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.
In October 2013, Otaka reported in her show on Channel Sakura that Japanese children are being bullied in Glendale after the city enacted a comfort women memorial earlier that year. After Japanese residents in the area questioned the story, the video of the program was pulled from the internet. The claim has been thoroughly debunked by local authorities, schools, national media, and Japanese American groups.
Mio Sugita (杉田水脈) is a member of Japanese House of Representative and a comfort women denier.
Before joining LDP in late 2017, Sugita visited California in December 2013 as part of the three-member delegation of Japan Restoration Party (日本維新の会), which later became the Party for Japanese Kokoro (日本のこころを大切にする党). While there, Sugita and her colleagues met with local Japanese American leaders who had endorsed the comfort women memorial in Glendale. Failing to convince them that the history of comfort women was fabricated, she later dismissed the Japanese Americans as “typical left-wing extremists” in an interview with a Japanese publication.
Miroslav Marinov is the author of two self-published non-fiction books and a comfort women denier. He is married to a Japanese woman, Toshie Marinov, who is also a comfort women denier affiliated with Nadeshiko Action. Miroslav Marinov’s article on UNESCO has appeared in Seiron, a monthly conservative opinion magazine published by the Sankei Shimbun company.
In 2016 he authored a letter critical of the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in general and of the proposal to introduce historical documents on comfort women to the Register in particular. The letter was sent on behalf of the Canada-Israel Friendship Association, for which Marinov is a board member, even though it is not clear if anyone other than Marinov is involved in the comfort women denial.
One of Marinov’s arguments in the letter was that comfort women cannot be “sex slaves” because some comfort women were paid for their service (before they were taken away to repay debt and pay for necessities) and therefore the Japanese military comfort women system is not comparable to the war crimes of the Nazi Germany. He however neglects the fact that the Nazi Germany introduced currency systems at many of its concentration camps, paying incarcerated laborers tokens for the work they performed in order to increase productivity and reduce riots.
Sankei Shimbun promoted Marinov’s letter as an evidence that international Jewish community agreed with Japan’s right-wing historical revisionists, but failed to mention Marinov by name or the fact that he was a contributor to its magazine while reporting about it.
In addition to Japanese war crime denial, his personal blog is filled with racist and otherwise hateful attacks on African Americans/Canadians, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and others. He crowd-funded his previous books claiming that he suffered from censorship by politically correct editors at mainstream publishing industry.
In September 2018 Fujii made international news when he was caught kicking a statue dedicated to victims of Japanese military “comfort women” system in Tainan, Taiwan. The surveillance camera footage shows Fujii raising his foot several times to kick the bronze statue while an accomplice with snaps shots of his feat.