Skip to content

Author:Jason Morgan(Associate Professor, Reitaku University)

Profile :

Jason Morgan is associate professor at Reitaku University in Kashiwa. The book under review in this essay, Making of the Rape of Nanking: A Big Lie from World War II, by M. Kanzako and Akira Kashima, was introduced to him by some members of Toronto Seiron.

Source:A Massacre in the Making: Separating Truth from Fiction about Nanking (Substack)

Translate:Tomoko Hifumi(Senior Researcher, iRICH)

Descriptiron

The totally unrealistic demagoguery that 300,000 persons were massacred in Nanjing has been disseminated and believed to be true. Mr. Morgan’s paper “A Massacre in the Making: Separating Truth from Fiction about Nanking -- Think through the evidence for yourself” has elaborately studied the background of the Nanjing Incident (Nanking Fiction), which has been told and believed through one-sided and biased information in English, introducing many documents in Japanese written by Japanese scholars. Among them, Primary Historical Sources Reveal the Truth about the Nanjing Incident, Unravelling the spell of American missionaries’ view of history by Ikeda Haruka (2020, Tenden-sha) is a decisive writing, revealing that the American missionaries who established the Safety Zone and the International Committee in Nanjing with the true purpose of supporting and protecting the Chinese Army were the original disseminators of the Nanjing Incident. Controversies over the “Nanjing Incident” have been finally settled. The Japanese people should know more about the truth about the Nanjing Incident revealed by Ikeda and the fact that the American scholar introduced it in English.

   On September 5, 2023, a Korea-Japan Joint Symposium was held in Seoul by the Japan-Korea Alliance for truth, fighting against lies related to the comfort women issue. In the Korea Press Center, Japan’s Rising Sun flag was hoisted and Kimigayo, the national anthem, was sung at the opening ceremony. It is said that such events have not been seen in the Korea Press Center recently.

   The program for the symposium was as follows:

*Welcome words; Kim Hak-song (Chairman, Great National Reconstruction Network for Free Unification)

*Congratulations; I-Yonghun (President, I Sungman Institute)
                   Sugihara Seishiro (Chairman, International Research Institute of Controversial Histories)
                   M. Ramseyer, Professor at Harvard University Law School

 *Proceeding; Chu Okusun (Representative, Alliance for Settlement of the Comfort Women Fraud)

    *Reports:

      Nishioka Tsutomu, Professor at Reitaku University
          “The Comfort Women issue started from Japan”

      Ryu Sok-Chun, former Yonse University Professor
          “The Comfort Women Issue: from the problem of history controversy to the problem of law”

      Yamamoto Yumiko, Representative of Nadeshiko Action
          “The Comfort Women Issue; mistreatments by the UN, ILO and UNESCO as “sex Slave”” 

      I Uyong, Research Staff of Rakuseidai Economic Research Institute
          “Korean Comfort Women: where did they come from?”

      Matsuki Kunitoshi, Senior Researcher of International Research Institute of Controversial Histories
          “Truth of the Comfort Women and Japanese School Text Book Illustrations Problems”

      Kim Jong-heon, President, Korean History Textbook Research Institute

          “Actual illustrations of the Comfort Women in school textbooks of primary, middle, and high schools  and how to cope with this problem”

    *Adoption of a Joint Statement against lies related to the Comfort Women Issue

   On September 6, the next day, the participants conducted a street rally near the comfort girl statue. They outnumbered the participants in the rally held at the same time by the Council for Justice (former Korean Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery of Japan).

We read out and adopted our joint statement at the conduct.
The joint statement by the Japan-Korea alliance for the truth, fighting against lies related to the comfort women issue

<<Press>>

Japan-Korea dialogue over the comfort women issue—a historical symposium held in Seoul [Japanese]

Thank you, Mr. President,

China has detained 10 Japanese businessmen on suspicion of espionage, but has not disclosed any details. This is hostage diplomacy and a clear violation of human rights.

Furthermore, China has obtained information from this Council in advance about NGOs that criticize China, and has threatened the families of those NGO members, which is a grave violation of human rights.

Last year’s the High Commissioner report on Uyghurs in China described serious abuses committed by China in Xinjiang, including massive arbitrary deprivations of liberty against Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, as well as credible allegations of torture, sexual and gender-based violence.

Mr. President, have millions of Uyghurs committed any crimes?

Furthermore, in the China-Pakistani Economic Corridor, which China is developing in parts of Pakistan, the inhabitants are forcibly removed from the region, tortured and killed especially Baloch people, have been victimized of genocide as well.

Mr. President, have Baloch people committed any crimes?

The Human Rights Council has a mandate to courageously defend these vulnerable minorities, women and children.

