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.
Hideaki Kase (加瀬英明) is a foreign affairs commentator and the director of Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women, a revisionist group. He also leads Society for Dissemination of Historical Fact and is a leader of Japan Conference. Kase was interviewed in a 2007 documentary film about Iris Chang, the author of “The Rape o Nanking,” in which he argued that Nanking massacre did not take place.
Kase is said to be the author of “Minikui Kankoku-jin (Ugly Koreans),” which was published under the name of a fictitious Korean journalist. The book glorified the Japanese colonial rule of Korean peninsula, criticizing Korean people for their faulty remembrance of history. Some of his books are published by the Happy Science.
Hiromi Edwards (エドワーズ博美) is a translator, language instructor, and a comfort women denier. Edwards is a former member of Shinsei Bukkyo (新生佛教), a conservative religious group affiliated with Japan Conference, serving as its translator as well as a writer for Nippon Jiji Hyouron (日本時事評論) published by Shinsei Bukkyo. Edwards, who is a Japanese woman married to an American, studied at Japanese campuses of American universities and teaches Japanese at the Iwakuni U.S. base in Japan.
Since leaving Shinsei Bukkyo, Edwards has participated in comfort women denial as a member of the first Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women Geneva Delegation (2014), the translator for Yumiko Yamamoto’s press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, and an attendant for Tony Marano during his visits to Japan.
Hiromichi Moteki (茂木弘道) is the secretary general of the Society for Dissemination of Historical Fact and a comfort women denier. He is also the owner of Sekai Shuppan, a publisher specializing in translating Japanese books to English, which aligns with Moteki’s and SDHF’s goal of translating Japanese historical denier literature such as Shudo Higashinakano’s The Nanking Massacre: Fact Versus Fiction, which Sekai Shuppan published in 2005.
Website: Sekai Shuppan
Jason Morgan is a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin earning Ph.D in modern Japanese legal history and a comfort women denier. While he was a research assistant at University of Wisconsin, Morgan made the news by refusing to participate in diversity trainings required for all teaching assistants, arguing that they were discriminatory toward white people. He nonetheless received a Fulbright scholarship to study in Japan.
In Japanese right-wing publications, Morgan not just denies the history of comfort women, but goes so far as to claim that Japan was the righteous side in the WWII, which he characterizes as a war against the “communist” regime of President Franklin Roosevelt. He criticizes U.S. academia as far-left and unobjective, arguing that the Japanese academy is superior in its objectivity and respect for academic freedom.
Morgan is a 2016 fellow at Mises Institute, which “encourage[s] critical historical research, and stand[s] against political correctness.” He is also a fellow at the nationalist think tank Japan Forum for Strategic Studies (日本戦略研究フォーラム), which is funding his effort to translate conservative historian Ikuhiko Hata’s book on comfort women for publication in the U.S.
In 2016 Morgan published a book in Japan titled “America ha naze nihon wo mikudasu noka? (Why does America look down on Japan?)” (アメリカはなぜ日本を見下すのか？間違いだらけの「対日歴史観」を正す) which challenges American historians’ view of Japan’s past. Soon after, he was appointed as an assistant professor of foreign languages at Reitaku University, which also boasts other conservative big names including Shiro Takahashi, Shuji Yagi (Japan Education Rebirth Institute), Yoshihisa Komori (Sankei Shimbun), and others among its faculty.
Jikido “Jay” Aeba (饗庭直道、あえば直道) is a political activist and comfort women denier. A follower of Happy Science, Aeba was the founding president of Happiness Realization Party, the political wing of the religious organization.
In 2010 Aeba migrated to the U.S. and began cultivating connections with conservative movements in the U.S. He claims to be the only Asian to become an advisor to the Republican National Committee, but media have questioned his actual title. Aeba also claims close ties with President Donald Trump, whom Happy Science openly supported in the 2016 campaign.
In 2015, Aeba resigned from the board of Happy Science and founded Japanese Conservative Union, which he views as a Japanese counterpart to the American Conservative Union, with Shun Eguchi (江口峻), a former editor and board member of the Sankei Shimbun company.
Kaoli Koyasu (子安香) is the founder of the New York City-based Japan Mahoroba Station (JMS) and a comfort women denier. She has spoken at various comfort women denier events, including Texas Night in NYC (2015) and the Nadeshiko Action panel at the UN Commission on the Status of Women NGO Parallel Events (2016).
Koyasu is also a member of the U.S. branch of Texas Daddy Japan Secretariat.
Kent Gilbert is a former Mormon missionary and California lawyer turned television personality in Japan. Gilbert was a popular figure in Japanese TV variety shows during the 1980s, but in recent years became a mouthpiece for the Japanese far-right nationalism. Gilbert authored many books in the past few years in defense of Japanese nationalism, militarization, and historical record (i.e. war crime denial), including those co-written with fellow American Tony Marano.
Kiminobu Kimura (木村公宣) was the New York chapter director of Happy Science. As a representative of the non-existant front group “Society to Promote Correct Historical Views,” Kimura was one of the main speakers in Texas Night in NYC (2015), a comfort women denier event.
Kiyoshi Hosoya (細谷清) is a comfort women denier and self-styled “researcher” of modern Japanese history, even though his background is in business development and management. Hosoya is the secretary general of the Researchers of History on Modern Japan (HMJR, 日本近現代史研究会) and a board member of Global Alliance for Historical Truth (GAHT), both denier groups. He is also affiliated with the Japan Family Value Society (FAVS, 家族の絆を守る会), part of Japan Conference’s anti-feminist network.
Hosoya co-authored the booklet “Comfort Women Issue: From Misunderstandings to Solution” with Yumiko Yamamoto of Nadeshiko Action.