Commission may exercise its discretionary power in certain ways regarding attorney appearance and practice before the Commission. Second, the interim final rule adds a new subchapter to the Commission’s regulations—subchapter D—to establish procedures for the filing and adjudication of claims under the Guam Loyalty Recognition Act. In this regard, the rule merely incorporates by reference the Commission’s existing procedures for the filing and adjudication of claims under the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 (subchapter C); thus, the new subchapter D is entirely procedural in nature. The APA also permits an agency to make a rule effective upon date of publication in the Federal Register where ‘‘good cause’’ exists or for ‘‘interpretive rules and statements of policy.’’ 5 U.S.C. 553(d). As stated, the Commission has determined that it would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest to engage in full notice and comment rulemaking before putting these interim final regulations into effect, and that it is in the public interest to promulgate interim final regulations. For the same reasons, the Commission has determined that there is good cause to make these interim final regulations effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register, in accordance with Section 553(d) of the APA (5 U.S.C. 553(d)). Therefore, waiver of the 30-day period prior to the rule’s effective date is appropriate here. The Commission welcomes public comments on the changes being made by this interim final rule, and will carefully review any comments to ensure that any substantive concerns or issues regarding these changes are addressed in the final rule. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 This interim final rule implements the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, Title XVII, Public Law 114–328, which authorizes the Commission to adjudicate claims for certain harms suffered by Guam residents during E:\FR\FM\03APR1.SGM 03APR1 16126 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 62 / Monday, April 3, 2017 / Rules and Regulations World War II. In order to be able to evaluate claims, the Commission will need to collect information from individuals (or personal representatives of deceased individuals) who suffered harm or who are survivors of a decedent who died as a result of the occupation of Guam by Japanese military forces. Accordingly, the Commission will submit an information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the emergency review procedures of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The Commission will also publish a Notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on the information collection associated with this rulemaking. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES Regulatory Flexibility Act The Commission, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), has reviewed this interim final rule and, by approving it, certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule sets forth procedures by which the Commission will adjudicate claims for payments under the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act. In its adjudication of claims, the Commission will determine the eligibility of individuals, not entities. Moreover, under 5 U.S.C. 601(6), the term ‘‘small entity’’ does not include the Federal government. Because this rule is being adopted as an interim final rule, a Regulatory Flexibility analysis is not required. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 This interim final rule, which enables and is necessary for the Commission to carry out its functions under the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review’’ section 1(b), Principles of Regulation, and in accordance with Executive Order 13563, ‘‘Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review’’ section 1(b), General Principles of Regulation. The Commission has determined that this rule is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), Regulatory Planning and Review, and accordingly this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. Further, both Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Mar 31, 2017 Jkt 241001 effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. The Commission has assessed the costs and benefits of this regulation and believes that the regulatory approach selected maximizes net benefits. Executive Order 12988 This interim final rule meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 Civil Justice Reform to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize litigation, provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, and promote simplification and burden reduction. Executive Order 13132 This interim final rule does not have federalism implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13132. The proposed rule does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Executive Order 13175 This interim final rule does not have tribal implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13175. It does not have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, a major increase in costs or prices, or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreignbased companies in domestic and export markets. List of Subjects in 45 CFR Parts 500 and 510 Administrative practice and procedure, Foreign claims, War claims. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission amends 10 CFR parts 500 and 510 as follows: PART 500—APPEARANCE AND PRACTICE 1. The authority citation for part 500 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: Sec. 2, Pub. L. 896, 80th Cong., 62 Stat. 1240, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2001); sec. 3, Pub. L. 455, 81st Cong., 64 Stat. 12, as amended (22 U.S.C. 1622); 18 U.S.C. 207; Sec.1705(a)(2), Pub. L. 114–328, 114th Cong., 130 Stat. 2644. 2. Amend § 500.3 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows: ■ § 500.3 Fees. * * * * * (c) The amount of attorney’s fees that may be charged in connection with claims falling within the purview of subchapter D of this chapter is governed by the provisions of section 1705(b)(6) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Title XVII, Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, Public Law 114–328. ■ 3. In § 500.4, revise paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows: § 500.4 Suspension of attorneys. (a) * * * (3) To have violated sections 10 and 214 of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, section 4(f) of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, as amended, or section 1705(b)(6) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Title XVII, Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act. * * * * * ■ 4. Add subchapter D, consisting of part 510, to read as follows: SUBCHAPTER D—RECEIPT, ADMINISTRATION, AND PAYMENT OF CLAIMS UNDER THE GUAM WORLD WAR II LOYALTY RECOGNITION ACT PART 510—FILING OF CLAIMS AND PROCEDURES THEREFOR Sec. 510.1 Definitions. 