We urge this Council to issue the following recommendations to the Chinese government.

1. Immediately release the 10 Japanese nationals and stop taking hostage for political purposes.

2. Immediately release all people held in concentration camps in Xinjiang.

3. Immediately stop the genocide being carried out in Balochistan with the complicity of China, Pakistan, and protect the human rights and lives of the people in the region.

Thank you for your attention, Mr. President

<Site References>

52nd Regular Session of Human Rights Council

23 March 2023

Item:4 General Debate (Cont'd) - 39th meeting, 52nd Regular Session of Human Rights Council

1:55:48~International Career Support Association 国際キャリア支援協会

https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1o/k1osfrwgui?kalturaStartTime=6948

Written Statement:

Comfort women issue, longstanding contentious issue between Japan and the Republic of Korea.

by International Career Support Association and International Research Institute of Controversial Histories (iRICH)

The Government of Japan prepared and submitted its official 42-page detailed rebuttal to Annex 1 of the Report on "Violence against Women and Its Causes and Consequences," submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee by Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy on January 4, 1996, "Report based on the visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea and Japan on the issue of military sexual slavery in time of war. However, a Japanese diplomat assigned to the United Nations at the time retracted his written rebuttal, fearing that doing so might provoke a debate on the comfort women issue.

A major influence on the Kumaraswamy Report was Etsuro Totsuka, a lawyer who was then a member of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations' Special Committee on Overseas Investigations. He was the one who changed the term "comfort women," who were simply wartime prostitutes earning a living, to "sex slaves.

 By using the word "slave," which is the most tragic history for blacks and the most negative history for whites in human history, and a very sensitive word for both sides, he has brought attention to both sides in a short period of time.

Etsuro Totsuka, a lawyer with a Korean spouse, began lobbying the United Nations in February 1992 under the name of an NGO called "International Development for Education (IDE)" to position wartime prostitutes as victims and to make the international community aware of a fiction that is not based on fact.

 In May 1993, the Subcommittee notified the Government of Japan of the points to note based on the IDE's request for individual compensation for former comfort women.

  In July 1993, the United Nations Human Rights Commission's "Human Rights Commission Subcommittee on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities" adopted a resolution to appoint a special rapporteur on the issue of wartime slavery. Sri Lankan citizen Radika Coomaraswamy was appointed as Special Rapporteur.

https://www.nichibenren.or.jp/document/statement/year/1995/1995_15.html

The term "Wartime Prostitutes" was paraphrased as "Sex Slaves" by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations through its lobbying activities at the United Nations.

 Kosei Tsuchiya, then president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, wrote in his statement on November 16, 1995, that the Japan Federation of Bar Associations treated comfort women as "Sex Slaves or Sexual Slavery" at the United Nations and used the UN to lobby for compensation from the Japanese government to the comfort women.

Etsuro Totsuka was later dismissed from the Japan Federation of Bar Associations as a member of the Foreign Investigation Special Committee for being too political.

Etsuro Totsuka's common-law wife is Yamashita Yeong-ae (Choi Yeong-ae), born to a Japanese mother married to a man who was a former senior official of the North Korea-affiliated the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon).  Yamashita is a member of the South Korean Council for Measures Against the Korean Paratroopers (now Justice Memory Solidarity for the Resolution of the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery Issue).

 The spouse of Takashi Uemura, a reporter at the time who distorted the comfort women issue and wrote several articles for the Asahi Newspaper, is also the daughter of Yang Soon-im, then president of the Bereaved Families Association of Victims of the Pacific War, who was arrested by the South Korean authorities in December 2011 on charges of fraud.

 This then Asahi Shimbun reporter, Takashi Uemura, was found by the Japanese Supreme Court in its March 2021 ruling to have reported “in his interviews that women were taken to the battlefield and made to become comfort women by the Japanese military" while hearing that they had been tricked into becoming comfort women by brokers.

 This means that this Asahi Newspaper reporter, Takashi Uemura, wrote something in the newspaper that was not true. However, the influence of the newspaper was so strong that the false perception spread around the world, and even the UN Special Rapporteur came to believe it.

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations is a special interest organization that all lawyers are "forced" to join in order to practice law in Japan, and only a small group of lawyers with strong political views have organized an NGO, which is not the consensus of the lawyers who belong to the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. In the first place, it is against the mission of lawyers to act on political ideas, and the lawyers belonging to the NGO are only using the name of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations to act as if they are the consensus of all lawyers in Japan and are working at the United Nations.

In the first place, the issue of comfort women was one in which private contractors outsourced by the Japanese military recruited prostitutes in exchange for a huge advanced payment, and families and women suffering from poverty on the Korean Peninsula and elsewhere under Japanese rule at the time applied for the job.

