“Sex-Slave” Report: The UN’s Global Hoax (Jiyu-sha) No.8: Chapter 3: Investigative Delegation Crosses UN Threshold
Chapter 3: Investigative Delegation Crosses UN Threshold
First mission (July 2014)
Onward! Our investigative delegation waits for the bus to take them to the UN. (July 2014)
A. How Certain Activists Have Manipulated the UN
A round-table discussion with (in order of speaking)…
-Fujioka Nobukatsu (Moderator), Visiting Professor at Takushoku University and Vice President of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform
-Hosoya Kiyoshi, Director of the Japanese Modern History Research Association
-Yamamoto Yumiko, President of Japanese Women for Justice and Peace
-Fujiki Shun’ichi, Representative of the Texas Daddy Japan Secretariat
-Fujii Mitsuhiko, Chairman of the Rompa Project
-Sekino Michio, Executive of the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women
(1.) Profiles of Our Team in Geneva
The establishment of the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women
Fujioka Nobukatsu (moderator): A meeting of the UN body known as the United Nations Human Rights Committee was held at the UN’s Geneva office between July 15 and 16, 2014. The Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women sent an investigative delegation to attend this meeting. I thank those individuals who went to Geneva as members of that delegation for assembling here today.
First of all, allow me to provide a brief introduction to the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women, which organized this initiative.
The comfort women problem, which was originally manufactured in the 1990s as a means to bash Japan, escalated in an unexpected way after 2010. A comfort woman statue was set up directly across the street in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, South Korea. That was on December 14, 2011.
In the United States as well, similar comfort women statues were erected in front of various places such as public libraries. The ones promoting this campaign were Koreans living in the Mr. Fujioka Nobukatsu United States, supported behind-the-scenes
by the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia, an anti-Japanese organization formed by Chinese residents of America.
A representative example was the comfort woman statue set up in Glendale, a suburb of Los Angeles. On July 9, 2013, the city council held a public hearing on the pros and cons of erecting a comfort woman statue. Although many Japanese citizens were present to speak, the five-member council approved the statue’s construction on the same day over their pleas.
To Japanese sensibilities, the campaign seemed intent on attacking and demeaning Japan and to bring shame on both themselves and their country. However, the Koreans seemed to have no such concept of shame, and they continued their campaign of building new statues and monuments to the comfort women, not just in Glendale, but in many other parts of the United States.
A great many Japanese organizations appeared on the scene to come to grips with the comfort women problem, and a palatable sense of crisis led them increasingly to try to tackle the problem more effectively by forming a sort of umbrella organization to strengthen information sharing and mutual assistance for the uncoordinated activities being undertaken by each group.
This is how the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women came into being on July 29, 2013. Fourteen groups joined this organization. As their representative, they chose diplomatic commentator Kase Hideaki.
The Alliance for Truth is not organized in a top-down manner. Any groups or individuals wanting to protect Japan’s honor in the comfort women dispute may join and all cooperate on an equal basis. The autonomy of its constituent groups is never violated. The Alliance’s secretariat set itself up in the offices of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform.
This latter group, which was formed in response to the inclusion of the comfort women in history textbooks, has been confronting this issue for a long time.
Hosoya Kiyoshi and his proposal to go to the UN and redeem Japan
Fujioka: However, it was the United Nations that created and disseminated the notion that the comfort women were sex slaves. To this day, the UN continues to make one unjust “recommendation” after another to the government of Japan. The Asahi Shimbun and other newspapers extensively covered these “recommendations”, which served to brainwash those Japanese people under the spell of a UN delusion.
Therefore, I had long understood this problem and thought to myself, “Are there any conservative UN activists?” Following the establishment of the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women, I happened to meet just such a man.
That man was Hosoya Kiyoshi.
When I heard that Mr. Hosoya had attended meetings of the UN committee in Geneva, I asked if he could spare some of his time to tell his story before the executive board of the Alliance for Truth. He did so on April 25, 2014.
As he spoke, we learned that the UN Human Rights Committee, which held a session concerning Japan once every six years, was to meet in July of that year. This time, I thought, we should send a Mr. Hosoya Kiyoshi.
delegation of our own. When I suggested this
to the executive board, there were some who were hesitant or who felt that it would be premature. Nonetheless, I believed firmly that private citizens needed to strike while the iron was hot.
Up to that point, only left-wing NGOs had presented themselves before the United Nations. Why only left-wing groups? We needed to find a way to fight back against leftist activism at the UN. We had the will, so to speak, but not yet a way. We lacked knowledge and information, and also experience, of how things worked on an international level. Just when I had thought that no man with the skills necessary to confront this problem would step forward, I met Mr. Hosoya. This was the chance we had been waiting for.
Mr. Hosoya, would you please do us the honor of discussing your reason behind the trips to the UN?
Hosoya Kiyoshi: I used to handle factory operations and business development overseas for a private company. During the same period, I was studying modern history at the Open University of Japan School of Graduate Studies. I was always juggling my time between these two things, even writing essays while on business trips! In 2009, I retired early and joined an organization called the World Congress of Families, which was led by Ms. Okamoto Akiko. This was my first foray into conservative activism. The World Congress of Families held consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, making it one of the very few “conservative” NGOs holding consultative status with any UN body. I have been to the UN two times since 2010 for NGO activities concerned with discrimination against women and problems of the family. Most of our work related to an investigation being carried out by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. It was these experiences that gave me the idea of going to the UN to redeem Japan on the matter of the comfort women.
However, this valuable conservative NGO ultimately broke up.
Fujioka: Why did it break up?
Hosoya: Because there were some who felt it was impertinent that we should be making recommendations to the UN, and disagreements broke out. Another reason was what might be called “UN worship”.
Hosoya Kiyoshi was born in 1949 in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture. He graduated from Waseda University School of Commerce and completed a postgraduate academic program at the Open University of Japan. He worked overseas with a factory construction firm where he was in charge of operations and business and project development inside and outside Japan. Since 2008, he has served as a lecturer in international business at a variety of vocational schools. He is also the Director of the Japanese Modern History Research Association, a private organization.
Hosoya: At a conference planned by that NGO, we invited Yamamoto Yumiko to speak on the subject of “Why did the comfort women problem spread to the United States?”
Fujioka: I see, so that’s when you began cooperating with Ms. Yamamoto, right? Ms. Yamamoto, were you the first person to get on board with his plan to send a delegation of conservatives to Geneva?
Yamamoto Yumiko: That’s right. I had caught wind of Hosoya’s plan to go to Geneva in advance. [laughter]
Yamamoto Yumiko, the President of Japanese Women for Justice and Peace: The roar of a Japanese woman
Fujioka: I met Ms. Yamamoto Yumiko for the first time when I was asked to make a brief statement before a gathering being held at the Diet Members’ Office Building on November 6, 2012. A great many Diet members attended this gathering, and the meeting hall was packed.
Because of the special nature of the comfort women problem, I had begun to think that a statement made by a woman would be ten times as persuasive as statements made by a man. Therefore, when Ms. Yamamoto delivered such a forceful speech, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. The appearance of such a person, of such a woman, I thought to myself, was a manifestation of the hidden strength of the Japanese people. I was immediately convinced that Ms. Yamamoto would be a great asset to us in the future.
Ms. Yamamoto, please tell us what motivated you to go to the United Nations.
Yamamoto: I am neither a journalist, nor, of course, a politician. From my standpoint as an ordinary woman, there were two things that were important to me.
One was the repeal of the pro-comfort women declarations released by various local governments in Japan. The other was to make an appeal to the United Nations. The proposal to form an investigative delegation could have realized both of my objectives. I definitely wanted to go to Geneva, and so I agreed to lead the delegation.
Fujioka: This was how Ms. Yamamoto became the leading delegate, and Hosoya became executive director.
Ms. Yamamoto Yumiko.
