Alliance For Truth About Comfort Women

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.

See also:

Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women

Website: http://ianfu-shinjitu.jp

Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women Geneva Delegation (2014)

In July 2014, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women sent its first overseas delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland. Members (pictured below) included:

revisionists

Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women Geneva Delegation (2015)

In July 2015, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women sent its second overseas delegation to Geneva, Switzerland to participate at the pre-session meeting of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and to lobby at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) against the inclusion of Nanking atrocities and comfort women in its Memory of the World Register.

Delegation member Mio Sugita successfully obtained an opportunity to speak to the CEDAW to dispute the historical orthodoxy of comfort women by using the UN consultative status of International Career Support Association, which has become a vehicle to promote Japanese historical denial at the UN level.

Delegations included:

Alliance delegation 2015

Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women Geneva Delegation (February 2016)

In February 2016, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women sent its third overseas delegation to Geneva, Switzerland to dispute the historical orthodoxy of comfort women at the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Prior to the meeting, eight Japanese right-wing groups submitted their opinions to the CEDAW. They are:

The “Coalition of Three Parties” is made up of Researchers of History on Modern Japan, Society for Dissemination of Historical Fact, and Nadeshiko Action.

Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women Geneva Delegation (June 2017)

In June 2017, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women and its affiliated groups sent its delegation to Geneva, Switzerland to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council, taking advantage of the UN consultative status of the International Career Support Association. Mitsuhiko Fujii of Rompa Project (Happy Science) spoke at the meeting demanding a re-evaluation of the 1996 report by the UN Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy.

The delegation included, among others:

Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women Geneva Delegation (September 2016)

In September 2016, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women sent its fourth overseas delegation to Geneva, Switzerland to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council and to meet with officials at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in charge of the agency’s Memory of the World Register.

At the UNHRC, Nobukatsu Fujioka of Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform gave a two-minute speech, taking advantage of the UN consultative status of the International Career Support Association.

The delegation included, among others:

In addition to the formal delegation, the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women recruited members of the public to accompany the delegation for 268,000 yens each. Paying tourists were offered opportunities to enter United Nations functions as members of the International Career Support Association.

Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women Geneva Delegation (September 2017)

In September 2017, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women and its affiliated groups sent its delegation to Geneva, Switzerland to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council, taking advantage of the UN consultative status of the International Career Support Association. Shunichi Fujiki spoke in a meeting about press freedom to accuse the U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye’s report critical of Japanese government of “bias,” while Mio Sugita attacked the government of South Korea for financing anti-Japan propaganda and “brainwashing” its citizens to foster hatred toward Japan.

In addition, the group held a side event titled “How have the United Nations’ limited resources been EXPLOITED? Stop Bashing Japan in the name of Human Rights.”

The delegation included, among others:

International Career Support Association

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.

Masanori Kaneko

Masanori Kaneko (金子正則) is the founder and president of International Career Support Association, a non-governmental organization with the special consultative status with the United Nations. ICSA partners with the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women, providing a platform to far-right Japanese nationalists and comfort women deniers at various United Nations meetings.

In addition to being a conservative ideologue, Kaneko is an alternative medicine advocate. His latest research (as of May 2017) on the miraculous benefits of green sap (“aojiru” in Japanese) was published in a journal considered among “potential, possible, or probable predatory” publications by the so-called Beall’s List. On social media, Kaneko posits that aojiru could “eliminate breast cancer at once.”

In 2015 Kaneko 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.

Memory of the World Register

Memory of the World Register is a project of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that was founded to “facilitate preservation […] of the world’s documentary heritage,” “assist universal access to documentary heritage,” and “increase awareness worldwide of the existence and significance of documentary heritage.”

In 2014, People’s Republic of China submitted “Documents of Nanjing Massacre” for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register and they were inscribed in 2015. Japanese nationalists, many of whom consider Nanking atrocities to be a hoax or vastly exaggerated, became enraged and began calling for the government of Japan to suspend its financial obligation to UNESCO or to withdraw from it altogether. Bowing to their pressure, the Shinzo Abe administration announced in October 2016 that Japan had suspended its payment to UNESCO.

The Japanese government has criticized that the Memory of the World Registry had become too politicized and strayed away from its original goal of fostering dialogue and cooperation. However, Japan has itself nominated and inscribed documents related to the internment of Japanese nationals by the Soviet Union after the WWII and their repatriation to Japan in the same year China submitted documents on Nanking atrocities.

In the 2016-2017 cycle, a coalition of 14 civic groups from Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Indonesia, East Timor, and the United Kingdom submitted “voices of comfort women,” a collection of materials from private and public archives that document Japanese military comfort women system and the postwar struggles by its victims to demand justice. Predictably, Japanese right-wing nationalists protested UNESCO and coalition members, and at least one Japanese organization involved in the effort have received a bomb threat.

Anticipating the submission of “voices of comfort women,” a coalition of right-wing comfort women denier organizations also submitted their own set of documents, “Documentation on ‘Comfort Women’ and Japanese Army discipline.” Members of the right-wing coalition are the Alliance for Truth About Comfort Women, the Study Group for Japan’s Rebirth (Koichi Mera), and Nadeshiko Action (a.k.a. Japanese Women for Justice and Peace). In the submission, they claim (as they always do): “[C]omfort women enjoyed a certain amount of freedom, even in battle zones, and were paid handsomely. They were decidedly not sex slaves.”

Each country is allowed up to two submission per cycle, but this restriction is waived for joint submissions involving groups from multiple countries. The right-wing submission was permitted because one of the sponsors, the Study Group for Japan’s Rebirth, is technically located in the United States, even though all of its businesses are conducted in Japanese by and for Japanese residents in Los Angeles. Both parties’ submissions are pending review.