It is undeniable that some of these women decided to become comfort women after consulting with their parents, others were sold by their parents, and still others were naively persuaded by private brokers. However, it is clear from various documents of the time that there was no such thing as systematic forced enrollment by the Japanese government or the Japanese military in system.

On the other hand, when we pointed out the inconsistency of their claims, the organizations and groups that claimed that the Japanese military had forced them into sexual slavery propagated various invented stories as facts, claiming that the Japanese military had burned the evidence to destroy it.

 In addition, the texts they use as evidence include the official documents of the Japanese government regarding recruitment at the time, but they simply hide the parts that are inconvenient for their claims and distort the parts that are convenient to them, claiming them as evidence.

This shows that while they say that the Japanese military incinerated the evidence to destroy the evidence, they themselves have shown that the evidence exists. They do not care about these contradictions.

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations NGO has a close relationship with the Korean Council for the Korean Volunteer Corps Issue (currently the Justice and Memory Solidarity to Solve the Issue of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery).

However, this "volunteer corps" is a "labor service organization" that is legal even in light of international law.

The Women's Volunteer Corps was formed in Japan in August 1944, just before the end of the war, when the Women's Volunteer Work Ordinance was issued. In addition, it is clear from the contents of the law that in the Korean peninsula, recruitment was done through official mediation and there was absolutely no coercion.

In short, South Korea did not even know the difference between "comfort women" and the "volunteer corps," and did not even understand the internal use of the work, and created an organization called the "Korea Council for Measures against the Issue of the Volunteer Corps."

On May 25, 2020, Lee Yong Soo, a self-proclaimed former comfort woman who was also a billboard for the Korean Council for measure of Volunteer Corps Issue held a press conference, expressing her belief that she had been "used and deceived" by this organization and "I will never forgive the Korean Council for measure of Volunteer Corps Issue for using comfort women.”

At this press conference, Lee Yong Soo said about Yoon Mi-hyang, then president of this organization and now a member of the South Korean National Assembly, "She need to be charged with crimes she has committed and punished," "she had fulfilled her personal interests by cheating us for 30 years," "She had used comfort women. She betrayed me, betrayed the people, betrayed and deceived the whole world," she said.

She also expressed her anger at the way the campaign has been conducted that claims that former comfort women were "sex slaves" and the damage was caused by the former Japanese military. She angrily said, "Why am I a sex slave? It is an outrageous story."

 In contrast, Yoon Mi-hyang that Lee Yong Soo, whom she has used as a poster woman for 30 years to raise donations, was not actually a comfort woman.

Yoon Mi-hyang has been accused of using self-proclaimed former comfort women to collect a donation fund and building five mansions with their donations, and is currently on trial with South Korean prosecutors seeking a five-year prison sentence.

 She, a former leader of the Korean Council for Measure of Volunteer Corps Issue, had gotten a taste of the support money raised for the comfort women, distorted the women's statements and created a story to make them sound miserable. The content of the story was unimaginably tragic, and the mass media picked up on it.

Thus, the comfort women issue was created by some Japanese lawyers and newspaper reporters with Korean spouses, and subsequently continued to be fabricated by several interest groups in Korea and Japan, and no evidence of coercion by the state or the military has been found even from a full-scale investigation conducted by the Japanese government.

However, Yohei Kono, then Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Japanese government, issued a statement at the behest of the South Korean government. This was the first statement that referred to the comfort women issue, known as the Kono Statement.

There is a national culture of "honne tatemae (one`s true feeling and one`s official stand)" that prevails in Japan and among Japanese people. The Japanese do not like conflict. Therefore, when things are going downhill, they tend to try to settle the situation or calm the situation by apologizing, even if they are not in the wrong and do not think they are in the wrong.

In addition, there is a proverb that says, ``The more the rice grows, the more it bows its head.''

This is one of the behaviors that are regarded as good deeds in Japan, as they say, "The higher your status, the more humble you should be."  It is no exaggeration to say that the naive diplomacy of the Japanese government at the time, which used methods that were only applicable domestically, created the current comfort women issue.

While successive Japanese government cabinets have said that they will follow the Kono Statement, the Japanese government has subsequently passed resolutions at cabinet meetings stating that "there is no forced recruitment by the military or officials in the comfort women issue," and "the name 'military comfort women' is incorrect.”  The cabinet has passed several resolutions stating that "comfort women are not members of the military.” These contradictions of the Japanese government have been repeatedly pointed out at the UN Human Rights Council, other treaty body committee meetings, and in the international community, but the Japanese government has made no attempt to correct these contradictions, which has led to distrust of the Japanese government. Furthermore, it has seriously damaged the credibility of the Japanese people in the international community, and this contradiction of the Japanese government has developed into a violation of the human rights of the Japanese people.

