Akiko Okamoto (岡本明子) is a conservative writer and activist previously affiliated with Japan Conference who served as the founding secretary general of Japan Family Value Society. As a writer, she was influential in the anti-feminist (or anti- so-called “gender free” movement) backlash in the mid-2000s. She was one of the first Japanese conservative activists to lobby at various United Nations committees, and assisted other conservative activists and groups including comfort women deniers to do the same.
Okamoto was also among the first to call attention to the establishment of comfort women memorials in the U.S. as a threat to Japan’s national pride. In the May 2012 issue of Seiron, a conservative opinion magazine, Okamoto warned how Japan was losing ground in the U.S. and in the United Nations on the issue of comfort women as evidenced by the establishment of a comfort women memorial in Palisades Park, New Jersey, even as the Japanese conservatives consolidated their dominance over domestic discourse over comfort women. Her article served as a rallying cry for Japanese conservatives and comfort women deniers to begin propagating “Japan’s position” regarding comfort women at the United Nations and in foreign media.
Okamoto herself appears to be largely retired from public involvement in conservative politics, but her successor Kiyoshi Hosoya of FAVS and other conservative activists continue to lobby against comfort women at the United Nations level.
Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women (「慰安婦の真実」国民運動) is a network of comfort women denier groups and individuals in Japan founded in 2013. The Alliance frequently sends delegations to United Nations functions, including the Human Rights Council (HRC), the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
Associated groups and individuals include:
The mailing address for the Alliance is the same as that of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform.
In July 2014, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women sent its first overseas delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland. Members (pictured below) included:
In July 2015, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women sent its second overseas delegation to Geneva, Switzerland to participate at the pre-session meeting of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and to lobby at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) against the inclusion of Nanking atrocities and comfort women in its Memory of the World Register.
Delegation member Mio Sugita successfully obtained an opportunity to speak to the CEDAW to dispute the historical orthodoxy of comfort women by using the UN consultative status of International Career Support Association, which has become a vehicle to promote Japanese historical denial at the UN level.
In February 2016, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women sent its third overseas delegation to Geneva, Switzerland to dispute the historical orthodoxy of comfort women at the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Prior to the meeting, eight Japanese right-wing groups submitted their opinions to the CEDAW. They are:
The “Coalition of Three Parties” is made up of Researchers of History on Modern Japan, Society for Dissemination of Historical Fact, and Nadeshiko Action.
In March 2017, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women sent its fifth overseas delegation to Geneva, Switzerland to dispute the historical orthodoxy of comfort women at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
At the UNHRC, Tony Marano (a.k.a. Texas Daddy) gave a speech on behalf of the Alliance, taking advantage of the UN consultative status of the the International Career Support Association.
The delegation included, among others:
In September 2016, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women sent its fourth overseas delegation to Geneva, Switzerland to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council and to meet with officials at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in charge of the agency’s Memory of the World Register.
At the UNHRC, Nobukatsu Fujioka of Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform gave a two-minute speech, taking advantage of the UN consultative status of the International Career Support Association.
The delegation included, among others:
In addition to the formal delegation, the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women recruited members of the public to accompany the delegation for 268,000 yens each. Paying tourists were offered opportunities to enter United Nations functions as members of the International Career Support Association.
Australia-Japan Community Network (AJCN) is a group formed by Japanese residents in Australia in opposition to an effort by Korean community to establish a comfort women memorial in Australia. The leadership of the group includes Tetsuhide Yamaoka (山岡鉄秀), the President (who actually lives in Japan), and Sumiyo Egawa (江川純世), the Secretary-General.
Under the leadership of Yamaoka, AJCN pursued a two-faced strategy emphasizing in English the need for harmony among various ethnic communities in Australia, while in Japanese it boosted comfort women denial and anti-Korean racism. The two-faced strategy was apparent when AJCN criticized in English that Korean community’s effort to erect a comfort women memorial because it “threatens to undo” Japan-ROK Agreement (2015), while in Japanese it bashed the agreement and called for its nullification. Egawa even bragged about this “innovative” strategy in social media in Japanese. After Yamaoka returned to Japan, the group began publishing more transparently denialist and anti-Korean articles in English as well, such as “why do Korean children bully Japanese children?”.
In December 2016, Australia-Japan Community Network filed a complaint under Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 against the Uniting Church of Sydney, which has installed a memorial dedicated to the victims of Japanese military comfort women, claiming that the memorial “offends, insults, humiliates, or intimidates” Japanese Australians. Racial Discrimination Act however protects “artistic works, scientific debate and fair comment on matters of public interest” so long as they are expressed “reasonably and in good faith.”
AJCN’s complaint was dismissed in January 2017, but the organization filed yet another complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission.