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H.R. 5433 (ih) To permit expungement of records of certain nonviolent criminal offenses. [Introduced in House] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5432

 To amend the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act to extend and modify the 
functions of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group to 
   cover records of the Japanese Imperial Government, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            October 10, 2000

 Mrs. Maloney of New York (for herself and Mr. Lantos) introduced the 
   following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Government 
                                 Reform

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act to extend and modify the 
functions of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group to 
   cover records of the Japanese Imperial Government, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Nazi War Crimes and Japanese 
Imperial Government Disclosure Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) In 1998, Congress adopted the Nazi War Crimes 
        Disclosure Act (Public Law 105-246) requiring the executive 
        branch to identify any still-classified records in its custody 
        relating to Nazi war crimes, war criminals, persecution, and 
        looted assets and to declassify and release such records to the 
        American public. Under that Act, the President established the 
        Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group (in this 
        section referred to as the ``Interagency Group'') to carry out 
        the functions required by that Act.
            (2) In its first year, the Interagency Group screened more 
        than 600,000,000 pages of material relating to Nazi war crimes 
        and has declassified 1,500,000 pages of such material and 
        opened them to the public at the National Archives.
            (3) While the Interagency Group has worked diligently to 
        screen materials and declassify millions of pages of material, 
        the limited staff and funding available to the Interagency 
        Group threaten its ability to complete the functions required 
        by the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act.
            (4) Already, significant new information about the 
        Holocaust has been revealed in the more than 400,000 records of 
        the Office of Strategic Services that were released by the 
        Interagency Group at the National Archives on June 26, 2000. 
        However, further such revelations depend on the availability of 
        adequate staff support and funding for the Interagency Group.
            (5) The remarkable progress made by the Interagency Group 
        has been achieved even though Congress has not appropriated 
        funds for the support of the Interagency Group or for the 
        activities carried out by the various Federal agencies which 
        hold records subject to its functions. Without the resources to 
        review the materials being released, it will be years before 
        the significance of the contents of such materials will be 
        understood.
            (6) The Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act charged the 
        Interagency Group with reviewing all records that pertain to 
        World War II, under the direction of, or in association with 
        the Nazi government of Germany, any government occupied by the 
        military of the Nazi government, and any government that was an 
        ally of the Nazi government, which includes the Japanese 
        Imperial Government.
            (7) After the end of World War II, the United States 
        returned more than 18,000,000 pages of captured Japanese 
        records to the Japanese Government at its request.
            (8) In order to complete the Congressional directives of 
        the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, the Interagency Group 
        should review the materials that were returned to Japan. 
        Therefore, the full cooperation of the Japanese Government in 
        granting access to the Interagency Group and assisting in the 
        review of all World War II records is desired to insure that 
        these historic records can be reviewed, released, or otherwise 
        made available to the public in a timely and efficient manner.
            (9) The Interagency Group has been working diligently to 
        fulfill its charge under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, 
        but the original three-year authorization of the Interagency 
        Group under that Act does not allow for the completion of the 
        momentous tasks outlined in that Act, specifically the 
        completion of the review of the records pertaining to the 
        Japanese Government.

SEC. 3. EXTENSION AND MODIFICATION OF AUTHORITY OF NAZI WAR CRIMINAL 
              RECORDS INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP TO COVER JAPANESE 
              IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT RECORDS.

