Calvin Ninomiya, who spent 20 years as chief counsel of the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Public Debt, died Feb. 28 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. He was 87.

He had complications from esophageal cancer, his son Erik Ninomiya said.

Mr. Ninomiya joined the Bureau of the Public Debt in 1952 and was chief counsel from 1975 until his retirement in 1995. From 1995 to 2013, he was a consultant to the Treasury Department’s Office of Technical Assistance, providing legal assistance to more than 15 countries, from Africa to Asia, and including several former Soviet republics.

Calvin Ninomiya was born in Seattle to a Japanese-American family. He and his family were forced to move to relocation camps during World War II. He completed high school at a relocation camp in Jerome, Idaho, then served in the Army.

He was a 1949 cum laude graduate of the University of Washington and a 1952 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School.

Mr. Ninomiya was a resident of Chevy Chase, Md. He served as acting chairman of the National Japanese American Veterans Council. He was also the general counsel to and an executive board member of the Japanese American Veterans Association.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Hannelore Sadezky Ninomiya of Chevy Chase; three children, Lisa C. Ninomiya of Vienna, Va., Roland B. Ninomiya of Arlington County and Erik F. Ninomiya of Austin; and a sister.

— Matt Schudel