Yamamoto Yumiko is a housewife and an alumni of Sophia University. While volunteering for conservative groups, she came to believe that women should be more involved in dealing with the comfort women problem. In 2011, she founded the activist group Japanese Women for Justice and Peace and took charge of its operations. The website of Japanese Women for Justice and Peace (http://nadesiko-action.org) conveys news on the latest developments taking place in the English-speaking world and also mounts energetic web-based campaigns, including transmission of information around the world, petition drives, and systematic e-mailing of public agencies. The website is a valuable source of information to many people and has become highly influential. It was Ms. Yamamoto who notified people in Australia about the
circumstances of the comfort women problem in that country. Ms. Yamamoto is also a staff member of The Global Alliance for Historical Truth, a nonprofit corporation.
Fujiki Shun’ichi, the creator of “Texas Daddy”
Fujioka: Next up is Fujiki Shun’ichi of the Texas Daddy Japan Secretariat. “Texas Daddy” is an Internet personality promoted by Fujiki.
Fujiki Shun’ichi: Tony Marano was interested in the Sea Shepherd problem and dealt with it in videos that he posted online. I made Japanese-subtitled versions of his videos and uploaded them, without his permission of course! [laughs]
I have been in contact with Tony since around 2009. Before long, we brought up the possibility of inviting him to Japan. Tony told me, “I was invited to Japan just before your invitation!” Tony explained to me that two weeks later he had still not received any word from the people who had invited him, and that he was angry that he had whole-heartedly trusted them. I told him, “We’ll pay for your expenses, so please come.” That was in March 2011. The 2011 earthquake and tsunami occurred right before he was scheduled to arrive.
M Mr. Fujiki Shun’ichi.
Texas Daddy’s real name is Tony Marano. He is a good-natured Italian-American, sixty-seven years of age, living in Texas. He attracted attention through his commentaries on Youtube and Nico Nico Douga, and because he lives in Texas, he was given the nickname “Texas Daddy”. After reaching the mandatory age of retirement, Tony partook in hobbies, including photography and sending articles to newspapers. In due course, he made Youtube videos. Texas Daddy’s commentaries have encouraged and entertained his Japanese audience. He has also published several books that were translated into Japanese, including Tekisasu Oyaji Enzetsushu [Collected Speeches of Texas Daddy], which utilizes current events to aid in learning the English language.
Fujiki Shun’ichi was born in 1964. At the age of twenty-four, he started an electronics manufacturing firm, and engaged in the business of selling audio equipment, car parts, plant exports, and other products for twenty-seven years. Eighteen years ago, he became involved in conservative activism with the aim of spreading awareness of the
greatness of the Japanese people. In 2010, he founded the Texas Daddy Japan Secretariat. As an avid student of international affairs, he has given commentary on television, radio, and the Internet.
Fujioka: Mr. Fujiki, please introduce yourself briefly.
Fujiki: Due to my work as a trader, I have been overseas since the age of twenty-two. The people in Southeast Asia are entirely pro-Japanese, and Koreans were not all anti-Japanese back then. When I was responsible for business in Europe, I travelled to the EU, but when I showed my red-colored Japanese passport at customs, the customs official did not even check the photograph. I thought this was unusual, so I asked him with a smile, “Is it okay that you didn’t take a good look? I might be a terrorist, right?”
The customs official answered me, “No Japanese citizen has ever committed a crime in this country.” The Europeans thought very highly of the trustworthiness of Japanese people. It was completely different from the image I had been taught in school about the Japanese being a people responsible for starting an atrocious war. I learned that Japan was in fact a good country.
Fujioka: That’s quite a heartwarming story! Mr. Fujiki, what was it that first got you involved in conservative activism?
Fujiki: When I looked at conservative activism, I saw many people delivering their message, but the audiences were tiny. Even the fabricated tales regarding the comfort women problem were known only to scholars and news junkies. [laughs] I wondered how we could get our message out to more people, and that’s when I thought of using “Texas Daddy’s” style.
Fujioka: What a wonderful idea that was!
Fujii Mitsuhiko, fearless leader of the comic book group Rompa Project
Fujioka: I would like Mr. Fujii of Rompa Project to speak next.
Fujii Mitsuhiko: Until August 14, 2013, I was just a businessman with no interest in conservative activism. Thanks to my father’s influence, I read a book by Takemura Ken’ichi and Watanabe Shoichi, and it greatly impressed me. [laughs]
I learned about the comfort women problem, which I found to be a bizarre issue concocted in Korea with the full backing of the government. Just like Mr. Fujiki, I wanted people to pay more attention to this issue, and that is how I came up with the idea of using comics.
Fujioka: Do you draw comics?
Fujii: I don’t draw the pictures. I’m in charge of writing. I work with a genre called “advertisement comics”. I produce comic ads explaining various things such as medical subjects.
Fujioka: Yes, comics are easy to understand.
Fujii: My interaction with Mr. Fujiki started in January, 2014, at the Angoulême International Comics Festival that was held in France. The goal of the Rompa Project is to capture the conservative market, said to be a market
share of “two percent,” and potential customers Mr. Fujii Mitsuhiko.
situated around this market.
For people involved in advertising and marketing like myself, the “two percent” mark is a challenge that we want to beat to increase our market share.
Fujii Mitsuhiko is a management consultant and the Chairman of the Rompa Project. He was born in 1972 in Fukuoka Prefecture. Following his graduation from Aoyama Gakuin University, he worked at a large restaurant, an IT firm, and software businesses before becoming independent in 2003. In August 2013, he began activism and spoke out, most notably in a project to spread awareness of the comfort women problem overseas through comic strips. He has also been involved in organizing lectures and producing and hosting conservative programs on FM radio and on the Internet.
Sekino Michio, a businessman who mastered the art of debating
Fujioka: Last but not least is Mr. Sekino Michio, who had an unusual experience in Geneva. All the other members of the investigative delegation were expelled from the conference room by UN staff members in collusion with left-wing groups, but Mr. Sekino continued to calmly observe the meeting without ever being noticed. [laughs]
Sekino Michio: My father was a sailor in the Japanese Navy for a time, so I have had an interest since my student days in the Tokyo “War Crimes” Trials and the constitution of Japan. Nonetheless, because engineering was my true calling, I never partook in any political activities. From the 1970s, I was responsible for matters concerning international law due to the repercussions on Japan of America’s Clean Air Act, the so-called Muskie Act. My experiences working overseas gave me a real understanding of the need to be legally minded.
When I was posted in France, I learned the art of debating. If they didn’t argue with you, nothing would get done. They would say, “Be quiet! Listen to me!”, and wouldn’t hear anyone else out. I quit my corporate job in 2001, and my last overseas posting was in the United States. After that, I did business translations.
I had but one motivation for my work with conservative groups. I felt that Japan in its current state was an embarrassment to my ancestors and my grandchildren.
Mr. Sekino Michio.
Sekino Michio is a researcher of modern history. He was born in 1939 in Kamakura. He graduated from the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Aeronautics. He worked overseas with an automotive manufacturing firm for seventeen years and acquired an interest in comparative culture, the tangible and spiritual differences between nations. In 2013, Jiyusha published his booklet Nihonjin o Kuruwaseta Senno Kosaku [The Brainwashing Operation that Robbed the Japanese of Their Sanity-WGIP], which documented contemporary evidence concerning the US occupation army’s War Guilt Information Program. He is also an enthusiastic member of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform.
Fujioka: Now, I would like to indicate the process through which you all came together as the investigative delegation of the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women. For starters, the Alliance for Truth decided that the core of the team would be Ms. Yamamoto, delegation leader, and Mr. Hosoya, executive director.
Fujii: Tony Marano, AKA Texas Daddy, and I accompanied the delegation. From the United States, we were also joined by Mera Koichi, who was suing to have the comfort woman statue in Glendale, California, removed.
Yamamoto: In addition to Executive Director Hosoya and I, the other delegates so graciously attending this round-table discussion are Sekino Michio, Fujiki Shun’ichi, and Fujii Mitsuhiko. Our team also included Hiromi Edwards, Shiraishi Chihiro, who lives in Geneva, Tony Marano, AKA Texas Daddy, Mera Koichi and his wife, Senba Akira, and Otsubo Akiko.