    (a) Amendment to Title.--Section 1 of the Nazi War Crimes 
Disclosure Act (Public Law 105-246; 112 Stat. 1859; 5 U.S.C. 552 note) 
is amended by striking ``Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act'' and inserting 
``Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act''.
    (b) Extension of Authority.--Section 2(b)(1) of such Act is amended 
by striking ``3 years'' and inserting ``5 years''.
    (c) Membership.--Section 2(b)(2) of such Act is amended by striking 
``3 other persons'' and inserting ``4 other persons, who shall be 
members of the public and of whom 3 shall be persons appointed to the 
Interagency Group before the date of the enactment of the Nazi War 
Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act''.
    (d) Functions Regarding Japanese Imperial Government Records.--
            (1) In general.--Section 2(c)(1) of such Act is amended by 
        inserting ``and all classified Japanese Imperial Government 
        records of the United States'' after ``of the United States''.
            (2) Definition of japanese imperial government records.--
        Section 3 of such Act is amended--
                    (A) by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as 
                subsections (c) and (d), respectively; and
                    (B) by inserting after subsection (a) the following 
                new subsection (b):
    ``(b) Japanese Imperial Government Records.--For purposes of this 
Act, the term `Japanese Imperial Government records' means classified 
records or portions of records that pertain to any person with respect 
to whom the United States Government, in its sole discretion, has 
grounds to believe ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise 
participated in the persecution of any person because of race, gender, 
religion, national origin, or political opinion, during the period 
beginning September 18, 1931, and ending on September 2, 1945, under 
the direction of, or in association with--
            ``(1) the Japanese Imperial Army;
            ``(2) the Japanese Imperial Government;
            ``(3) any government in any area occupied by the military 
        forces of the Japanese Imperial Army;
            ``(4) any government established with the assistance or 
        cooperation of the Japanese Imperial Army or Japanese Imperial 
        Government; or
            ``(5) any government which was an ally of the Japanese 
        Imperial Government.''.
            (3) Application of exemptions.--Paragraph (3)(A) of section 
        3(c) of such Act, as redesignated by paragraph (2)(A) of this 
        section, is amended to read as follows:
                    ``(A) In general.--In applying the exemptions 
                provided in subparagraphs (B) through (J) of paragraph 
                (2), there shall be a presumption that the public 
                interest will be served by disclosure and release of 
                the Nazi war criminal records or Japanese Imperial 
                Government records, as the case may be. The exemption 
                may be asserted only when the head of the agency that 
                maintains the records determines that disclosure and 
                release would be harmful to a specific interest 
                identified in the exemption. An agency head who makes 
                such a determination shall promptly report such 
                determination to the committees of Congress with 
                appropriate jurisdiction, including the Committee on 
                the Judiciary and the Select Committee on Intelligence 
                of the Senate and the Committee on Government Reform 
                and Oversight and the Permanent Select Committee on 
                Intelligence of the House of Representatives. The 
                exemptions set forth in paragraph (2) shall constitute 
                the only authority pursuant to which an agency head may 
                exempt records otherwise subject to release under 
                paragraph (1).''.
            (4) Conforming amendments.--Such Act is further amended as 
        follows:
                    (A) In section 2(a)--
                            (i) by striking ``and'' at the end of 
                        paragraph (3);
                            (ii) by striking paragraph (4); and
                            (iii) by adding after paragraph (3) the 
                        following new paragraphs:
            ``(4) `Japanese Imperial Government records' has the 
        meaning given such term under section 3(b) of this Act; and
            ``(5) `record' means a Nazi war criminal record or a 
        Japanese Imperial Government record.''.
                    (B) In section 3(c)(1), as redesignated by 
                paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection, by inserting ``and 
                Japanese Imperial Government records'' after ``Nazi war 
                criminal records''.
                    (C) In section 4(d), as so redesignated, by 
                inserting ``or Japanese Imperial Government record'' 
                after ``Nazi war criminal record''.
                    (D) In section 4, by inserting ``or Japanese 
                Imperial Government record'' after ``Nazi war criminal 
                record'' each place it appears.
    (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 2(d) of such Act is 
amended to read as follows:
    ``(d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated for the Interagency Group to carry out this section, 
$5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2001, 2002 and 2003.''.
    (f) Records Included.--Section 3(a)(2)(A) of such Act is amended by 
striking ``beginning on March 23, 1933, and ending on May 8, 1945'' and 
inserting ``beginning on January 1, 1931, and ending on September 2, 
1945''.
    (g) Modification of Name of Interagency Group.--Such Act is amended 
by striking ``Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group'' 
each place it appears and inserting ``Nazi War Crimes and Japanese 
Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group''.
    (h) Clerical Amendments.--(1) The section heading of section 2 of 
such Act is amended to read as follows:

``SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF NAZI WAR CRIMES AND JAPANESE IMPERIAL 
              GOVERNMENT RECORDS INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP.''.

    (2) The section heading of section 3 of such Act is amended to read 
as follows:

``SEC. 3. REQUIREMENT OF DISCLOSURE OF NAZI WAR CRIMINAL RECORDS AND 
              JAPANESE IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT RECORDS.''.

    (3) The section heading of section 4 of such Act is amended to read 
as follows:

``SEC. 4. EXPEDITED PROCESSING OF FOIA REQUESTS FOR NAZI WAR CRIMINAL 
              RECORDS AND JAPANESE IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT RECORDS.''.

SEC. 4. REPORT ON ACTIVITIES OF NAZI WAR CRIMES AND JAPANESE IMPERIAL 
              GOVERNMENT INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP.

    (a) Report Required.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial 
Government Interagency Working Group shall submit to Congress, 
including the committees of Congress specified in subsection (b), a 
report on the activities of the Interagency Group under the Nazi War 
Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act, as amended by 
section 3 of this Act, during the one-year period ending on the date of 
the report. The report shall describe the activities of the Interagency 
Group and applicable Federal agencies under section 2(c) of that Act, 
as so amended, and include a description of the records processed by 
the Interagency Group under that Act (including the disposition of such 
records).
    (b) Committees of Congress.--The committees of Congress specified 
in this subsection are as follows:
            (1) The Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Committee 
        on Intelligence of the Senate.
            (2) The Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on 
        Government Reform and Oversight, and the Permanent Select 
        Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 5. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING COOPERATION OF FOREIGN NATIONS.

    It is the sense of Congress that foreign nations, and in particular 
Japan, should make every effort possible to make its records available 
to and cooperate with the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial 
Government Records Interagency Working Group established by section 2 
of the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act, 
as amended by section 3 of this Act, in carrying out the duties of the 
Interagency Group under such Act, as so amended.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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