Global Alliance for Historical Truth

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)

  • Hideaki Kase (加瀬英明), President
  • Yoshiro Masuda (桝田淑郎), Chair for Japan
  • Koichi Mera (目良浩一), Chair for USA
  • Yumiko Yamamoto (山本優美子), Deputy Chair for Japan
  • Ichiro Mizushima (水島一郎), Deputy Chair for USA
  • Hiroshi Horino (堀野浩史), Auditor
  • Kiyoshi Hosoya (細谷清), Public Relations
  • Nobukatsu Fujioka (藤岡信勝)
  • Mistsuo Takahashi (高橋光郎)

Website: https://gahtjp.org (Japanese)
Website: http://gaht.jp (English)

Himawari Japan

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.

In 2018, Himawari Japan was awarded a contract by the Japanese Consulate General in New York to set up a “help line” for Japanese residents in the area whose children are “bullied” due to “historical issues.” In addition, Himawari Japan solicits information about any use of “anti-Japanese” materials at schools including the film Unbroken or any events in the community related to the “comfort women” issue and any other topic connected to Japan’s history. The contract, which runs from May 2018 to March 2019 at $1,000 per month, is widely criticized because of the group’s political slant and lack of expertise on addressing bullying.

Himwari Japan Event 2016-08-23

Website: http://himawarijapan.org/

Japan Mahoroba Station

Japan Mahoroba Station (JMS, 日本まほろば支援局), also known as Japan Mahoroba Support Agency is an online group founded in 2014 by New York-based Kaoli Koyasu to foster “better understanding of Japanese society and culture” starting among Japanese people. It promotes nationalistic views on Japan’s history and culture, including comfort women denial.

Mahoroba Station has co-sponsored various right-wing and comfort women denier events in the U.S., including Texas Night in NYC (2015), Texas Night in NYC (2016), and the Nadeshiko Action panel at the UN Commission on the Status of Women NGO Parallel Events (2016).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jpnmahorobasupport/

Koichi Mera

Koichi Mera (目良浩一) is a comfort women denier and the founder and president of Global Alliance for Historical Truth (GAHT).

Mera was born in 1933 in Seoul, Korea, which was under Japanese rule at the time. He received his bachelor’s degree in engineering/architecture from University of Tokyo and Ph.D from Harvard University (urban planning) which he attended as a Fulbright scholar. He has since worked for the World Bank, University of Tsukuba, Tokyo International University, and University of Southern California. He retired from USC in 2008.

In 2006 Mera founded the Study Group for Japan’s Rebirth (日本再生研究会), a monthly Japanese-language study group on modern Japanese history for Japanese residents in Southern California. Members of the study group protested the 2013 establishment of a comfort women memorial in Glendale, California. In 2014 Mera founded GAHT to sue the City of Glendale in federal district court.

Selected Publications

  • マッカーサーの呪いから目覚めよ日本人! (Wake up from MacArthur’s Curse, Japanese People!). 2012. Co-authored with Yasuo Inoue (井上雍雄) and Sadao Imamori (今森貞夫)
  • Comfort Women not “Sex Slaves” (2015). Self-published.

Mariko Okada-Collins

Mariko Okada-Collins (岡田コリンズまり子) is a Japanese language lecturer at Central Washington University and comfort women denier. In published statements, Okada-Collins disclosed that she lectures about modern Japanese history “exposing the lies” of comfort women and Nanking atrocities, which have led to her being negatively reviewed by students and reprimanded by the supervisor.

In Spring 2015, Okada-Collins invited Yujiro Taniyama from Japan to screen his comfort women denier film, “The Scottsboro Girls.” The campus community put on multiple public events on the actual history of comfort women in protest, which were attended by hundreds of students and community members. See a series of articles about these events in the June 1, 2015 issue of the Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter.

In that Summer, Okada-Collins traveled to San Francisco to testify against the establishment of comfort women memorial there along with Koichi Mera, Yoshi Taguchi, and others.

As of the academic year 2018-2019 Okada-Collins is no longer employed at Central Washington University.

New York Historical Issues Study Group

New York Historical Issues Study Group (ニューヨーク歴史研究会) is a group of Japanese nationalists living in New York area who were inspired by the 2011 visit of retired Japanese Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami (田母神俊雄), a darling of hard right nationalists. Since then, the Study Group has been holding meetings and events on a regular basis, covering such issues as comfort women, territorial disputes, Imperial Family, national defense, Constitution, etc.

The Study Group has co-sponsored nationalist events with Himawari Japan and Global Alliance for Historical Truth, including Himawari Japan lectures (2016) and Himawari Japan lectures (2017).

The president of the Study Group is Yasuhiro Takasaki (高崎康裕), a New York-based business consultant with an extensive background in real estate and construction industries.

Norimasa Suzuki

Norimasa Suzuki (鈴木規正) is a licensed massage therapist in New York City specializing in seitai shiatsu massage and a comfort women denier. As the president of Seiron-no Kai NY (also New York Seiron-no Kai), Suzuki spoke at comfort women denier events Texas Night in NYC (2015) and Texas Night in NYC (2016). It is unclear if Seiron-no Kai is an actual organization, as evidences of its activity cannot be found beyond Suzuki’s appearances on these panels.

In December 2015, Suzuki wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe criticizing the Japan-ROK Agreement (2015) on the comfort women issue, which was widely shared among Japan’s right-wing.

Website: Doin Seitai Center

Terumi Imamura

Terumi Imamura (今村照美) is a migrant from Sasebo, Japan to Los Angeles and a comfort woman denier. She has been in the leadership position at True Japan Network, a denier organization of Japanese people in the greater Los Angeles area. She spoke out against the proposal to enact a comfort women memorial in San Francisco at the Board of Supervisors meeting in summer 2015 (along with Koichi Mera, Yoshi Taguchi, and Mariko Okada-Collins) and facilitated a denier panel at the UN Commission on the Status of Women Parallel Events (2016) featuring Mio Sugita, Koichi Mera, and Kiyoshi Hosoya.