Fujioka: That means we sent a total of eleven people to Geneva.
Sekino: The fact that we have never done this sort of work at the UN before is, I think, a sign of conservative negligence.
Fujioka: It may have been negligence, but keep in mind that we simply did not know that this kind of activity was going on. To be honest, what Hosoya told the executive board in April 2014 was at first hard for me to grasp. [laughs]
Fujii: Indeed, even when I heard about this UN activism, it seemed like it would be too difficult an obstacle to overcome…
Fujioka: To sum up, each of the men and women who gathered in Geneva had a unique back-story and unique viewpoints.
A place for representatives of third world countries to bash Japan
Fujioka: You reached your destination on July 14, 2014. What were your impressions of Geneva?
Fujiki: There were a lot of prostitutes near the hotel.
Sekino: In broad daylight…
Fujiki: Yeah, they were available 24/7! [laughs]
Fujioka: Prostitution is legal in Europe. And yet, they are condemning The conference hall of the Geneva United
legalized prostitution from seventy Nations Human Rights Committee in July, 2014.
years ago that catered to Japanese
soldiers. It’s ridiculous.
Yamamoto: At the tea reception, it seemed like they were having fun abusing Japan.
Hosoya: It was pure hypocrisy.
Fujiki: It was actually just like a club. You can try participating in the Human Rights Committee, but the UN viewed the Committee as a venue of the third world. The Committee only serves the interests of countries that do not have a stable legal system or are unable to protect their own cultural treasures.
Fujioka: It could be said that the UN supports those countries that have not developed into true nation-states and acts as their savior.
Fujii: Tony told me unambiguously, “Americans do not trust the United Nations.” What did he mean by that?
Fujiki: The people of Japan worship the UN, but the United States, the country that actually created the UN, sees it only as an organization convenient to its own purposes. Nothing ever gets decided, anything can be vetoed, and the countries that talk the most
about human rights are the same ones (from left) Hosoya Kiyoshi, Yamamoto Yumiko,
that violate them the most. That’s and Fujiki Shun’ichi.
why Tony says that the UN itself is
a big joke, as well as a hotbed of undercover communist activity.
Hosoya: It’s because the UN was agreed upon by Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta. That was just four months before Roosevelt’s death.
Fujioka: The UN Charter as reproduced in Japanese textbooks is a pipe dream.
Fujiki: The real UN is not at all the “world federation” that Japanese people envisage. The UN has been called corrupt and even worthless. It is a union made by and for the victor powers of World War II.
Hosoya: The only effective body is the Security Council, and even they cannot reach a decision if just one of the Permanent Members casts a veto. Even the resolutions of the General Assembly are not legally binding. For UN bodies like UNESCO, no one knows exactly what they are up to until approval of the World Memory applications.
Sekino: The UN is imperfect as an international organization, but it is also true that no better international organization exists. I expect that in curing Japan of its senseless UN worship, strengthening our daily lobbying would be an effective strategy.
Fujii: The UN Human Rights Council is an appendage of the UN, and under it are ten more committees, including the Human Rights Committee, corresponding to ten conventions that Japan inked, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Another one is the Committee against Torture that admonished Japan over the comfort women problem, in 2013.
Though I too have been repeating “United Nations” over and over, it is this very name that makes the Japanese people instinctively freeze with dread when they hear news groups like the Asahi Shimbun report that a UN committee has warned Japan over the comfort women issue. The media has exploited the Japanese people’s reverence of the UN.
Yamamoto: In August, there will be a meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and probably next year a meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Here again, it’s likely that reports critical of Japan will be presented and, when their recommendations are issued, they will receive major media attention.
Fujii: I believe that conservatives must take heed to what is being spread and solidly rebut the lies.
Yamamoto: From here on, we need to prepare our own responses. The left-wing has so many groups producing spurious report after report with similar contents. It is quantity over quality.
Fujii: I personally feel ashamed over how little I know about the United Nations.
The gullibility and ignorance of the committee members
Fujii: After returning to Japan, I went to the United Nations Information Centre in Aoyama, Tokyo, in order to inquire about the workings of the UN committees. They described the conference that we just attended in Geneva as “a forum for constructive dialogue”.
Our original objective had been a discussion between the Japanese government and the Human Rights Committee. The members of the Human Rights Committee would have asked, “We (the Human Rights Commission) heard that such a problem exists in Japan, but what is the nature of this problem?”, and would provide a forum for the Japanese government to respond.
Sadly, the Committee did not have any independent information on Japan. Instead, committee members drew all their information from the reports submitted to them by Japanese NGOs. The information supplied by the NGOs normally comes from the media, specifically newspapers. Obviously,, they used both the Asahi Shimbun and even the Shimbun Akahata, the official newspaper of the Japanese Communist Party! [laughs]
Fujioka: It’s ridiculous that they would accept even the official bulletin of a political party.
Fujiki: Obviously, this is because committee members were easily deceived. I was amazed that they believed, without question, the claim made by a Japanese newspaper article that public housing discriminated based on sex. UN committees might be more accurately called echo-chambers for left-wing NGOs to say anything they want.
Fujii: Therefore, when committee members receive information with the source reporting on a problem in a certain manner, they frame their questions to the Japanese government on the basis of that source.
This last time, a committee member abruptly asked the representative of the Japanese government, “We have received information that 1,700 people have died of radiation exposure in Japan. Is this true?” I have no idea what NGO made this statement. No one in Japan could have possibly believed such a tale, but the committee member asked in an earnest tone. Even though we Japanese reflexively dismiss such reports as the wild rumors they are, we still need to make a proper rebuttal.
Yamamoto: I believe that these groups have been manufacturing so-called outrages merely to claim credit for exposing them! Japanese NGOs submit reports using articles from the Asahi Shimbun and other newspapers claiming that, “Japan has not apologized to the Korean comfort women”, or “The Japanese government’s statements are not sincere.” In line with these falsehoods, committee members ask, “Has the Japanese government not shown good faith in handling violations of women’s rights?” The Japanese government rightfully protests, but in the end, when committee members make their “recommendations” to the Japanese government, the Asahi Shimbun gives it front page coverage.
Fujii: The people denouncing Japan have formed a vicious cycle, recycling and redistributing the same nonsense.
Fujioka: It is extremely distressing that committee members hailing from fledging, barely unified countries can make such credible-sounding recommendations to a developed and highly civilized nation-state such as Japan.
The Human Rights Council and its ten convention-based committees
Fujii: I asked how the UN is run, and this table shows the basic structure of the UN’s administration. (see Chapter 6-B)
Only groups registered with the UN as NGOs are allowed to submit agenda items to the UN. Conversely, groups that are not even registered as NGOs in Japan are allowed to register with the UN.
Hosoya: This means that any group calling itself an “NGO” registered with the UN can submit agenda items.
Fujioka: Please explain in concrete terms the workings of the UN Human Rights Council’s Human Rights Committee, which you all recently went to observe in Geneva.
Fujiki: The Committee is composed of eighteen members appointed to four-year terms who normally hold three annual sessions that each last three weeks. Of these sessions, one is held at the UN’s New York headquarters in March and the other two are held at the UN’s Geneva office in July and November.
Fujioka: But what exactly is the UN Human Rights Committee?
Hosoya: Let me explain the historical circumstances behind this group. The UN Human Rights Committee is not to be confused with the UN Commission on Human Rights, which was established in 1946 as a subsidiary of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It was dissolved in 2006 and reorganized as the UN Human Rights Council. (See the table comparing the two in Chapter 6-B)
The Human Rights Committee is a different organization from the former Commission on Human Rights. The Committee was set up on the basis of the 1966 International Bill of Human Rights that the Commission on Human Rights had drafted.
Fujioka: These details are truly complicated.
Sekino: Even the English-language explanation is hard to understand.
Hosoya: The International Bill of Human Rights can be broadly divided into the so-called “A Covenant” dealing with social rights and the “B Covenant” dealing with human rights. Signatories of the International Bill of Human Rights are monitored under A Covenant by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and under B Covenant by the Human Rights Committee.
