JAPAN is waiting for the territory's war veterans to die so it does not have to discuss compensation, the chairman of the Hong Kong Prisoner of War Association, Arthur Gomes, said yesterday. On the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Hong Kong, Mr Gomes launched an attack on the Japanese under whom he was a prisoner in Hong Kong during the occupation. He said Japan was insincere in a flimsy apology last month and would never address the issue of compensation. 'Instead they are waiting for us to die. This is obvious,' he said after the Liberation Day parade at the Cenotaph yesterday. 'After 50 years they still have the same attitude. Soon, they know, there will be hardly any survivors left. They know whoever fought in the war will be in the 75 to 85 age bracket and in five years there will be few of us left,' Mr Gomes said. 'If [the Japanese] can hold out, there will be no one to make compensation claims, and it won't be something taken up by the next generation of Japanese either,' he said. 'The Japanese Government has deliberately altered textbooks to tell lies to their younger generation. 'There will never be an apology and never any compensation.' Mr Gomes, 78, a prisoner at Shamshuipo camp during the occupation, was a member of the Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. He said he was disappointed Japan did not take advantage of the publicity for the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II to apologise and address the issues of war reparation. 'They just seem to talk about Hiroshima and Nagasaki,' he said. Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong War Reparation Association, said the fight for compensation would go on in the Japanese courts. 'There are about 20 test cases currently going through the courts to reclaim the military money issued during the occupation for Hong Kong money which became worthless after the war,' he said. 'But there are hundreds more waiting in the wings, and there are also other issues such as those involved in forced labour and the 'comfort women'. 'If the Japanese don't address these issues while veterans are still alive they will carry the burden for all time,' Mr Ho said. Jack Edwards, chairman of the Royal British Legion of Hong Kong and China, again used the occasion to raise the issue of British passports for the 24 wives and widows of former Hong Kong servicemen. 'It is high time these ladies were given the recognition they deserve,' said Mr Edwards, recently returned from commemorations in Britain where he lobbied Prime Minister John Major. 'The Government can give them passports due to their service to the territory but is not doing so due to other political issues. I am ashamed to be British.' Governor Chris Patten said the British Government had made provision for all the wives and war widows to settle in Britain.