What has changed through the decade of activities at the United Nations ledby the International Research Institute of Controversial Histories?

Japanese : https://i-rich.org/?p=2054

International Resarch Institute of Controversical Histories
Senior Researcher Shunichi Fujiki

A body called “Japan Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women” was established on July 29, 2013.

This author had been working on the comfort women issue in various ways before that event and knew about the creation of the new body but wondered why it was necessary to establish a new one when there were already so many.

It was around the time when I was in the United States and stayed overnight to visit the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for the confirmation of the United States archives, on the ground of which we intended to prevent the installation of a comfort woman statue (Statue of a Girl of Peace) slated in the city of Glendale, California, in cooperation with Mr. Tony Marano (a.k.a. Texas Daddy) who lived in Texas.

In September 2013, when I was back in Japan after having completed my investigation in the United States, Mr. Sato Kazuo, secretary of this action body contacted me and asked if I would join the body. Mr. Sato told me that one group organized a panel exhibit of the comfort women issue while another investigated the issue, but since each was acting separately, there was loss in momentum, and that in order to bring the separate efforts together, his organization held a monthly meeting, serving as a window for information sharing, mainly in the form of a mailing list.

Thinking that through information sharing, it would be possible to act more effectively than as an individual body working on its own, I accepted to join this action body, as a representative of Texas Daddy in Japan and personally as a secretary of this body.

The birth of the International Research Institute of Controversial Histories (iRICH)

It goes without saying that the Japan Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women had harvested many fruits since its establishment. During a meeting held at the early stage of the foundation, we discussed the problem that the comfort women were called sexual slaves at the United Nations and that this term was disseminated to the world and then decided to form an investigation team, “Japan Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women United Nations Investigation Team.” This author became a member of the team and participated in the meeting of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women held in July 2014.

To our great surprise, what they discussed at the UN was not only the comfort women issue, but almost everything, ranging from the LGBT issue, which was hardly ever talked about in Japan, to gay couples’ trouble getting into the public housing, the same-sex marriage, Okinawa issue, Ainu issue, “Buraku (segregated village)” issue, the issue of Korean schools in Japan and the most extreme was a claim that the Japanese Imperial Household commits discrimination against women. These were brought to the United Nations by leftist NGOs, including the one organized by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. We witnessed scenes at which these NGOs were brainwashing the UN Committee members who had little information about Japan.

We also came to learn that Mr. Kaido Yuichi, head of the Japan Federation of. Bar Associations (JFBA) and de facto husband of Ms. Fukushima Mizuho, member of the Japanese House of Councilors, acted like a tour guide for more than a hundred Japanese NGO members and controlled the speech sphere in the United Nations at his will.

This author was totally appalled to find that besides the comfort women issue, these other issues were secretly brought to the United Nations and Japanese domestic laws were drastically changed by these forces. They started acting in the United Nations nearly forty years ago and have been spreading false information that Japan is a terrible country, both domestically and internationally.

Upon returning to Japan from the United Nations, this author reported at the immediate monthly meeting about this situation and proposed to set up an international committee within our alliance body so that when issues other than the comfort women issue come up, we would be able to fully cope with them, without being restricted by the appellation carrying “comfort women.” My proposal was duly accepted.

Later, in November 2017, the international committee became iRICH International Research Institute of Controversial Histories and then it obtained the status of General Incorporated Association in April 2022.

Ten years since our action started

It’s been full ten years since we went to the United Nations for the first time in 2014. During these years, we attended annually almost all meetings related to human rights, held three to five times at the United Nations European Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. We also attended meetings held at the New York Headquarters.

We participated as a team, session by session, and in some cases this author attended alone. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic disaster, we never failed to attend meetings whenever there was a meeting at the United Nations, going through PCR testing many times.

During this period, related to the comfort women issue, besides this author, Sugita Mio, member of the House of Representatives (at that time, out of office), Ms. Yamamoto Yumiko of Nadeshiko Action (Director of this Institute), Mr. Fujioka Nobukatsu (Senior Researcher at this Institute), Mr. Matsuki Kunitoshi (Senior Researcher at this Institute), Mr. Tony Marano (Texas Daddy) and others energetically took part in coping with the issue.

We have worked with many great people: related to the abduction and comfort women issues, Mr. Fujii Mitsuhiko (Refutation Project) also acted at the United Nations several times; related to Okinawa issue, Mr. Nakamura Satoru (Senior Researcher at this Institute) of the Japan Okinawa Policy Study Forum and Ms. Ganaha Masako; related to the Ainu issue, Mr. Sawada Kenichi (Senior Researcher at this Institute) and Mr. Onodera Masaru (former member of Hokkaido Legislative Assembly); related to the mobilized workers and comfort women issues, Dr. Lee woo-youn, researcher at Naksungdae Institute of Economic Research and Korean scholar on Japan; and related to China’s pressure over Hong Kong, we invited activists from Hong Kong and Japan. Thus, we have devoted ourselves to activities to protect Japan in our capacity as civilians.

For the first several years, we had much financial assistance from benefactors and then have continued to work on our own financial strength and have also received support from individuals.

There are many reasons for our consistent activities at the United Nations and we act mainly because it is necessary to obtain information regarding leftist operations at the UN, refute them on the spot and prevent the UN from issuing wrong recommendations, inform the Japanese people of such adverse operations and take prompt measures against them.