Japan ratified these covenants in 1979. A Covenant covers such matters as freedom to choose one’s occupation, the rights of workers to organize, and the right to a minimum standard of living. All these rights are already guaranteed by Japan’s constitution, and for this reason, A Covenant has not yet posed any significant problem for Japan. Japan is effectively outside its scope.
Fujioka: The problematic one is B Covenant, right?
Hosoya: B Covenant aimed to recognize and protect individual rights. It contained many provisions guaranteed under Japan’s constitution, including the abolition of discrimination, freedom of religion and expression, and voting rights. However, Japan never ratified the First and Second Optional Protocols to enforce specific terms.
Fujiki: This is a point that Totsuka Etsuro did not fail to stress.
Hosoya: Under the First Optional Protocol, as a counterbalance to the judicial independence stipulated by Japan’s constitution, there is an individual complaint
mechanism that would have allowed foreign citizens from signatory nations to protest a human rights violation if they were, for example, falsely accused of a crime while travelling in another country.
The Second Optional Protocol would have abolished the death penalty and could not have been ratified by Japan without an amendment to its criminal code that explicitly permits capital punishment. The UN’s latest recommendations taking up the comfort women issue acknowledge that human rights abuses occurred on the grounds that the women involved were working against their will. The UN has been asking countries, including the government of Japan, that were responsible for these abuses to publicly apologize and pay compensation.
Fujioka: Japan has made its position clear: Japan has already apologized and, on top of that, has already paid compensation through the work of the Asian Women’s Fund. The right to claim compensation was resolved through the Agreement Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation, which was signed in 1965 at the same time as the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea restoring bilateral relations. Even though the representative of the Japanese government attending the committee meeting objected on these grounds, the committee members turned a deaf ear. This is blatant interference in Japan’s internal affairs.
Fujii: Nonetheless, Japan has ratified the International Bill of Human Rights, and these recommendations are simply the findings of the investigations to which signatory nations must submit themselves on a regular basis every six years. The investigations are part of Japan’s commitment, so there’s not much we can do about them.
Yamamoto: What’s more, the recommendations are not legally binding and they are merely the expression of the views of the UN committees. Consequently, Japan is free to interpret the recommendations as it wishes.
Hosoya: The comfort women problem ought to basically be a bilateral issue between South Korea and Japan.
Fujioka: Japan’s attitude towards the UN’s recommendations seems to be, “If we deem it necessary, we will make changes, but otherwise we can afford to ignore them.”
Our press conference with the Japanese media
Yamamoto: Following the general meeting on July 15, we held a press conference for the Japanese media at a nearby hotel. It started in the evening at 6:00 PM and lasted for about two and a half hours.
Fujiki: I served as moderator, and Tony explained his views on the comfort women problem and our future plans from the perspective of an American.
Fujioka: Who were the speakers at the press conference?
Yamamoto: Apart from myself, Mr. Mera Koichi represented our side. At the press conference were Jiji Press, Sankei Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, and one person from the UN’s bureau.
Yamamoto Yumiko’s press conference statement
The full statement of Yamamoto Yumiko, the leader of the investigative delegation, which was made at the Hotel Bristol, Geneva, on July 15, 2014, (Monday) is as follows:
Good evening. I am deeply gratified that you were all able to be here today.
I am Yamamoto Yumiko, the President of Japanese Women for Justice and Peace.
Japanese Women for Justice and Peace is a team of Japanese women volunteers who are seeking to put an end to the lie that the comfort women were sex slaves.
We have been undertaking campaigns in opposition to the construction of monuments to the comfort women and resolutions passed in foreign nations criticizing Japan on the comfort women issue.
Japanese Women for Justice and Peace is cooperating with the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women, an umbrella organization dedicated to confronting the comfort women problem. On this occasion, the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women has put together an investigative delegation to the UN called Japan’s Collaboration Team for UN Committee. I am the delegation leader.
Our investigative delegation intends to participate in the 111th session of the Human Rights Committee taking place on July 15-16.
I arrived in Geneva last evening and today visited the Palais Wilson.
The Palais Wilson was once the headquarters of the League of Nations, and I appreciated the building’s historical significance.
The United Nations was the successor to the League of Nations, and both organizations have been a source of pride to the Swiss.
We Japanese deeply respect the United Nations. We contribute to and participate in its activities.
However, the UN seems to be moving in the wrong direction due to the work of groups promoting the false assertion that the comfort women were sex slaves.
Many UN committees involved in human rights work, including the Human Rights Committee, have been making biased recommendations denouncing Japan.
Thus, we came to Geneva in order to explain that the comfort women were not sex slaves and claims to the contrary are based on fabrications.
The three goals of our investigative delegation are as follows:
Firstly, to be the first Japanese conservative organization to participate in the meetings of the UN Human Rights Committee.
Secondly, to study the structure and operations of the Human Rights Committee in order to establish a basis for future countermeasures.
Thirdly, to prepare a written report after our return to Japan and use it as an opportunity to broadcast the current state of affairs at the UN inside and outside Japan and to inform the world of the lies about the comfort women being disseminated at the UN.
I will now describe the investigative delegation’s perspective on the comfort women problem.
(1.) Who were the comfort women?
The comfort women were wartime prostitutes who benefited from time off and from high remuneration guaranteed by contract. They were definitely not sex slaves.
One piece of evidence of this is an official report compiled in 1944 by the United States Army, a third-party nation. According to this report, the comfort women received high compensation, nearly one hundred times the average wage of Japanese soldiers. They lived luxurious lives and were able to buy anything they wanted. They also had time off to participate in sports events, go to picnics, enjoy social events, and attend banquets.
This document indicates that the comfort women were nothing more than highly-paid prostitutes.
(2.) The Coomaraswamy Report
The Coomaraswamy Report was written with falsified sources and cannot be used to support the claim that the comfort women were sex slaves.
The 1996 Coomaraswamy Report addendum is the basis of the sex slave claim, but strangely, it made no mention at all of the aforementioned US Army report.
However, it cited, as if credible, two works containing entirely fabricated stories.
The two works were Yoshida Seiji’s Watashi no Senso Hanzai [My War Crime], which the author subsequently admitted to be completely fabricated, and George Hicks’ The Comfort Women, which was based on Yoshida’s account.
Due to these facts, we must conclude that the Coomaraswamy Report has no substantial value as a human rights report.
(3.) The testimonies of former comfort women
The testimonies of surviving former comfort women claiming to support the “sex slaves” allegation have never been verified.
The fact that these claims have never been verified is, perhaps, indirect evidence that the “sex slaves” claim is a fabrication.
When the testimonies of the individuals calling themselves former comfort women are scrutinized, doubts arise concerning their truthfulness.
The Coomaraswamy Report neglected to verify these stories, and instead, uncritically accepted them as “evidence” and “eyewitness accounts”.
It was around 1991 that the comfort women problem exploded onto the scene. During the twenty plus years that have elapsed since then, none of the “comfort women” stories have been verified—simply because they cannot be proven. This demonstrates that the “sex slaves” allegation is a fabrication.
These points reflect the perspective of the investigative delegation on the comfort women problem.
Japanese Women for Justice and Peace has received numerous contacts from Japanese mothers living in the United States.
Here is an excerpt from a message we received from a Japanese mother living in Glendale, California:
“As a Japanese person, I feel very uneasy about the comfort woman statue that was erected in Glendale’s Central Park. I have a half-Japanese daughter who is seven years old. She told me, ‘They hate half of me. Why do they hate me?’ This statue has no educational value whatsoever. Quite the contrary, it is contributing to confusion and
racial hate against Japanese people in the United States. The United States is a multicultural nation inhabited by diverse peoples. Is it not the innate beauty of America that diverse peoples live alongside one another without quarrel on the basis of race?”
The inscription “I was a sex slave of the Japanese military” is engraved on Glendale’s comfort woman statue.
