Japan’s prime minister apologizes to immigrants

The government is also expected to compensate some of the 1,300 Japanese who moved to the Caribbean country in the late 1950s under a government scheme to provide land and livelihoods to soldiers returning after Japan's defeat in World War II and others suffering due to a post-war dearth of jobs and housing.

The Japanese government leased farmland under a special arrangement with the Dominican Republic, allowing the Japanese emigrants to settle on the farmland for free, said Shoichi Kanno, a lawyer for some of the emigrants.

In 2000, 177 of the settlers sought compensation from Tokyo saying much of the land they were allotted was unsuitable for farming and that their ownership rights were inadequate, according to the AP.

A support group for the plaintiffs said the government had touted the Dominican Republic without doing enough research.

The government and the 177 emigrants reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement earlier this month.

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