510.2 Time for filing. 510.3 Applicability of administrative provisions concerning claims under the E:\FR\FM\03APR1.SGM 03APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 62 / Monday, April 3, 2017 / Rules and Regulations International Claims Settlement Act of 1949. DATES: Authority: Sec.1705(a)(2), Pub. L. 114–328, 114th Cong., 130 Stat. 2644. § 510.1 Definitions For purposes of this subchapter: Personal injury means a discernible injury (such as disfigurement, scarring, or burns) that is more serious than a superficial injury. Severe personal injury means loss of a limb, dismemberment, paralysis, or any injury of a similar type or that is comparable in severity. § 510.2 Effective April 3, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Time for filing. Alexander Minard, Wireline Competition Bureau, (202) 418–7400. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This summary contains corrections to a Federal Register document, 82 FR 14338 (March 20, 2017). Corrections In final rule FR Doc. 2017–04715, published March 20, 2017 (82 FR 14338), make the following correction: § 54.303 [Corrected] 1. On page 14339, in the first column, amendatory instruction 3 is corrected to read ‘‘In § 54.303, revise paragraphs (a)(1), (b), (c)(2), (e), and (f)(1) to read as follows:’’ ■ Claims for payments under the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, Title XVII, Public Law 114–328 (the ‘‘Act’’), must be filed not later than one year after the date on which the Commission publishes the notice described in section 1705(b)(2)(B) of the Act. Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–06485 Filed 3–31–17; 8:45 am] § 510.3 Applicability of administrative provisions concerning claims under the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949. BILLING CODE 6712–01–P To the extent they are not inconsistent with the provisions of the Act, the following provisions of subchapter C of this chapter shall be applicable to claims under this subchapter: §§ 509.2, 509.3, 509.4, 509.5, and 509.6. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Brian M. Simkin, Chief Counsel. [FR Doc. 2017–06461 Filed 3–31–17; 8:45 am] Federal Railroad Administration 49 CFR Parts 209, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 270, and 272 [Docket No. FRA–2016–0021; Notice No. 2] BILLING CODE 4410–BA–P RIN 2130–AC65 FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 54 [WC Docket Nos. 10–90, 14–58; CC Docket No. 01–92; FCC 16–33] Connect America Fund, ETC Annual Reports and Certifications, Developing a Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Final rule; correction. AGENCY: This document corrects errors in a Federal Register document that corrected errors to an original Federal Register document that adopted significant reforms to place the universal service program on solid footing for the next decade to ‘‘preserve and advance’’ voice and broadband service in areas served by rate-of-return carriers. The document was published in the Federal Register on March 20, 2017. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Mar 31, 2017 Jkt 241001 Implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act for a Violation of a Federal Railroad Safety Law, Federal Railroad Administration Safety Regulation or Order, or the Hazardous Material Transportation Laws or Regulations, Orders, Special Permits, and Approvals Issued Under Those Laws Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: To comply with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, FRA is adjusting the minimum, maximum, and aggravated maximum penalties it will apply when assessing a civil penalty for a violation of a railroad safety statute, regulation, or order under its authority. FRA is also adjusting the minimum penalty, ordinary maximum penalty, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 16127 and aggravated maximum penalty that it will apply when assessing a civil monetary penalty for a knowing violation of the Federal hazardous material transportation laws or a regulation, special permit, order, or approval issued under those laws. The aggravated maximum penalty under the hazardous material transportation laws is available only for a violation that results in death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person or substantial destruction of property. DATES: This final rule is effective April 3, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Veronica Chittim, Trial Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mail Stop 10, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone 202–493–0273), veronica.chittim@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 2, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Inflation Act). Public Law 114–74, sec. 701. This amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (Inflation Act) that required each agency to (1) adjust by regulation each maximum civil monetary penalty (CMP), or range of minimum and maximum CMPs, within that agency’s jurisdiction by October 23, 1996, and (2) adjust those penalty amounts once every four years thereafter, to reflect inflation. See Public Law 101–410, 104 Stat. 890, 28 U.S.C. 2461, note, as amended by sec. 31001(s)(1) of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law 104–134, April 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321– 373. Under the 2015 Inflation Act, agencies must make annual inflation adjustments, starting January 15, 2017, based on Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance. In the 2015 Inflation Act, Congress recognized the important role CMPs play in deterring violations of Federal laws, regulations, and orders and determined that inflation has diminished the impact of these penalties. In the Inflation Act, Congress countered the effect that inflation has had on the CMPs by having the agencies charged with enforcement responsibility administratively adjust the CMPs. FRA is authorized as the delegate of the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to enforce the Federal railroad safety statutes, regulations, and orders, including the civil penalty provisions codified primarily at 49 U.S.C. ch. 213. See 49 U.S.C. 103 and 49 CFR 1.89; 49 U.S.C. chs. 201–213. FRA currently has safety regulations in 34 parts of the CFR that contain E:\FR\FM\03APR1.SGM 03APR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 62 (Monday, April 3, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 16124-16127]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-06461]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Foreign Claims Settlement Commission