On the comfort women monument in Palisades Park, New Jersey, it says, “in memory of the more than 200,000 women and girls who were abducted by the armed forces of the government of Imperial Japan 1930s-1945 known as comfort women”.
This is how the comfort women myth is spread worldwide.
This lie has not only sullied the dignity of the people of Japan, but also threatens the safety of Japanese-Americans and Japanese residents in the United States.
We absolutely must not pass this problem on to the children of the next generation.
That is why we are raising our voices here in Geneva.
Thank you for your attention.
(2.) UN Committees as Hotbeds of Left-Wing Activism
Expelled from the July 14 official briefing
Fujioka: Finally, the investigative delegation attended the United Nations Human Rights Committee meeting. How did that go?
Yamamoto: This committee session investigated several countries, other than Japan, but the affiliates of Japanese NGOs far outnumbered all others. I think there may have been about seventy such people.
Fujii: I was impressed that all members of the Japanese NGOs came in together wearing matching tulip hats that seemed to have been newly made. [Laughs]
Hosoya: Until our arrival, these left-wing NGOs virtually enjoyed a stranglehold on access to the UN committees. This time, there were thirty groups submitting thirty-six reports, eight of which were taken up at the NGO briefings of July 14-15 before the new session of the Human Rights Committee started. Incidentally, one of the eight reported on the comfort women problem.
Yamamoto: Besides the Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace, there were twenty-three groups participating in the NGO briefings, including Amnesty International
Japan, the Japanese Network towards Human Rights Legislation for Non-Japanese Nationals and Ethnic Minorities, the Association of Korean Human Rights in Japan, and the Japanese Workers’ Committee for Human Rights. Eight of these groups were given the opportunity to speak at the official briefing.
The assembled members of the delegation were refused access to the NGO meetings. On the far right is Kaido Yuichi, Secretary General of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
Fujioka: What do you mean by “official briefing”?
Hosoya: The official briefing is interpreted.
Fujiki: The day before the Human Rights Committee’s review [July 14], we went to sit in on the official briefing with our delegation leader Yamamoto, but right away they told us, “Please leave, unless you are a speaker.” We were forcibly expelled by a man who did not identify himself, without even giving us a chance to explain our situation. They had a bouncer on stand-by to turn away certain groups.
Access was also restricted to the unofficial briefing held the following day. They insisted that, “You did not register in advance,” and refused to let us enter. The other Japanese NGOs were in cahoots. The unofficial briefing was hosted by a mysterious organization called the Japan NGO Network that had been established by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and other Japanese groups. They told us that attendance was restricted to only those groups who had participated in the “gathering” held beforehand in Japan.
Fujii: We were told, “Please leave, unless you are giving a speech.” We were denied not only the right to speak, but to attend as well.
Fujioka: So does that mean you were unable to attend any meetings on the first day?
Hosoya: That’s right.
Fujii: And that happened in spite of the fact that Mr. Hosoya had previously contacted the Centre for Civil and Political Rights, the UN NGO coordinating NGOs and citizens from various countries, and requested access to the NGO briefing.
Fujioka: That was the meeting that you said was attended by the interpreter, right?
Hosoya: The NGO briefings are a forum for direct dialogue in English between the NGOs and committee members. The Centre for Civil and Political Rights told me, “It’s fine by us, but we don’t know if your request will be approved.” The proposal apparently was never passed to the group in charge of managing the activities of the Japanese citizens’ groups in Geneva, and so we were excluded from the meetings.
Yamamoto: Initially, we discussed the matter with the secretary, but before long she asked us to speak with the representative of the Japanese NGO coordinating the committee meeting. When I tried getting in contact with that NGO, it turned out to be the Buraku Liberation League. The Buraku Liberation League was overseeing the NGOs participating from Japan.
The League, which is registered as an official UN NGO called The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism, has a permanent office in Geneva and is well situated to manage the activities of Japanese NGOs.
Hosoya: Registered groups hold “special consultative status,” but this requires considerable qualifications to attain, including many years of active service. Among left-wing groups, not only “Peace Boat” and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, but even the Communist Party-affiliated New Japan Women’s Association are registered.
Fujioka: Mr. Sekino managed to join the meeting, right?
Sekino: Yes, Hiromi Edwards and I were completely ignored. [laughs]
The structure of the left’s unchallenged position
Yamamoto: At these briefings, the NGOs deliver speeches in English before the committee members based on the reports they had submitted. This would have been a good opportunity to appeal directly to the committee members and to find out what issues the NGOs raised and which points interested the committee members. That’s why we wanted to observe the meeting for ourselves, but we were told, “You can’t do that unless you are submitting an official report.”
Hosoya: Even if we had submitted a report, it’s not clear how the reports that become the subject of presentations are selected. Indeed, the organization arranging such things turned out to be The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism.
Yamamoto: At the briefing, we wanted to beseech the committee members and tell them that there are a number of groups in Japan who believe that the “sex slaves” claim is a lie, but we were not even allowed access to the meeting.
Fujii: We felt that some of the committee members would, grudgingly, accept the material we had prepared for our rebuttal. Many of the committee members are handed stacks of pamphlets, fliers, and documents from various groups in the conference room’s lobby. On this occasion, female students from Korean-sponsored foreign schools in Japan were dressed in traditional Korean uniforms known as chi’ma chogori and distributed pamphlets they made decrying the Japanese government’s refusal to subsidize their high schools.
Yamamoto: Because the committee members received so much material, when we asked them to read our leaflets, they said, “If this is about the comfort women, we are already familiar with the issue.” Even though we responded, “This is a different perspective from what you have heard up to now,” they bluntly replied, “We have already received ample material.” Still, given the mountains of papers they already had to sift through, I guess I can understand how they felt. [laughs]
Fujioka: Is verification of the submitted reports undertaken before or after submission?
Hosoya: From beginning to end, the meetings of the Committee are mostly just “dialogue,” and it doesn’t appear that there is much time for criticism or verification. The Human Rights Committee in particular has to deal with every signatory country in turn once every six years. The committee members seem to think that as long as their reports are backed up with sources like news media articles, then the information is guaranteed reliable.
Yamamoto: The members of the Human Rights Committee do receive the reports prior to the opening of the session, so they might examine them in advance, but they probably are not able to examine them in depth. What’s more, the committee members trust the reports because various other groups present reports with the same information.
The exclusion of groups holding alternate points of view
Fujioka: With all that being said about the UN, how did your participation in the meeting of the Human Rights Committee go?
Fujii: This was my first trip to the Human Rights Committee, and I don’t think that there is any other place on Earth where lies can be told so casually. I say this because it appears that anyone who says, “We have a problem in Japan, but it can’t be resolved through domestic action alone,” and then quotes an article from the Asahi Shimbun, can present their case to the UN.
Fujiki: We felt that the NGOs deceived people who were totally ignorant of the situation.
Yamamoto: I got the impression that the dark influence of the left-wing on the UN’s European office was being masked by the beautiful Geneva scenery.
Japan tolerates this level of discussion precisely because of our unwavering protection of free speech. I feel like telling them, “After you finish putting Japan down, try showing a little gratitude for our tradition of free speech!”
Fujioka: What leads them to freely exclude those groups with different points of view from their own?
Hosoya: The NGO gangs act as if they are the UN. The UN has passed the powers of the Secretariat on to them and lets them run things. The NGOs have turned the UN into a forum for expounding a line of thinking that suits their own agenda.
Fujioka: NGOs are shunning other NGOs. That is the paradox of the UN.
Fujiki: However, our own approach may also have been procedurally flawed. I think we should study this matter again.
Hosoya: We were told, “There is no more space.” I said to them that if they would just book a bigger room, there would be no problem.
Fujii: On the 15th, the entranceway was a sight to see. They were fighting to get in.
Fujiki: Tony and Mr. Mera tried negotiating with them, but it was no good. They insisted that they could do nothing because they were renting the room.
Do committee members serve in their private capacity?
