Cheers to The Post for featuring so prominently the story on reparations to the Japanese Americans interned during World War II {"Years Late, U.S. Apology Still Sweet," Metro, Oct. 11}. I was surprised, however, that while The Post correctly pointed out the gross violation of the civil rights of these American citizens, it failed to mention the very real financial losses that many of these families sustained.

My grandfather, born and raised in the United States, owned a grape farm and had just purchased a storefront to start a plant nursery when the orders for evacuation came. He and his family lost everything, except what they could carry in two suitcases. My grandfather has been dead now for more than 25 years, but I thank God that my grandmother and my mother are alive to witness our government's apology. I only hope they will still be alive when it is their turn for reparations. KATHLEEN YONAMINE SPLITT Alexandria

Regarding the reparations to the interned Japanese Americans: I am an African American. My ancestors were among the hundreds of thousands of slaves (those who survived the Middle Passage) who came to this country involuntarily and built it with their sweat and blood. They were intentionally separated from their families and stripped of their culture and dignity. Racism and discrimination are still negatively impacting on us today. Yet no freed slave or any of their descendants ever received the promised 40 acres and a mule, much less a check for $20,000 and a letter of apology from the president. If the Japanese Americans are deserving of reparations for a relatively comfortable few years, then I think we should be near the head of the line. Right behind the descendants of the Native Americans from whom this country was taken. STEVEN BROWN Riverdale

I am enraged that a government facing furloughs and Medicare cuts is giving $1.25 billion in reparation payments to Japanese Americans. I am aware that they suffered because of their ethnicity, but so have other groups. The heirs of the displaced American Indians aren't getting $20,000 each. Nor are Americans of Chinese, African or Irish descent. I'm sure that all of these groups have "painful memories" that originated simply because of their ethnicity.

Since when has it been necessary for our deficit-ridden government to write a check to stress its ''sincerity ... to the Constitution''? And if a check is necessary, why are we starting to apologize so late in our history?

Every racial group has suffered some inequity upon arriving on these shores. It's time for us to be stoical and realize that life has never been fair. Each group has its cross to bear, and the Japanese-Americans' cross could not have been too heavy if such a large percentage of them are still here 48 years later. DETRA DIANE CAMPBELL Sterling