Groups and NGOs who are engaging in lobbying activities for comfort women issues and forced laborers issue are almost the same. Japan and South Korea made every effort for 14years since 1951 to normalize the relationship between the two nations and concluded the following: “Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea” and “Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation.” The Japanese government needs to explain that treaty and agreement further to the international community in order to expose the fraudulent acts of the groups and NGOs.  Further, Japan should demand South Korea to comply based on the law and the order regarding “Failure of the Republic of Korea to comply with obligations regarding arbitration under the Agreement.”

Based on the above agreement with the Republic of Korea which was concluded in 1965, the Japanese government spent 800 million dollars (more than twice the national budget of South Korea at that time) for South Korea and provided equipment and property, free of charge, to South Korea, which were left in the country and was worth more than 5 billion dollars.

However, the South Korean government under President Park Chung-hee used the money for the country’s infrastructure development instead of paying it to its people for compensation. The fact that Japanese support was not used for unpaid compensation of people has developed to the problem of comfort women and forced laborers between the two nations. 

We, International Career Support Association, would like to ask the United Nations Human Rights Council to demand the Japanese government to do the following:

1. To vacate the Kono statement in order to solve the contradiction of the Japanese government regarding the comfort women issue.

2. To submit the rebuttal paper regarding the comfort women issue, which the Japanese government prepared but did not submit in 1996, to the UNHRC and other treaty committees.

3. To make every effort to solve the misunderstanding of the comfort women issue in order to protect human rights for the Japanese people domestically and internationally.

4. To appeal to the international community the violation of the South Korean government regarding the agreement concluded in 1965 as well as the agreement of 2015 regarding the comfort women issue. South Korea has been repeatedly violating international law because the country is governed by people’s feeling not by the law. 

We also request the UNHRC to send Japan another special rapporteur to reinvestigate the comfort women issue based on fact.  Both the Coomaraswamy Report and McDougall Report were written based on the fabrication of activists, lawyers, journalists, novelists, etc., who have their own agenda to fabricate the comfort women issue. We hope that conducting an investigation based on facts, the lies of the comfort women issues will be revealed and the truth will come out.

There is a comfort woman statue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, which is a clear violation of the Vienna Convention. Further, there are more than 100 statues all over the country, and they have been building statues in the US and other countries. Some Korean elementary school girls answer, “I want to be a comfort woman,” in response to a question, “What do you want to be in the future?” Such an indoctrination is even a human rights violation against children.

Based on the reports written by Kim Byung heon, who is a researcher of history textbooks of South Korea, and Professor John Mark Ramseyer of Harvard University Law School in the US, it is clear that the comfort women issue is the maneuver by North Korea to divide Japan and South Korea.

We think that the UNHRC has a duty to investigate this matter and not to be involved in the violation of human rights against Japanese people anymore.

iRICH speeched through video about Mobilized Workers issue at Mar 17 2023 on 52nd UN Human Rights Coucil. Speech made by iRICH cooperated with Japanese Society for History Textbook.

The Issue of the Mobilized Workers

Thank you, chair person.

The Republic of Korea’s Supreme Court ordered Japanese companies to individually compensate Korean victims, based on its ruling that “Japanese companies forcibly mobilized Koreans and made them slave-like labors during World War II.”

However, at that time, the so-called Korean victims were citizens of Japan and it was legal to mobilize them, and so they were not “slave labors”.

Moreover, the 1965 Agreement between Japan and the ROK concluded issues as “finally and completely resolved” including individual claims.

Today, there is neither legal nor moral responsibility for compensation on the part of the Japanese companies.

In response, ROK unilaterally abandoned an agreement, seized Japanese companies’ assets and is trying to cash them so that the money can be used as “compensation”.

These not only violate international law but also constitute a threat to Japanese national security.

We strongly request that this council warn the ROK not to deprive Japanese companies of their assets in ROK based on an unreasonable court ruling.

Thank you.

<<Sites>>
52nd regular session of the Human Rights Council (27 February 2023 – 18 April 2023)
17 Mar 2023
Item:3 General Debate (Cont’d) – 32nd meeting, 52nd Regular Session of Human Rights Council
1:44:50 Japan Society for History Textbook
https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1q/k1qqhwj7s9?kalturaStartTime=6290

International Research Institute of Controversial Histories sended off 3 members to UN, Geneva for attending 136 Sessions of  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR136).

CCPR136 NGO briefing Oct 13 11am-

Yoshiaki Yano's Speech:

A1; According to the principle of the democracy, the opinions and the will of the majority should be respected and reflected in the policy. Of course, the rights of the minorities should be respected, even the minorities should obey the rules and the order of the democratic society. We should not allow the illegal violence for the reason that the riots are belonging to the minorities.