Fujioka: Eighteen people are chosen as members of the Human Rights Committee, correct? Because Japan was the subject of discussion, the Japanese committee member was excluded…
Hosoya: Yes, that’s right. The Human Rights Committee consists of eighteen members—seven from Europe, five from Africa, one from Israel, one from the United States, three from Latin America, and one from Japan who was not in attendance since his country was under examination. Four of the committee members are females. [Refer to the table later in this chapter.]
Of the five from Africa, three are from Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria in northern Africa, and the remaining two are from South Africa and Mauritius in southern Africa. Of the three from Latin America, one is from Costa Rica in Central America and the remaining two are from Suriname and Argentina in South America.
Fujioka: These are almost entirely Third World countries.
Hosoya: South Africa, Suriname, and Mauritius have relatively little personal interaction with Japan, so I focused my attention on these underdeveloped countries. It was likely that they would have been taken advantage of because of their lack of knowledge of Japan.
The chairperson is Mr. Rodley, a British man with the title of “Sir”. He was a quintessential English gentleman who spoke with a great deal of wit.
Fujiki: Several levels of status exist for UN NGOs, including general consultative status, special consultative status, and roster status.
Yamamoto: We just registered a basic profile.
Fujioka: Does that mean the NGOs instruct the committee members in advance about the questions that the committee members will pose to the governments of the target countries?
Sekino: The committee members made detailed arrangements with the anti-Japanese NGOs both before and after the general meeting.
Fujii: The NGOs enjoy the complete trust of the committee members, who hold a naive faith in their inherent goodness.
Fujiki: Therefore, the people who are supposed to pass judgment on the comfort women problem are, to put it one way, ignorant, or at least they know nothing about Japan. It’s an international badger game.
Fujioka: How are these eighteen people selected?
Hosoya: They are nominated by signatory nations and then elected by delegates.
Members of the UN Human Rights Committee
Mr. Yadh BEN ACHOUR
Mr. Lazhari BOUZID
Ms. Christine CHANET
Mr. Ahmad Amin FATHALLA
Mr. Cornelis FLINTERMAN
Mr. Yuji IWASAWA
Mr. Walter KALIN
Ms. Zonke Zanele MAJODINA
Mr. Kheshoe Parsad MATADEEN
Mr. Andrei Paul ZLATESCU
Mr. Gerald L. NEUMAN
Sir Nigel RODLEY
Mr. Victor Manuel
Mr. Fabian Omar SALVIOLI
Ms. Anja SEIBERT-FOHR
Mr. Yuval SHANY
Mr. Konstantine VARDZELASHVILI
Ms. Margo WATERVAL
Human Right Committee Composition by Region and Nation
Number of countries
United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Romania, Georgia
Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Israel, South Africa, Mauritius
Costa Rica, Suriname, Argentina
Fujii: They say that there are standards each Committee must meet. Article 28 states, “There shall be established a Human Rights Committee. It shall consist of eighteen members and… shall be composed of nationals of the States Parties to the present Covenant who shall be persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights…”
Fujioka: Who nominates them? Who selects them and on what authority?
Fujii: The committee members do not represent their countries, so their opinions are their own, not the opinions of their nation’s government.
Fujioka: How does the Committee proceed after having received information from the NGOs?
Yamamoto: Prior to the Committee meeting, a list of issues, which this time includes twenty-eight items, is presented to the Japanese government. This is a list of questions, in
other words. The Japanese government prepares answers and then the Committee creates a forum for dialogue between the two sides. The Japanese government has thirty representatives, and on this occasion, the comfort women problem was issue #22.
Hosoya: Because the left-wing was already working with the UN as far back as the 1980s, their accumulated experience is on an entirely different level from ours. The best example of that is lawyer Totsuka Etsuro, who was yet again back in Geneva.
Fujiki: It appears that this time he came as a member of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. He came with fellow lawyer Watanabe Shoichi, the de-facto husband of the socialist Diet member Fukushima Mizuho.
Fujioka: Mr. Fujiki interviewed him with other members of the delegation. That interview yielded some very valuable information, so I asked Mr. Fujiki to write about it in detail in a different section of our book.
(3.) Progress and Setbacks
The Japanese government’s denial of “sexual slavery”
Yamamoto: On July 15, the Japanese government responded with its official positions on the comfort women issue, but this time the government’s representative, Director Yamanaka Osamu of the Foreign Ministry’s Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Division, pointed out, “This question used the phrase ‘sexual slavery’, which is an inappropriate expression.”
Hosoya: That was the first time that the Japanese government contradicted the use of the term “sexual slavery” at the UN.
In its response of March 6, 2014, to the prepared questions that the Committee had presented on November 14, 2013, the Japanese government ignored the use of the phrase “sexual slavery practice,” but this time the government made a groundbreaking statement denying “sexual slavery” right from the outset of the meeting in Geneva.
Fujioka: What happened at the Committee meeting after that?
Fujiki: A round of applause erupted from the gallery.
Fujii: In response to the applause, the chairperson commented, “You are lacking due consideration for the women victims.”
Hosoya: I was feeling a little mental fatigue because of the long trip to Geneva and jet lag, but that one statement from Yamanaka, the deputy leader of the Japanese delegation, shook me out of my exhaustion, like a gust of fresh air. On that day, the members of the
Committee had nothing to say about his statement. Though they were quick to register their vehement disagreement the next day, the 16th, it ended in an anticlimax. It was a very important declaration to make at the beginning of a meeting of the Committee, but that day the Committee members were silent, posing no rebuttal or questions. Ultimately, they looked like they were completely at a loss over how to respond to or interpret this sudden turn of events.
Each of our opponents was eagerly snapping photos at the meeting of the
Human Rights Committee in Geneva. In fact, photography was prohibited.
Fujii: They were obviously taken aback. Even though they had an opportunity to make a counterargument in the afternoon of the first day, they only asked questions about “hate speech” and “domestic violence”. They did not make a single remark on the comfort women issue.
Yamamoto: The Japanese government made that comment with the premise that, “Because the covenants are not applicable to issues predating their ratification, the meetings of the Human Rights Committee are not an appropriate venue to be discussing the comfort women problem.”
Hosoya: The next day, at the second meeting of the Committee, the only committee member who offered an objection was Ms. Majodina from South Africa. The member from South Africa was the one who I had been concerned about.
Fujii: She said, “It’s about time that Japan fittingly described these victims as unwilling sexual slaves without using the euphemism of ‘comfort women’.”
Hosoya: However, Mr. Yamanaka firmly reaffirmed: “The term ‘sexual slavery’ is not appropriate.” The Japanese government had again disavowed the term “sexual slavery”. This time, the government was not backing down.
Ms. Majodina challenged Mr. Yamanaka’s statement and said, “In the Kono Statement of 1993, the Japanese government admitted the historical fact of a comfort women system based on forced recruitment by Japanese authorities and said it would learn from the lessons of history. Now, twenty years later, the first lesson the Japanese government should learn from history is that the appropriate term to describe these women is “sex slaves” rather than the euphemistic ‘comfort women’.”
Beforehand, we had given her leaflets expressing our opinion that the comfort women were not sex slaves, but all had truly fallen on deaf ears. Still, she gave a surprisingly powerful speech for a woman nearly seventy years old.
Fujii: And yet, the day before she made no attempt to refute the statement expressed by Mr. Yamanaka, the deputy leader of the Japanese delegation, denouncing the term “sexual slavery”. It looked as if she was reading from a script and trying to make it sound convincing.
Hosoya: Mr. Yamanaka reiterated the view that he had voiced the day before and added that even the investigation accompanying the Kono Statement did not corroborate claims that Japan’s military had engaged in the forcible recruitment of comfort women. Thus, he reaffirmed his previous statement that “sexual slavery” was an inappropriate expression.
Fujii: I think that the Japanese government gave a fairly comprehensive answer, but I can’t say whether or not we got through to the committee members.