In addition, our efforts include establishing prestigious status for conservative Japanese NGOs within the United Nations.

The bond among the leftist frequent visitors to the United Nations is considerably firm. Judging from my ten-year experience at the UN, I have noticed that the leftist groups have two kinds of objectives.

First, they aim to advertise the individual or groups’ names by asserting that they successfully induce the UN into issuing recommendations or Japan into changing its domestic laws. And second, they aim to destroy Japan as a state, using funds provided within or outside Japan or appropriating Japan’s national budget or groups’ money.

We can give as an extreme example of the first case, a group led by lawyer Ms. Ito Kazuko of Human Rights Now, which brought an issue to the United Nations, in their capacity as lawyers, claiming that performance of group gymnastics during an elementary school sports day constitutes child abuse. Against their assertion, this author refuted them, saying, “The performance has been maintained since the Meiji era as physical and mental training for children,” “Needless to say, teachers attend the performers with much care and once they discern any danger, they try to reduce the tiers of a human pyramid,” “In view of fearing lest children should get injured, it is far safter to have them stop riding a bicycle.” Ms. Ito’s assertion was absurd to such an extent. Of course, no U.N. recommendation was issued following her assertion. If a recommendation had been issued and a law had been revised as she required, lawyer Ito would have risen in the public esteem more than a lawyer who just made a new precedent. During these exchanges at the UN, I found out that in its actions, her group cooperated with a certain Japanese mass medium.

Second, there are those who question the Imperial House Law and those against the U.S. military base in Okinawa.

When Okinawan activist Yamashiro Hiroji came to the United Nations, this author refuted Mr. Yamashiro on the spot and prevented a UN recommendation from being issued.

The Sankei Newspaper of June 18, 2017, reported as follows:

“Defendant Yamashiro appealed in front of the crowd of about fifty media and NGO people, saying, “It is no doubt that the improper treatment against us was warning or threat to the Okinawans resisting the Government’s political pressure.”

“However, when asked about the video showing defendant Yamashiro and others inflicting violence upon staff of Okinawa Defense Agency of the Ministry of Defense, defendant Yamashiro evaded the question, saying, ‘I am being advertised as if I were No.1 terrorist in Japan.’ He seemed embarrassed having the fact revealed that he was a ‘perpetrator.’ It was the moment when a lie disseminated by some Japanese through the United Nations was refuted.”

In October last year, Okinawan Governor Tamaki Denny asked Citizens' Diplomatic Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Japanese leftist NGO, for support using the Prefectural taxpayers’ money and made a speech at the Human Rights Council. This author was singularly participating in the meeting and exposed the governor’s lie and deception on the spot. Of course, no UN recommendation came to be issued related to this matter.

The leftist powers have been conducting such activities for forty years. Since this author began regularly visiting the United Nations, in a group or on my own, we have continued working, refuting issues these leftist groups bring to the UN and preventing the UN from issuing inadequate recommendations. If we had not continued working, there would have been many things far beyond our understanding.

At one time, South Korea attempted to register the official U.S. military documents written in 1944 related to the comfort women issue to the UN-affiliated UNESCO’s “Memory of the World.” Against this attempt, Director Yamamoto and others came up with a plan to apply for registration of the same documents under a different interpretation and carried it out successfully. In addition, the Japanese Government led by Prime Minister Abe stopped submitting Japan’s contribution to UNESCO, proposing to reform UNESCO, which was duly realized. This was because the United Nations and its affiliated organs are supposed only to provide the platform for consideration but not to judge which side is correct when it comes to historical issues.

In our opinion, it is no exaggeration to think that our various activities brought about the correction and apology regarding the false reporting of the comfort women issue on the part of the Asahi Newspaper.

Devitalized current leftist activities at the United Nations Human Rights Council

Originally, it cost us 350,000 to 400,000 yen per person to attend a meeting at the United Nations. Currently, under the weak yen, it costs us dearly to act in Switzerland, where prices are highest under the inflated economy. At present, the cost is 800, 000 to 1,000,000 yen per person. Leftist groups have access to abundant money while we, the orthodox campaigners, have to cover our own expenses. We are supported by assistance from benefactors and public donations. Therefore, we cannot afford to engage in activities unless they bring fruits. The leftist groups, based on lies and distorted data they bring to the United Nations, brainwash and lead the ill-informed UN Committee members to issue various recommendations at their will. They could accomplish these results due to their abundant monetary resources.

Maybe, however, as the results of our activities over the decades or because they have judged that the cost effectiveness does not work as well as before, the leftist activities at the United Nations have been remarkably devitalized since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The self-proclaimed disciple of the then lawyer Totsuka Etsuro, who succeeded in defining comfort women as “sexual slaves”, former Professor Maeda Akira of Tokyo Zokei University (currently Professor Emeritus of the University and lecturer at Korean University in Japan) participated in the Human Rights Council to the last, incessantly fabricating stories but has not shown up in the Human Rights Council in recent years.

Besides the Human Rights Council, the United Nations holds the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which takes place every four or five years against all member countries, in addition to respective UN Convention, Treaty and Covenant-related committees.

Now that we can hardly see leftist activists at the Human Rights Council, it can be judged that the leftists are losing their momentum. Possibly, however, they may try to concentrate their activities on the UPR and respective convention committees. Still, we must be watchful and prepared to cope with them adequately from now on in case they become active again.