45 CFR Parts 500 and 510

[Docket No. FCSC 101]


Filing of Claims Under the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition 
Act

AGENCY: Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States, 
Department of Justice.

ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act authorizes the 
Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States to adjudicate 
claims and determine the eligibility of individuals for payment for 
harms suffered by residents of Guam resulting from the occupation of 
Guam by Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II. This 
rule establishes procedures for the filing and adjudication of claims 
brought under the Guam Loyalty Recognition Act. The rule also provides 
definitions for the statutory terms ``severe personal injury'' and 
``personal injury,'' and amends regulations concerning the payment of 
attorney's fees.

DATES: 
    Effective date: This rule is effective April 3, 2017.
    Comment date: Written comments must be submitted on or before June 
2, 2017. Comments received by mail will be considered timely if they 
are postmarked on or before that date. The electronic Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) will accept comments until midnight Eastern 
Time at the end of that day.

ADDRESSES: Please address all comments regarding this rule that are 
submitted by U.S. mail to Jeremy R. LaFrancois, Chief Administrative 
Counsel, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, 600 E Street NW., Room 
6002, Washington, DC 20579. To ensure proper handling, please reference 
FCSC Docket No. 101 on your correspondence. Comments may also be 
submitted electronically through http://regulations.gov using the 
electronic comment form provided on that site. An electronic copy of 
this document is also available at the http://www.regulations.gov Web 
site. The Commission will accept attachments to electronic comments in 
Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian M. Simkin, Chief Counsel, 
Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, 600 E Street NW., Room 6002, 
Washington, DC 20579, Tel. (202) 616-6975, FAX (202) 616-6993.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Public Comments

    The Commission is publishing this interim final rule, effective 
April 3, 2017, in light of the statutory requirements of the Act. The 
Commission is providing a 60-day period for public comment.

Posting of Public Comments

    Please note that all comments received are considered part of the 
public record and made available for public inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov. Information made available for public inspection 
includes personal identifying information (such as your name, address, 
etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter.
    If you wish to submit personal identifying information (such as 
your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not wish it 
to be posted online, you must include the phrase ``PERSONAL IDENTIFYING 
INFORMATION'' in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also 
locate all the personal identifying information that you do not want 
posted online in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what 
information you want the agency to redact. Personal identifying 
information identified and located as set forth above will be placed in 
the agency's public docket file, but not posted online.
    If you wish to submit confidential business information as part of 
your comment but do not wish it to be posted online, you must include 
the phrase ``CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION'' in the first paragraph 
of your comment. You must also prominently identify confidential 
business information to be redacted within the comment. If a comment 
has so much confidential business information that it cannot be 
effectively redacted, the agency may choose not to post that comment 
(or to only partially post that comment) on http://www.regulations.gov. 
Confidential business information identified and located as set forth 
above will not be placed in the public docket file, nor will it be 
posted online. If you wish to inspect the agency's public docket file 
in person by appointment, please see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT paragraph.