“Sexual slavery an inappropriate expression”, says representative of Japanese government at UN – From the Sankei Shimbun, July 16
On July 15, during the meeting of the Human Rights Committee convening that day at the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the representatives of the Japanese government declared their opinion that the term “sexual slavery” was an “inappropriate” way of describing the comfort women system. It is very atypical of the Japanese government to deny the term “sexual slavery” in a public venue. Yamanaka Osamu, the Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Division, was answering questions posed to him by the Human Rights Committee in his capacity as a member of the Japanese government’s delegation. When Yamanaka made reference to a question that the Committee had posed during its last investigation of Japan in 2008, he stated, “I will point out that this question used the inappropriate expression ‘sexual slavery practice’.” His statement was not expressly written in the answers that were publicly released in advance. The term “sexual slavery” was sanctioned in the Coomaraswamy Report of February, 1996. Since then, the term has been used in the 2013 concluding observations of the UN Committee against Torture,
and has also appeared in other places, such as the statues and monuments in the United States dedicated to the comfort women. In March of this year, Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Mitsuya Norio told the Upper House Cabinet Committee that, “Because we have seen printed statements from UN bodies such as the Human Rights Council that are based on historical misconceptions of the comfort women problem, we have been lodging appropriate protests.” He also made clear that the Japanese government had expressed its viewpoint to the UN in 2006. The Human Rights Committee is a treaty body that regularly investigates the compliance of various countries with the human rights treaties that they have signed, such as treaty provisions relating to freedom of expression and the abolition of torture and cruel punishments. It compiles reports on its concluding observations that include its recommendations to national governments. It is not directly affiliated with the Human Rights Council, a subsidiary of the UN General Assembly.
Our debate with Ms. Majodina
Yamamoto: Even though we asked her, “What is the definition of sexual slavery?” she did not answer. It seemed like she was saying, “It is what it is.”
Fujiki: She kept telling us to check the laws on slavery.
In this photo, members of our delegation ask committee member
Ms. Majodina about the evidence for sexual slavery at the end of
the meeting of the UN Human Rights Committee.
Fujioka: What sort of woman is Ms. Majodina?
Hosoya: According to the UN website, she was born on September 13, 1944, and majored in psychology at the University of South Africa. She received her master’s degree at the
University of London and her PhD at the University of Cape Town, and she has done human rights work with the UN and other organizations. However, she does not appear to be a lawyer or a scholar of Asian or Japanese studies.
Fujiki: During the break, we tried to get her to disclose her evidence concerning “sexual slavery,” but all she would say in response was, “There is a lot of evidence,” and “These are well-known facts.” She never concretely addressed the grounds for her beliefs.
Fujii: Mr. Mera asked her, “You claim that they were slaves, but were they not paid?” She answered, “The issue is that they were subject to slavery-like conditions, not that they received payment,” and refused to hear a follow-up question. The Slavery Convention contains no provisions relating to “slavery-like conditions,” and I find it unlikely that the committee member was even familiar with what is written in the Convention. It seems that she was under pressure at the meeting and just impulsively threw out the question.
Fujiki: It is doubtful that she had any familiarity with either Asia or Japan, and certainly not the complex social, historical, and international elements of the comfort women problem. It is very strange that, in spite of this, she was still able to hold such a strongly critical view of Japan.
Fujioka: As was explained a little earlier, Ms. Majodina was not representing South Africa.
Hosoya: That’s right, Ms. Majodina does not represent South Africa. The committee members have authority deriving from their qualifications as professors or scholars, but they do not serve on the Committee as representatives of any nation’s government. Therefore, Ms. Majodina’s statements represent her own personal principles, not the opinion of South Africa.
Hate speech as a second comfort woman problem
Yamamoto: This time, for instance, the most striking issue was the report on “hate speech”.
Human Rights Now, one of the participating NGOs, has been active for some time, and is now making hate speech one of its main issues alongside the comfort women problem and opposition to nuclear power plants, constitutional revision, and the State Secrecy Law.
Its report on hate speech starts with the description, “The ‘Zainichi Koreans’ are the descendants of people who were forcibly moved to Japan.” The report maintained this lie without any evidence of shame.
Fujii: It’s perhaps not so hard to understand when you consider it was information from the Counter-Racist Action Collective, which is opposed to the right-wing Association of Citizens against the Special Privileges of Koreans in Japan (known as the Zaitokukai in
Japanese). Thus, the UN committees are being entirely fed information that claims, “In recent years, anti-foreigner sentiment and hate speech in Japan has been on the rise.”
Yamamoto: The Zaitokukai has certainly used toxic language on occasion, so it’s fine to criticize them. Nonetheless, they actually have legitimate goals such as eradicating crime by foreigners and preventing foreigners from abusing the social security system, and that they be properly registered with the police as required by Japanese law.
Despite this, the report delivered to the UN claimed that, “The purpose of the Zaitokukai’s rallies is to promote hate speech.” The report also refers to Japan’s history of discrimination and persecution, including the so-called “policy of forcing Koreans to adopt Japanese names”. It even mentions the massacres of ethnic Koreans in the aftermath of the 1923 Kanto Earthquake, claiming that, “It was racism towards ethnic Koreans in Japan that led to each of these massacres.” Amazingly, the English-language title even used the word “genocide”!
Fujioka: As Ms. Yamamoto indicated in her earlier comments, newspapers, especially the Asahi Shimbun, disseminate stories on subjects like the rising sales of “hateful” books with “anti-Chinese and anti-Korean” themes, and thus generate plenty of sources of information to be brought to the UN.
Fujii: The structure exactly mirrors that of the comfort women problem. At a J1 League [soccer] match in Saitama Stadium, a banner reading “Japanese only” sparked controversy. Even that incident was included in the report! It’s fair to say that a collusive relationship exists between the left-wing media and the NGOs.
Yamamoto: These news stories are, in fact, anti-Japanese racism masquerading as “anti-racism,” but that’s exactly the kind of information that gets put to use at the United Nations. The number of similar reports presented to the UN are enough to fill volumes.
The members of the Human Rights Committee, who have never been to Japan even once, mistakenly believe that anti-foreigner agitation is commonplace in Japan.
Hosoya: We need to pay special attention to Third World countries.
Yamamoto: And what we need to be even more wary of is when they start saying that criticism of the comfort women is itself a form of hate speech that needs to be legally restricted. If that argument is accepted, even legitimate criticism will become impossible. A sort of language policing is already happening now.
The Committee’s non-binding concluding observations
Fujioka: In its concluding observations, the Committee disregarded the objections of the Japanese government and parroted its affirmation that the comfort women were “sex
slaves”. The Committee recommended “the expression of a public apology and official recognition of the responsibility of the State party” as well as “full reparation” to former comfort women. What is the significance of these recommendations and how should Japan address them?
Hosoya: The UN’s recommendations were given coverage by both the Asahi Shimbun and the Japan Broadcasting Corporation.
Fujioka: How does the UN enforce its so-called “recommendations”?
Sekino: Everything that was emphasized in the recommendations and even the affirmation of “sexual slavery” was the fruit of lobbying both inside and outside Japan since the 1990s and fervent appeals at the Human Rights Committee and the former UN Commission on Human Rights to take up the comfort women problem. Clearly, the conservatives’ response was not enough to match their enthusiasm. I said it before and I’ll say it again: we were negligent.
Fujiki: By its very nature, the role of the Human Rights Committee is to conclude that
all kinds of human rights violations are taking (from left) Mr. Sekino and Mr. Fujioka.
place right now, but its conclusion doesn’t
automatically become the collective will of the
United Nations or the international community.
Fujii: Japan has a deep-rooted faith in the United Nations.
Yamamoto: That may be why Japanese people are surprised when recommendations of this sort are released.
The price of having ignored the Coomaraswamy Report
Fujioka: The Coomaraswamy Report was truly preposterous. It was not legally binding, and the Commission on Human Rights approved it only with the words “take note,” the weakest endorsement possible.
Fujii: Would Mr. Fujioka have used the same words?
Fujioka: Even so, it led ultimately to a congressional resolution passed in the United States in 2007. The Coomaraswamy Report remains available on the UN homepage.
Fujii: So the report had a powerful influence, even if it wasn’t legally binding.
