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.
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.
Committee for Historical Facts (歴史事実委員会) is the group behind paid advertisements The Facts (2007) and Yes, we remember the facts. (2012) that deny the history of comfort women. It appears to be closely connected to the Society for Dissemination of Historical Fact, but it is unclear whether or not it is the same entity.
Committee members at the time of the 2007 ad were:
Committee members at the time of the 2012 ad were:
Global Alliance for Historical Truth (GAHT, 歴史の真実を求める歴史連合会) is a Japanese comfort women denier group founded by Koichi Mera. There are branches in Japan and in the U.S.; Mera has stated that another branch in Brazil is being formed.
In 2014, GAHT filed a lawsuit (Gingery et al. v. City of Glendale) seeking the removal of a Comfort Women Memorial in Glendale in the federal court and then in the California state court, alleging that the City infringed on the federal government’s exclusive authority to conduct foreign affairs by enacting the memorial.
Board Members of GAHT-US (as of 2016)
- Koichi Mera (目良浩一), President and Chair
- Genki Fujii (藤井厳喜), Deputy Chair
- Ichiro Mizushima (水島一郎), Treasurer
- Mistsuo Takahashi (高橋光郎), Secretary
- Kiyoshi Hosoya (細谷清), Public Relations / Newsletter Editor
Board Members of GAHT-Japan (as of 2016)
Website: https://gahtjp.org (Japanese)
Website: http://gaht.jp (English)
Group that will convey the correct history (正しい歴史を伝える会) is a historical revisionist group founded in 2012 by Wako Katsura (桂和子) to hold panel exhibits across Japan that deny Japan’s war atrocities, especially the comfort women system. Co-sponsors for the Group’s panel exhibits and lectures include Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, Nadeshiko Action, as well as chapters of Japan Conference and Zaitokukai.
Happy Science (幸福の科学) is a new Japanese religious organization founded in the 1980s by Ryuho Okawa, who claims to be the incarnation of the supreme being. Along with the Happiness Realization Party, the group’s attempt to enter electoral politics, Happy Science promotes far-right nationalist political views, including military expansion and historical revisionism.
With chapters in several cities in the U.S., Happy Science is said to coordinate and bankroll some of the Japanese nationalist activities in the U.S. For example, the organization’s former San Francisco director and current New York director Yoshi Taguchi spoke at the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors against the proposed comfort women memorial in the city in summer 2015. Happy Science also supports Rompa Project, a historical revisionist group using manga (comics) and other means to spread its message.
In April 2016, members of Happy Science led by James Iwase, a minister of Happy Science, showed up at the board meeting of the San Francisco Unified School District to oppose statewide curriculum revision that includes teaching about comfort women.
Members of Happy Science actively promoting comfort women denial in the U.S. include Yoshi Taguchi, Mitsuhiko Fujii, and Kiminobu Kimura. In addition, several core members of the revisionist group Himawari Japan are known to be members of Happy Science.
During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Happy Science openly supported the candidacy of Republican Donald Trump (whom it claims is the reincarnation of George Washington), with Taguchi and members of Himawari Japan volunteering at the campaign headquarters at Trump Tower. Jikido “Jay” Aeba, the founding president of Happiness Realization Party, went on to found Japanese Conservative Union, which is spending over $400,000 to lobby the U.S. government and has sponsored events supporting Trump.
Website: https://happy-science.jp/ (Japanese)
website: http://happy-science.org/ (English)
Himawari Japan (ひまわりJapan) is a comfort women denier group made up of Japanese women living in New York/New Jersey area, many of whom are followers of Happy Science. It was founded by Yoko Nagato in June 2016 and held a first lecture event featuring Mio Sugita, Shiro Takahashi, Yasuhiro Takasaki, and Shinichi Tokunaga. As of 2017, Tomoko Kuroda (黒田智子) is the president of Himawari Japan.
Historical Awareness Research Committee (歴史認識問題研究会) is a group consisting of far-right nationalists in Japan. It was first announced by Shiro Takahashi in his column on Sankei Shimbun newspaper on August 31st, 2016 and formally founded on October 1st, 2016. HARC aims to collect “evidences” that support its nationalist views, including comfort women and Nanking atrocities denial, and publish them in foreign languages to influence the international community.
At the time of founding, HARC distributes materials produced and previously distributed by Society for Dissemination of Historical Fact and Japan Policy Institute. Its office is housed at the Institute of Moralogy (モラロジー研究所), a semi-religious entity affiliated with Japan Conference.
Board members of HARC are:
International Career Support Association (国際キャリア支援協会) is a non-governmental organization registered in Nara, Japan. It has the special consultative status with the United Nations and uses it to provide a platform for far-right Japanese nationalists and comfort women deniers at various United Nations meetings through Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women.
ICSA was founded by Masanori Kaneko (金子正則), who ran for the Nara Prefectural Council from the Party for New Generations, which is now known as the Party for Japanese Kokoro. He lost the election after receiving less than three hundred votes.
Japan Conference (Nippon Kaigi, 日本会議) is a powerful conservative organization described by New York Times as “largest nationalist organization, which rejects postwar pacifism, embraces the imperial system and defends Japan’s past wars in Asia.” In addition, Japan Conference opposes policies aimed at promoting gender equality as the organization views them as a threat against traditional Japanese families. Many leaders of Japan Conference, including Shiro Takahashi, Hideaki Kase, and Yoshiko Sakurai are also active in comfort women denial.
Japan Conference has an affiliated parliamentary caucus within the parliament (Nippon Kaigi Kokkai Giin Kondan Kai, 日本会議国会議員懇談会) with hundreds of members, mostly from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. In 2014, 15 out of 19 members of the administration of Shinzo Abe were members of the Japan Conference caucus including Deputy Prime Minister (and former Prime Minister) Taro Aso (麻生太郎), Minister of Internal Affairs and Communication Sanae Takaichi (高市早苗), and Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga (菅義偉) in addition to Abe himself.