Japan First Party (日本第一党) is a far-right political party founded in 2016 by Makoto Sakurai, the founder and former president of Zaitokukai. In addition to a host of far-right causes including the development of nuclear arsenal and hardline military stance toward neighbors China, South Korea, and North Korea, the party calls for the repeal of Kono Statement (1993), Japan-ROK Agreement (2015), and other reconciliatory positions on comfort women as well as severing diplomatic ties with South Korea.
Hinomaru Gaisen Otome (日之丸街宣女子) is a right-wing nationalist manga/cartoon series by Akiko Tomita (富田安紀子). Episodes are first published in JAPANISM, a bimonthly magazine from Seirindo, and later compiled into comic books.
The first volume published in 2015 follows the main character, a middle school girl, who encounters an anti-Korean demonstration and “discovers” the “truth” that the mainstream media hide about the oppression of Japanese people by the Korean minority. The anti-Korean demonstration Tomita depicts are similar to those organized by Zaitokukai in reality, and many counter-demonstrators who protest them are also said to be based on real anti-fascist activists.
The second volume, published in 2016, explores yet another “hidden truth” of the comfort women issue. The chapter opens with a former classmate of the main character who had moved to Southern California discussing violent hate crimes and bullying that she is experiencing as a result of the construction of a comfort women memorial in Glendale. The storyline is based on the thoroughly debunked false claim of rampant bullying against Japanese children in that city.
The English translation of the second volume was also released as a self-published ebook on Amazon Kindle platform under the title “The Girls trying to bring about National pride 2.” The English version contains a special introduction titled “For Non-Japanese Readers” which declares “Japan’s nearby neighbors, China and Korea, have a habit of taking fiction and calling it history in order to make themselves look better.”
JAPANISM (ジャパニズム) is a bimonthly magazine published by Seirindo. Founded by conservative journalist Kohyu Nishimura, JAPANISM prominently features writings of far-right nationalist commentators, many of whom are comfort women deniers.
JAPANISM is home to the right-wing manga (comic series) Hinomaru Gaisen Otome (日之丸街宣女子) by Akiko Tomita (富田安紀子) which glorifies anti-Korean hate groups and propagates a thoroughly debunked claim that the establishment of a comfort women memorial in Glendale, California have led to widespread bullying against Japanese children.
Recent contributors to JAPANISM include Toshiko Hasumi, Shunichi Fujiki, Mio Sugita, Mitsuhiko Fujii, Makoto Sakurai, and others.
Toshiko Hasumi (蓮見都志子) is an illustrator/cartoonist and a comfort women denier. She has drawn cartoons for the Texas Daddy Japan Secretariat and the right-wing magazine JAPANISM founded by Kohyu Nishimura.
In September 2015 her illustration depicting Syrian refugees as “fake” refugees seeking economic opportunities was met with international condemnation. In response, Hasumi stated that the cartoon was intended to criticize only the “fake” refugees and not the real ones, arguing that Japan has received far too many “fake” Korean refugees during the Korean War resulting in the persecution of Japanese nationals by the Koreans in Japan. Her message echoes those from Zaitokukai and other anti-Korean hate groups.
The collection of her political cartoons was published in December 2015 by Seirindo, the publisher of JAPANISM and other far-right publications. Texas Daddy Japan Secretariat and its director Shunichi Fujiki are credited with editorial assistance.
Hasumi accompanied Fujiki in September 2016 to Geneva, Switzerland as part of the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women Geneva Delegation (September 2016) to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Hasumi is identified as the President of the Society of Japanese Nationals in Canada to Protect Japan’s Honour (日本の名誉を護る在カナダ邦人の会) in petitions protesting various events or public acknowledgement of comfort women across Canada, although her connection to Canada is unclear.
Ninohashi Club (二の橋倶楽部) is an anti-Korean group named after Ninohashi area of Tokyo, where the Embassy of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) as well as the headquarters of the Korean Residents Union in Japan (Mindan, 在日本大韓民国民団) are located. The group organizes frequent demonstrations against the Korean Embassy and Mindan over history, territorial disputes, and other issues.
Ninohashi Club submitted a two-page position paper to the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 2016 which disputed the historical orthodoxy on comfort women–see Alliance for Truth About Comfort Women Geneva Delegation (2016).
Makoto Sakurai (桜井誠) is the founder and former president of anti-Korean extremist group Zaitokukai and a comfort women denier.
In 2016, he ran unsuccessfully for the governor of Tokyo, and founded Japan First Party (日本第一党) afterwards.
Makoto Sakurai has no relation to Yoshiko Sakurai.
Sharon (Mikiko) Isac is a Japanese woman who lives in Canada. Isac is a member of far-right Canadian Patriotic Society and a frequent contributor to anti-Islamic hate sites. She is also a comfort women denier who spoke at a denier panel organized by Nadeshiko Action at the UN Commission on the Status of Women NGO Parallel Events (2016) and helped to translate (badly) Nadeshiko Action’s publication, “Comfort Women Issue: From Misunderstandings to Solution,” authored by Yumiko Yamamoto and Kiyoshi Hosoya.
Zaitokukai (在特会) or Zainichi Tokken o Yurusanai Shimin no Kai (在日特権を許さない市民の会) is a far-right extremist group known for violent rhetorics and actions against ethnic Korean communities and other minorities in Japan. Ever since its founding in 2006, Zaitokukai is also known for racist and misogynist attacks on former comfort women. The most notorious incident occurred in 2010 in which members of Zaitokukai and allied groups showed up in front of a Korean elementary school in Kyoto, banging on its gate and screaming racist epithets.
The group was founded by Makoto Sakurai, the president of the organization until 2015, who later ran for the governor of Tokyo in 2016. Another prominent leader of Zaitokukai was Yumiko Yamamoto, who served as the vice president and the secretary general until 2011 when she decided to focus her energy on Nadeshiko Action, a “women’s” organization focusing on comfort women denial.
After Sakurai founded Japan First Party in late 2016, some chapters of Zaitokukai transformed themselves into chapters of the party.
Shunichi Fujiki (藤木俊一), who also calls himself “Shun Ferguson,” is a comfort women denier and a business owner in Japan. Fujiki runs the “Texas Daddy Japan Secretariat,” which represents and promotes retired American youtuber Tony Marano as the Texas Daddy in publications and appearances in Japan.
Yumiko Yamamoto (山本優美子) is the former vice president and secretary general of far-right racist group Zaitokukai (在特会) and the founder of comfort women denier group Nadeshiko Action (なでしこアクション) which calls itself “Japanese Women for Justice and Peace.”
Yamamoto left Zaitokukai in late 2011 (according to her) or early 2012 (according to Zaitokukai press release) after members of her group have been prosecuted for violent assaults on Korean elementary school and other targets. In her book “Josei ga mamoru nihon no hokori (女性が守る日本の誇り)” published in 2014, Yamomoto explains that the reason for leaving the organization was not because of any disagreement with its activities, but because she felt confident that the organization had grown strong enough that she could focus her effort on comfort women denial.
Yamamoto is a board member of Global Alliance for Historical Truth (GAHT) and a key member of Alliance for Truth About Comfort Women.