Fujioka: It means that you need the UN’s stamp of approval. That’s all you need to do to instantly spread your message to the far corners of the Earth. It’s just like Mr. Totsuka said, one or two years of UN activism isn’t enough. It takes five years for things to take shape, and that’s how Mr. Totsuka said he entrenched the use of the term “sex slaves”.
In an interview for the newspaper Sekai Nippo, lawyer Totsuka Etsuro boasted, “I was the one who designated them as ‘sex slaves’.” Mr. Totsuka took advantage of his affiliation with a UN NGO in order to attend nearly twenty UN meetings and tenaciously appeal to the Commission on Human Rights to issue recommendations on the comfort women problem. Mr. Totsuka distributed Yoshida Seiji’s tales in the English language and introduced the world to his own translation of the word ianfu [comfort woman] as “sex slave”.
Yoshida Seiji’s testimony provided the 1996 Coomaraswamy Report with the “evidence of sexual slavery” it wanted. According to the Coomaraswamy Report, “the wartime experiences of one raider, Yoshida Seiji, are recorded in his book, in which he confesses to having been part of slave raids in which, among other Koreans, as many as 1,000 women were obtained for ‘comfort women’ duties under the National Labour Service Association as part of the National General Mobilization Law.”
Yoshida’s account was quoted numerous times throughout the Coomaraswamy Report. In other words, there was nothing else that supported the claim of “sexual slavery”. These were just the stories of former comfort women. On the basis of such stories, the report recommended that the Japanese government accept legal responsibility for its involvement in sexual enslavement and pay individual compensation.
Furthermore, the Japanese government’s reaction to the report was simply baffling. Initially, the Foreign Ministry did present a forty-page rebuttal to the Coomaraswamy Report. However, the rebuttal was inexplicably withdrawn and later replaced with a token half-page rejoinder. The details of what happened are still obscure. At that time, the prime minister was Murayama Tomiichi and the foreign minister was Kono Yohei.
At any rate, the fact is that it was a Japanese person who coined the term “sex slaves” and then sold it to the world. The Foreign Ministry neglected the problem and failed to proffer a rebuttal to the charges, which certainly was the main reason the comfort women problem became an established reality internationally.
Were the concluding observations prepared in advance?
Fujioka: The Committee’s concluding observations were supposed to have come out on the 25th, but they were ultimately released earlier than anticipated on the 24th. In addition, they
were released in a provisional, non-edited form. They were basically unfinished, in other words.
Hosoya: The Committee’s report did not even include the full minutes of its meetings. The minutes omitted Mr. Yamanaka’s statement, and yet they put together their concluding observations anyway. The committee members did not contest Yamanaka’s statement, and so if that fact had gotten out, the chairperson would have lost his job. It would have been a big problem for them to record the Japanese government’s denial of “sexual slavery” without alteration.
Fujii: So maybe their concluding observations were pre-determined conclusions.
Fujioka: They had already made up their minds prior to the deliberation.
Hosoya: So their planned release date on the 25th was moved up.
Fujii: Perhaps because things did not go according to their script this time, they put out something that would be easy for the Japanese media to use. I can’t help but think that they had some malicious intent to use their report to influence public opinion.
(4.) A First Step Towards Filling the “Twenty-Two Year Gap” – The Significance of the UN Investigative Delegation and Our Future Tasks
From defense to offense – It is Japan’s human rights that are being violated
Fujioka: Finally, would each of you please sum up the trip’s achievements?
Yamamoto: One of the reasons that the comfort women problem has spread worldwide is the work carried out at the UN by left-wing civic organizations such as the Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace. Their views are reflected in the UN reports.
Likewise, when these UN recommendations and left-wing reports appear before Japan’s local governments, they are accepted as established facts about the comfort women issue. We have gained recognition of the problems facing us today and want to find a way to solve them.
Fujii: Left-wing activists brought the comfort women problem before the UN, and by exploiting the reports and recommendations for improvement that the UN released, they spread the problem, not only across Japan, but also overseas. In the end, a resolution on the comfort women was passed by the US House of Representatives, and Koreans are using this as a pretext to construct comfort women statues in the United States. However, conservatives knew nothing about the UN. I was astonished by what was going on.
They are using the UN as a key source of input, as something like a positive feedback loop of malicious information. Though they may be our foes, their tactics are nonetheless brilliant. What’s more, there is a new tendency in the comfort women controversy, in perfect tandem with the editorial line of the Asahi Shimbun, to say things like, “We should treat this as an issue of women’s rights, even if there was no forced recruitment.”
A meeting of the first UN investigative delegation. Planning our next
move after having been refused access to the briefings.
Fujioka: Even as the Asahi Shimbun was scrutinizing its own reporting on the comfort women problem, its articles swapped out the phrase “forced recruitment” and instead said, “The heart of the comfort women problem is that the dignity of the women was trampled upon at the battlefront comfort stations.”
Fujii: Yoshida Seiji’s testimony seems to have already expended its usefulness to the left-wing. However, the lie of “forced recruitment” based on Yoshida’s account still exists in the Coomaraswamy Report and other records, so we can’t yet let our guard down.
Sekino: At any rate, the fact is that the anti-Japanese propaganda of the NGOs went unchallenged. I’ve described their philosophy as the “Four Don’ts”: Don’t verify, Don’t compare with other cases, Don’t examine the contrary evidence, and Don’t gain a precise understanding of treaties or laws.
Fujiki: The meetings of UN committees were Chinese-style trials in absentia. They were show trials in which judgements were decided in advance.
Sekino: I see this as diplomatic warfare. The conservative camp will need to make equally extensive preparations in order to counter it.
Fujiki: We need to create an opinion paper of our own on human rights violations perpetrated by the UN.
Fujii: It should say that the global standing and human rights of the Japanese people were damaged by the false news articles printed in the Asahi Shimbun.
Fujioka: Wouldn’t we just need to assemble clippings of some of the Asahi’s fabricated stories?
Yamamoto: Yes, and note that the human rights of the Japanese people are being violated.
Fujioka: The best defense is a good offense, right? I like where this is going.
Yamamoto: Perhaps we should also mention Korean hate speech against Japan. Or else we could ask for Korean prostitutes to be compensated since they are no longer able to ply their trade in Japan. Tell the UN that we are defending the human rights of the prostitutes! [laughs]
Fujiki: Tony told me that we should protest the comfort women statue in Glendale as being a violation of the human rights of Japanese people. It makes them feel sick.
Fujii: We’ll have to draw up a written statement of our views.
Hosoya: Even so, I get the sense that we might take one step forward and two steps back. Naturally, the participation of our investigative delegation at UN meetings was a major milestone, but the left-wing will probably redouble their efforts from now on. Therefore, the conservative camp will need to stay on course, insofar as any failure to carry on our work will amount to a setback.
Attend meetings, write a report, and register as an NGO
Fujii: Whatever their motives, the left-wing has “campaigned” at the UN for many years. On the other hand, though there were some voices on the conservative side who identified the UN problem and the problem of international opinion, until the dispatch of the investigative delegation, we never made an attempt to carry the fight abroad.
Yamamoto: I would like conservative Diet members to sit in on the meetings of the Human Rights Committee as well. In the name of “stopping hate speech,” left-wing Diet member Arita Yoshifu announced well in advance that he would attend the August meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination alongside the Japanese-Korean activist Sin Sug-ok.
As I stated earlier, it is highly probable that the submission of reports on hate speech will increase from now on. We are concerned about the impact that this may have on the comfort women problem. The groundwork is being laid for a new attack on Japan, so I believe that the presence of Diet members will be a major boon to the NGOs submitting the reports. I would certainly appreciate it if right-wing Diet members would also come.
Fujii: Before we went there ourselves, I had thought that the UN was an almost insurmountable barrier, but now I see that there are ways that we can make this work.
Yamamoto: What I would like our team to do next is the following three tasks. Firstly, attend more meetings of UN committees, including the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Secondly, issue a report in English. Thirdly, register with the UN as an NGO. If we do these three things, we can start, at least gradually, to make a difference.
Fujioka: Thank you very much.