Background

    Pursuant to the Guam War Claims Review Commission Act, Public Law 
107-333, 116 Stat. 2873 (2002), the Guam War Claims Review Commission 
(``GWCRC'') was established to evaluate the war claims compensation 
program conducted by the U.S. Navy on Guam during and after World War 
II, and to compare it with other compensation programs covering claims 
of U.S. nationals arising in other areas in the Pacific attacked by 
Japanese forces during the war. The GWCRC was required to submit a 
report of its findings and recommendations to the Secretary of the 
Interior and specified Congressional committees within nine months of 
its establishment. Public Law 107-333, section 5(6).
    In September 2003, the Secretary of the Interior requested the 
Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States (Commission) 
to provide part-time technical assistance to GWCRC. Between 2003 and 
2004, members of the Commission's staff were detailed to the GWCRC, 
where they planned and organized GWCRC meetings and conducted research 
on the Guam claims program and the other compensation programs with 
which it was to be compared. The GWCRC held hearings on Guam in 
December 2003, at which it received testimony by numerous residents of 
Guam who had survived the 32-month Japanese occupation of the island. 
The hearings on Guam were followed by a legal experts' conference 
convened in Washington, DC, in February 2004 to discuss the nature and 
extent of the United States Government's legal responsibility for the 
various types of claims that arose out of World War II, and the 
treatment the Government accorded the claims of the people of Guam as 
compared with that given to the claims of United States nationals 
elsewhere in the Pacific Ocean area.
    The GWCRC's Final Report, issued on June 9, 2004, determined that, 
in some respects, there was a lack of parity of war claims paid to the 
residents of Guam compared with awards made to other similarly affected 
U.S. citizens or nationals in territory occupied by the Imperial 
Japanese military forces during World War II. Based on this

[[Page 16125]]

determination, the GWCRC recommended that Congress enact legislation 
providing for additional compensation to compensate the people of Guam 
for death, personal injury, forced labor, forced march, and internment. 
As required by statute, the GWCRC terminated 30 days after submission 
of its report. Public Law 107-333, section 7.
    Following from the findings and recommendations of the GWCRC, on 
December 23, 2016, the President signed into law the Guam World War II 
Loyalty Recognition Act, Title XVII, Public Law 114-328, 130 Stat. 
2000, 2641-2647 (2016) (the ``Guam Loyalty Recognition Act'' or 
``Act''). The Act provides, inter alia, that ``[t]he United States 
recognizes that, as described by the Guam War Claims Review Commission, 
the residents of Guam, on account of their United States nationality, 
suffered unspeakable harm as a result of the occupation of Guam by 
Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II, by being 
subjected to death, rape, severe personal injury, personal injury, 
forced labor, forced march, or internment.'' The Act further recognizes 
that ``[t]he United States forever will be grateful to the residents of 
Guam for their steadfast loyalty to the United States, as demonstrated 
by the countless acts of courage they performed despite the threat of 
death or great bodily harm they faced at the hands of the Imperial 
Japanese military forces that occupied Guam during World War II.'' 
Public Law 114-328, section 1702. Pursuant to section 1705(a) of the 
Act, the Commission is authorized to adjudicate claims and determine 
the eligibility of individuals for payments under the Act, in 
recognition of harms suffered by residents of Guam as a result of the 
occupation of Guam by Imperial Japanese military forces during World 
War II.
    The Commission is issuing this Interim Final Rule to enable the 
Commission to carry out its functions under the Act. Specifically, this 
rule adds a new subchapter to the Commission's regulations--subchapter 
D, 45 CFR part 510--to establish procedures for the filing and 
adjudication of claims brought under the Act. Subchapter D also 
provides definitions for certain statutory terms (``severe personal 
injury'' and ``personal injury''), as required by the Act. Finally, 
miscellaneous amendments are made to the Commission's existing 
regulations at 45 CFR part 500 (Appearance and practice) to reflect an 
attorney's fees provision contained in the Act.
    With respect to the filing of claims, as required by the Act, the 
Commission intends to establish a claims filing deadline, and will 
publish notice of the deadline in the Federal Register and in 
newspaper, radio, and television media in Guam. This notice will be 
published on or before June 20, 2017 (i.e., not later than 180 days 
after the date of the enactment of the Act). Thereafter, claimants will 
have one year from the date on which the Commission publishes this 
notice to file claims under the Act. See Public Law 114-328, section 
1705(b)(2).