In Seattle, the United States, the violence caused by the BLM members in 2020. The riots of the BLM members assaulted the shops owned by the inhabitants belonging to the majority. Even the African American people’s shops were assaulted.

We should respect the human rights of the people in the world including the minorities in the PRC and Myanmar. In those countries, the clear violations of the human rights are conducted under the dictatorship or the authoritarian government. However, we should not allow the illegal violence of the minorities in the democratic society. We should respect the human rights of all people in all countries.

In some cases, the dominant power belongs to the minorities who would not hesitate use the illegal violence under the name of the protection of the minorities. We should not allow such illegal violence conducted by any groups. The protection of the minority’s right should be realized in the legal and peaceful ways.

A2: I’d like to make some additional comments on the hate crimes.
The hate crimes against minorities are too severely restricted in Japan, the majority of the ordinary Japanese people in some cases cannot declare their legal requirements and the historical facts for the protection of their rights and honor.
For examples, concerning the so-called comfort women issue, there are not any historical facts verifying the coercion of the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII. Currently some Japanese students living in foreign countries, are sometimes blamed by such a fault history. The legitimate opposing opinions should be allowed in every country and every society including the issues concerning the so-called comfort women issue.

Shunichi Fujiki's Speech:

We appreciated tireless works of committee members and thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak today.

Japan has a unique culture and customs in its over 2600-year history that are difficult to be understood outside of Japan. One is "to resolve disputes through discussion before conflicts occur," and even if one is not at fault, apologies are often made in order to keep the situation calm. In Japan, there is a saying that encourages this: "The boughs that bear most hang lowest." This means, "the more noble, the more humble.” The Japanese government has failed many times in the past by applying this Japanese approach in diplomacy.

One of the historical issues still smoldering between Japan and Republic of Korea (ROK) is the comfort women issue. The Japanese government conducted a full-scale investigation, but didn’t find any evidence to show forcible mobilization either by the Japanese government or military. Furthermore, in 1944, at the end of World War II, U.S. military interrogation reports of comfort women from the Korean Peninsula, stated that those women were "well-paid prostitutes," and "They enjoyed shopping and activities freely."
After Korea ended using Chinese characters in 1970, many of them no longer can read historical publications. Further, the Korean Government has been conducting anti-Japanese education, and in 1995, they even blew up a magnificent building built during the Japanese annexation period. To this day, the government blows up its own negative history to erase it, and if it cannot blow it up, they revise history in their text books.
In 1993, in order to end this fabrication based on ROK’s historical revisionism, a Japanese cabinet secretary issued a statement called the "Kono Statement" as the ROK government demanded. In exchange, the ROK government promised that they would not demand any further compensation. However, their demands still continue. This has caused the relationship to remain cold.
Similarly, ROK’s revisionism has also led Korean people to demand compensation from Japanese companies for wartime workers whom they claim were "forced to work as slaves." The ROK government and private organizations have misused the United Nations to keep pressure on the Japanese government.
As a result, the reputation of the Japanese people has been severely damaged and humiliated in various countries. We hope that the Japanese government will quickly withdraw this Kono Statement, disclose the facts to the world, and work to restore the dignity of the Japanese people.
In 1965, Japan and ROK signed the "Basic Treaty between Japan and Korea," to restore diplomatic relations. In this treaty, Japan provided Korea an aid package to "completely and finally settled" the dispute, with neither side making any claim for what happened before that time.
We would like CCPR to recommend the following three points to the Japanese government:
1. Withdraw the Kono Statement.
2. The Japanese government should strongly urge the Korean government to implement the Basic Treaty between Japan and Korea.

Yumiko Yamamoto's Speech:

I would like to speak two issues.

The first one, in relation to article 12, is “Missing Japanese Probably Related to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea”
As you might know, the Japanese government has been officially identified 17 Japanese citizens as “abductees by DPRK.”
But these cases are just only “the tip of the huge iceberg”.
This is an NGO report submitted by “the Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea”
There is a list of Japanese Abductees and Missing Persons.
You find 540 (five hundred and forty) names.
Moreover, the National Police Agency has its own list of approximately 900 (nine hundred) missing persons possibly abducted by DPRK.
We assume there could be more cases because of absence of family members.
Why have such terrible human rights violations been left unsolved for decades?
Families have been waiting for them to come home.
However, as families get older, their time is very limited.
The Japanese government must rescue all the victims immediately.
And we sincerely request CCPR to discuss this gravest human rights violation during the dialogue with the Japanese government.

Secondly, I would like to speak “comfort women issue.”
The Articles 7 and 8 are not pertinent to the Comfort Women.
We request that the committee must dismiss the issue in accordance with Article 15.

Claims regarding the Comfort Women have critical flaws in the logic.
The reasons are;
(1) There has been no documentary evidence to corroborate abduction of the women;

(2) The statements made by the Comfort Women that they put some earnings in postal savings, mailed home some money, enjoyed watching movies in town, decorated themselves with jewels etc. do not make sense if they were sexual slaves;

(3) No third parties have yet presented sufficient and competent evidential matters as to the assertions of the self-proclaimed comfort women;

(4) Because the licensed prostitution was in place in Japan before and during the war, and until early 1950s, the licensed prostitution has nothing to do with war crimes.

Speaking of the history, during Japan's Annexation, the Korean peninsula saw remnants of governance flaw of the former empire.
Impoverished members of society were exploited by human trafficking.
Human trafficking was punishable during the Annexation years.
And victims of human trafficking were irrelevant to the Comfort Women who signed the employment agreements with registered business operators.
A firm perception of history must factor in the background of the times.
There is no objective rationality to extend the act of misconduct, if at all, of those times to the present.

Thank you very much.

National Commissions for UNESCO

Permanent Delegations to UNESCO

To Whom It May Concern:

We, the International Research Institute of Controversial Histories (iRICH), are a Non-Governmental Organization with the principal aim of recognizing true history by tackling historical controversies of international significance based on fair historical research.

On January 28, 2022, the Japanese Government informed the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that Japan recommends its “Sado Gold Mine” to be inscribed as World Cultural Heritage. “Sado Gold Mine” is a historical site located in Sadogashima Island in the northern part of Japan and is composed of several gold mines. Sado Gold Mine has a long history and during Japan’s Edo period (from1603 to 1868), the entire process of gold mining and refinery was carried out by traditional manual manufacturing. In the 17th century, the Mine produced over 400 kilograms of gold per year and its production was at a top level in the world. Today, this historical site has preserved the memory of the superb technical level achieved at the time. As such, the Japanese Government recommended this site as worthy of the status of a World Heritage Site.

However, the South Korean Government claimed that Sado Gold Mine was the very place where Koreans were forced to engage in labor during World War II and that therefore it is strongly opposed to Japan’s recommendation of the site, demanding that Japan withdraw the recommendation.

Whether Sado Gold Mine would be inscribed as World Heritage site or not is to be decided finally in June or July 2023 by the World Heritage Committee after the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) fully examines the recommendation for a year. During this period, we anticipate the South Korean Government’s feverish lobbying to prevent Sado Gold Mine from being inscribed.

However, the South Korean Government’s assertion against the prospective inscription is totally untrue. Here, we will point out how absurd and fact-twisting the Korean assertion is.

The focus of Japan’s recommendation is the Edo period.

Japan’s recommendation deals strictly with the Edo period. It highly evaluates the gold production system of manual manufacturing established during the Edo period, which has been rarely seen in the world. This has nothing to do with Korea and Korea is not a party involved in the issue. Therefore, South Korea is not in the position to oppose the inscription in question.

Moreover, the Korean assertion that “there was forced labor in the gold mines, which disqualifies the site for World Heritage Site” is wrong in the first place. If the Korean assertion were right, Athene’s “Parthenon” or Rome’s Colosseum would surely be disqualified because both of them were built by slaves.

There was no forced abduction.

It is true that there were Korean workers in Sado Gold Mine during World War II. However, those Korean workers were not forcibly brought there as the South Korean Government claims. Most of the Korean workers in Sado Gold Mine went to work there of their own volition, looking for high wages. At that time, in order to come to mainland Japan from the Korean Peninsula, various permits were needed. Those who failed to obtain the necessary permits often entered mainland Japan illegally, seeking work for high wages. From 1939 to 1942, 19, 200 illegal immigrants were caught and then were forcibly sent back to the Korean Peninsula. If there had been a need to forcibly bring Korean workers, those illegal immigrants caught upon entry would have never been sent back to Korea.

“Mobilization” of Koreans, who were Japanese nationals at the time, was legal.

There were some Korean workers brought from the Korean Peninsula to mainland Japan through “mobilization.” At that time, Japan and Korea were one country and Koreans were Japanese citizens. Therefore, it was legal to mobilize Koreans who were Japanese nationals. The ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29) [Japan ratified the Convention before the War] Article 2-2-c) states: “The term forced or compulsory labour shall not include any work or service exacted in case of emergency, that is to say, in the event of war....” Thus, the mobilization of Korean people was authorized by the international law. In April 2021, the Japanese Government decided at a cabinet meeting that the wartime mobilization of Korean workers does not constitute forced labor as stated in the Forced Labour Convention. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has confirmed it.

