Michael Yon is a former member of the U.S. Special Forces, military writer, and comfort women denier who has written extensively about U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2014, Yon received or was promised large payments from Japanese conservative leader Yoshiko Sakurai to speak at her Japan Conference-affiliated think tank and to publish articles in English media that challenge the history of comfort women, according to the right-wing magazine editor Kazuyoshi Hanada. Yon disputed some details of Hanada’s claim (e.g. whether or not Yon and his wife were flown first-class by the Japanese right-wing) but not the financial arrangement itself.
While his relationship with Sakurai has since deteriorated over his criticism of Yujiro Taniyama and some other members of the Japanese nationalist movements since then, Yon continues to publish many posts on his blog and social media characterizing the comfort women story as “lies” designed to divide important U.S. allies in East Asia (Japan and South Korea) and is working on a full-length book on the topic.
Yon is credited with calling attention to the IWG Report (2007) which he claims proves Japan’s innocence in relation to the comfort women system. Historians and the authors of the report disagree with his amateur interpretation.
In January 2021, Michael Yon was among the crowd that gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol as Trump supporters broke into the legislative building to halt the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Yon claims that he stayed outside of the building and witnessed that Antifa, not white nationalist militias such as Proud Boys or Oath Keepers as other media have reported, “clearly led” the insurrection, in an interview with the conspiracy theory-laden Epoch Times. Media Matters has reported that the Epoch Times actually promoted the “Stop the Steal” Capitol rally that led to the riot.