Regulatory Certifications

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Commission's implementation of this rule as an interim final 
rule, with provision for post-promulgation public comment, is based on 
Sections 553(b)(3)(A), 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d) of the Administrative 
Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553. Under Section 553(b)(3), an agency 
may issue a rule without notice of proposed rulemaking and the pre-
promulgation opportunity for public comment where ``good cause'' exists 
or for ``interpretive rules, general statements of policy, or rules of 
agency organization, procedure, or practice.''
    The changes made by this interim final rule fit within the 
exceptions to the requirement for pre-promulgation opportunity for 
notice and comment set out in Section 553. An agency may find good 
cause to exempt a rule from provisions of the APA if it determines that 
those procedures are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the 
public interest. See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). The Commission has 
determined that it is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest 
to seek public comment prior to promulgating this interim final rule 
for several reasons. First, delaying the implementation of the rule 
would delay the determination and payment of appropriate compensation. 
Eligibility determinations and corresponding payments will not be 
issued until the rule is effective. Thus, eligible claimants would be 
harmed by any delay. Second, the interim rule will be subject to public 
comment before its final implementation. The Commission will consider 
any public comments made following publication of this interim final 
rule and make any appropriate adjustments or clarifications in the 
final rule. Finally, the deadline imposed by Congress to implement the 
regulations is strict and therefore the Commission has a limited period 
of time within which to promulgate the regulations.
    Furthermore, several of the changes made by this interim final rule 
fit within the exceptions to the requirement for pre-promulgation 
opportunity for notice and comment set out in Section 553 for 
``interpretive rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency 
organization, procedure, or practice.'' See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A). 
First, miscellaneous amendments are made to the Commission's existing 
regulations at 45 CFR part 500 (Appearance and practice) to reflect the 
attorney's fees provisions contained in the Guam Loyalty Recognition 
Act. These changes reflect general statements of policy; they serve 
only to advise the public that the Commission may exercise its 
discretionary power in certain ways regarding attorney appearance and 
practice before the Commission. Second, the interim final rule adds a 
new subchapter to the Commission's regulations--subchapter D--to 
establish procedures for the filing and adjudication of claims under 
the Guam Loyalty Recognition Act. In this regard, the rule merely 
incorporates by reference the Commission's existing procedures for the 
filing and adjudication of claims under the International Claims 
Settlement Act of 1949 (subchapter C); thus, the new subchapter D is 
entirely procedural in nature.
    The APA also permits an agency to make a rule effective upon date 
of publication in the Federal Register where ``good cause'' exists or 
for ``interpretive rules and statements of policy.'' 5 U.S.C. 553(d). 
As stated, the Commission has determined that it would be unnecessary 
and contrary to the public interest to engage in full notice and 
comment rulemaking before putting these interim final regulations into 
effect, and that it is in the public interest to promulgate interim 
final regulations. For the same reasons, the Commission has determined 
that there is good cause to make these interim final regulations 
effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register, in 
accordance with Section 553(d) of the APA (5 U.S.C. 553(d)). Therefore, 
waiver of the 30-day period prior to the rule's effective date is 
appropriate here. The Commission welcomes public comments on the 
changes being made by this interim final rule, and will carefully 
review any comments to ensure that any substantive concerns or issues 
regarding these changes are addressed in the final rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This interim final rule implements the Guam World War II Loyalty 
Recognition Act, Title XVII, Public Law 114-328, which authorizes the 
Commission to adjudicate claims for certain harms suffered by Guam 
residents during

[[Page 16126]]

World War II. In order to be able to evaluate claims, the Commission 
will need to collect information from individuals (or personal 
representatives of deceased individuals) who suffered harm or who are 
survivors of a decedent who died as a result of the occupation of Guam 
by Japanese military forces. Accordingly, the Commission will submit an 
information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the emergency review 
procedures of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The Commission will 
also publish a Notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment 
on the information collection associated with this rulemaking.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Commission, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 
5 U.S.C. 605(b), has reviewed this interim final rule and, by approving 
it, certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. This rule sets forth procedures 
by which the Commission will adjudicate claims for payments under the 
Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act. In its adjudication of 
claims, the Commission will determine the eligibility of individuals, 
not entities. Moreover, under 5 U.S.C. 601(6), the term ``small 
entity'' does not include the Federal government. Because this rule is 
being adopted as an interim final rule, a Regulatory Flexibility 
analysis is not required.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    This interim final rule, which enables and is necessary for the 
Commission to carry out its functions under the Guam World War II 
Loyalty Recognition Act, has been drafted and reviewed in accordance 
with Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review'' section 
1(b), Principles of Regulation, and in accordance with Executive Order 
13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'' section 1(b), 
General Principles of Regulation.
    The Commission has determined that this rule is not a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), 
Regulatory Planning and Review, and accordingly this rule has not been 
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.
    Further, both Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to 
assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, 
if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that 
maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, 
public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). 
Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both 
costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of 
promoting flexibility. The Commission has assessed the costs and 
benefits of this regulation and believes that the regulatory approach 
selected maximizes net benefits.

Executive Order 12988

    This interim final rule meets the applicable standards set forth in 
sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 Civil Justice Reform 
to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize litigation, 
provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, and promote 
simplification and burden reduction.

Executive Order 13132

    This interim final rule does not have federalism implications 
warranting the application of Executive Order 13132. The proposed rule 
does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the 
relationship between the national government and the States, or the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government.

Executive Order 13175

    This interim final rule does not have tribal implications 
warranting the application of Executive Order 13175. It does not have 
substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the 
relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on 
the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal 
Government and Indian tribes.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of 
$100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed 
necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 
1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule 
will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or 
more, a major increase in costs or prices, or significant adverse 
effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to 
compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

List of Subjects in 45 CFR Parts 500 and 510

    Administrative practice and procedure, Foreign claims, War claims.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Foreign 
Claims Settlement Commission amends 10 CFR parts 500 and 510 as 
follows:

PART 500--APPEARANCE AND PRACTICE

0
1. The authority citation for part 500 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: Sec. 2, Pub. L. 896, 80th Cong., 62 Stat. 1240, as 
amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2001); sec. 3, Pub. L. 455, 81st Cong., 64 
Stat. 12, as amended (22 U.S.C. 1622); 18 U.S.C. 207; 
Sec.1705(a)(2), Pub. L. 114-328, 114th Cong., 130 Stat. 2644.

0
2. Amend Sec.  500.3 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  500.3  Fees.

* * * * *
    (c) The amount of attorney's fees that may be charged in connection 
with claims falling within the purview of subchapter D of this chapter 
is governed by the provisions of section 1705(b)(6) of the National 
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Title XVII, Guam World 
War II Loyalty Recognition Act, Public Law 114-328.

0
3. In Sec.  500.4, revise paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  500.4  Suspension of attorneys.

    (a) * * *
    (3) To have violated sections 10 and 214 of the War Claims Act of 
1948, as amended, section 4(f) of the International Claims Settlement 
Act of 1949, as amended, or section 1705(b)(6) of the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Title XVII, Guam World War II 
Loyalty Recognition Act.
* * * * *

0
4. Add subchapter D, consisting of part 510, to read as follows:

SUBCHAPTER D--RECEIPT, ADMINISTRATION, AND PAYMENT OF CLAIMS UNDER THE 
GUAM WORLD WAR II LOYALTY RECOGNITION ACT

PART 510--FILING OF CLAIMS AND PROCEDURES THEREFOR

Sec.
510.1 Definitions.
510.2 Time for filing.
510.3 Applicability of administrative provisions concerning claims 
under the

[[Page 16127]]

International Claims Settlement Act of 1949.

    Authority: Sec.1705(a)(2), Pub. L. 114-328, 114th Cong., 130 
Stat. 2644.


Sec.  510.1  Definitions

    For purposes of this subchapter:
    Personal injury means a discernible injury (such as disfigurement, 
scarring, or burns) that is more serious than a superficial injury.
    Severe personal injury means loss of a limb, dismemberment, 
paralysis, or any injury of a similar type or that is comparable in 
severity.


Sec.  510.2  Time for filing.

    Claims for payments under the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition 
Act, Title XVII, Public Law 114-328 (the ``Act''), must be filed not 
later than one year after the date on which the Commission publishes 
the notice described in section 1705(b)(2)(B) of the Act.


Sec.  510.3  Applicability of administrative provisions concerning 
claims under the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949.

    To the extent they are not inconsistent with the provisions of the 
Act, the following provisions of subchapter C of this chapter shall be 
applicable to claims under this subchapter: Sec. Sec.  509.2, 509.3, 
509.4, 509.5, and 509.6.

Brian M. Simkin,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2017-06461 Filed 3-31-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-BA-P