There was no slave labor.

There was no wage system based on ethnic differences applied at Sado Gold Mine. As for payment and treatment, there was no difference between Japanese and Korean workers. A reliable primary source “the Japan Mining Industry’s “Survey Report on Korean Laborers”, December 1940” reveals that with wages being paid according to results, many Korean workers earned more money than the Japanese workers did. South Korea’s assertion that Korean workers were abducted and engaged in forced labor is merely a lie South Korea made up to denigrate Japan.

As pointed out above, South Korea’s assertion distorts historical facts and is totally groundless. South Korea’s aim is to degrade Japan’s past by rewriting history and to hold a diplomatic superiority over Japan. To accomplish this goal, South Korea is deploying “intelligence warfare,” using the United Nations. If various United Nations organizations involved in the World Heritage Inscription were to make a wrong judgment regarding the case of Sado Gold mine, confused by the unilateral lobbying activities conducted by South Korea, not only would be Japan’s national honor deeply harmed, but also the United Nations’ credibility would be enormously damaged.

Hereby, we, as Japanese nationals, ardently ask those who are involved in the case of inscription of the World Heritage Sites to duly evaluate the historical value of Sado Gold Mine in a just and impartial manner and inscribe Sado Gold Mine as World Cultural Heritage, and not be influenced by the South Korea’s political propaganda.

President
Sugihara Seishiro

April 1, 2022

Our Statement

The International Research Institute for Controversial Histories (iRICH), which was established on November 1, 2018, became a general incorporated association with the official appellation of “General Incorporated Association International Research Institute for Controversial Histories,” as of April 1, 2022. We would like to make a statement on this occasion.

The aim of our institute was stipulated as “this incorporated association aims to protect the honor and dignity of Japan and the Japanese people through international controversies over historical issues” in Article 3 of our Agreement. The new version of Article 3 of our “Statute” states: “This incorporated association aims mainly to conduct historical research, publish results and disseminate the correct understanding of Japan both domestically and internationally.” Words have changed, but our mission to challenge international controversies, including our activities related to the United Nations, which unfortunately have been insufficient so far, is the same as ever.

As of the historical studies, we must emphasize that presently, historical studies in the world tend to deviate from the scientific methodology and have become something very different.

To argue this point further, we must ask what science is. Science refers to arguments based on objective facts. Natural science, social science and human science are all sciences because they are arguments based on facts.

Study of history belongs to human science and deals with the past, which can be defined as interpretation of what happened in the past. By interpreting it, based on facts, past events can be recognized and understood.

However, in many recent cases emerging around the world, historical studies adhere to low standards or do not meet scientific criteria at all.

A typical example of this trend is the comfort women issue. We have been dealing directly with this issue. The essence of the comfort women issue is that during World War II, there were “military comfort women” used by the Japanese Army who were allegedly abducted by Japanese officials . The issue started with the book My War Crime—Forced Abduction of Koreans (published by San-Ichi Shobo Publishing Inc in 1983.) written by a Japanese man named Yoshida Seiji. In the book, Yoshida created a false story vividly depicting a hunt for comfort women in the Korean island of Jeju. Thus, the book made comfort women a big political issue. With mismanagement on the part of the Japanese Government in dealing with the issue from the very start, the problem led to the present situation of comfort women statues being built all over the world. There were neither “military comfort women” nor “forced abduction.” Those were professional comfort women working without coercion, which has been perfectly proven by both Korean and Japanese scholars. The Japanese leading paper, which had reported extensively on Yoshida Seiji’s fictitious story, admitted that its reporting about the comfort women issue was false and cancelled its related articles in 2014.

Under such scholarly circumstances, Professor Ramseyer of Harvard University posted a scholarly essay, "Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War," on the International Review of Law and Economics’ website, in which he clearly stated that comfort women were engaged in sexual services under contract, definitively proving that there was no “forced abduction.” The summary of this essay appeared in the magazine “Japan Forward” in January 2021. Upon this, many critics from South Korea, the United States, Europe and Japan, calling themselves scholars, issued a statement asking Professor Ramseyer to withdraw his essay. The number of scholars who joined in the statement demanding the removal of Professor Ramseyer’s essay amounted to 3,665 as of May 11, 2021.

This is an act digressing far from the standards of the scientific study and can no longer be called a study. Those self-proclaimed scholars simply asked for withdrawal of the essay, and did not refer to any facts, neither did they try to refute his arguments. This was not a study concerned with facts. It was not a study by any standards.

Historical studies, as science, do not aim to insult or incite hatred toward a specific country or people. The request to withdraw the essay aims to hurl insults and provoke hatred as undercurrent and diverts from the scientific scholarly objectives.

Interpretation matters in the study of history. When it comes to interpreting cases related to a certain country or people, it is necessary to compare them with cases of other countries or people, to demonstrate a fair and conscientious approach to the study.

We, the researchers of the International Research Institute for Controversial Histories, on this occasion of our becoming a general incorporated association, will look far and wide across the world, make further efforts to continue our study as science, based on facts, and contribute to the promotion of world peace and development of the world for the international citizens.

We extend our heart-felt gratitude to those who have supported us and sincerely hope that all of you will continue to encourage us as you did before.

UNHRC was held from Feb 28, 2022 to Apl 1 in Geneva. International Research Institute of Controversial Histories (iRICH) submitted statements in cooperation with The Japan Society for History Textbook Reform and International Career Support Association which are qualified as an international NGO.

Since NGOs were unable to participate in the event due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NGO remarks were sent as a video and shown in the assembly hall.

This is a joint opinion of the United Nations Special Consultative Status NGOs "The Japan Society for History Textbook Reform" and "International Career Support Association".

NGO Speeches

1) March 29, 2022 Item 9
UN WEB TV  https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1h/k1hrvopzx3?kalturaStartTime=921
Speaker Yoshiaki Yano

Speech:
” Russian Federation and Ukraine ~ Protection of Noncombatants ”
We are deeply concerned about the present situation in which the Russian Federation and Ukraine—that have historically belonged to one nation —are exchanging fire.
No one can deny the fact, from the view of the international law, it is Russia that has been invading Ukraine.
Day after day, offensive and/or defensive powers have been injuring and killing innocent civilians and forcing a big population to leave their home for safety.
What we have been witnessing there is nothing but inexcusable, unmistakable infringements of human rights, including the right to life.
We strongly request Russia to abide by international rules.
And we also request both Russia and Ukraine to heed to protection of noncombatants to the utmost extent possible.

2) March 22 2022年 Item 4 
UN WEB TV https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1g/k1ggzvygkx?kalturaStartTime=3770
Speaker Yumiko Yamamoto

Speech: 
”Does animosity promote peace?”
In the USA, a little girl says, “Mom, why do my classmates hate me?” Japanese students are bullied at school.
In Germany, a student is insulted because his grandparents are Japanese.
In the Republic of Korea, a boy says to his Japanese mother, “Don’t come to my school. "
What is going on in the world?
Korean groups have been building “peace statues” both at home and abroad.
There are already more than140 of them and some are in the USA, Canada, Germany, and in Australia.
What does the statue stand for?
It is meant to symbolize hundreds of thousands of Korean women who were sexually enslaved as comfort women by the Japanese military during wartime.
Were they sexual slaves?
No, they were not. In fact, they were paid prostitutes who signed contracts with brothel owners.
Why do they keep building the statues?
Because they cannot accept what wrongs their ancestors had done for their daughters.
It is a state sponsored hate campaign.
Now, another one is going to be built in Philadelphia.
We sincerely ask this Council member states not to build one in your city.
We hope everyone in future generations to live NOT with animosity BUT with pride and wisdom.

Statements written and translated by iRICH.

1) Reject Unjustified Chinese Detention

2) Violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 2 and 9, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, by China

3) We request overturning the unjust decision adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

4) Secure Human Rights of Uighur Students Studying in Japan

September 2021

                   Director YAMAMOTO Yumiko

Our International Research Institute of Controversial Histories was established with a view eliminating history as written by the victors, of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo Trials) and General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, which has long been held after the War, and to disseminate, both domestically and internationally, a recognition of history based on objective, historical facts and from the Japanese perspective.

To achieve these ends as a think-tank, we engage in research and examine the issues every day. Based on our findings, we enthusiastically engage the historical controversies both in Japan and abroad.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and various committees based on United Nations human rights treaties, conventions and protocols are major stages for international historical controversies. However, reports submitted to or issued from these bodies, committees and NGOs are obviously biased and based on groundless assertions which unduly denigrate Japan or are extremely harmful to the people of Japan. In response to these reports, iRICH disseminates information at the international level by issuing statements in a clear manner, participating in meetings held at the United Nations and elsewhere, and by holding symposia. On every occasion, we urge that properly prepared reports based on objective facts are issued instead of biased reports based merely on assertions. 

In Japan, we have vigorously presented historical controversies: on February 2019, we held the “People’s meeting celebrating the 100th anniversary of Japan’s proposal of elimination of racial discrimination” at Kensei Kinenkan Hall in Tokyo and on April 2021, we held a symposium, “International historical controversy over Professor Ramseyer’s essay,” at Seiryo Kaikan Hall in Tokyo.

Our range of activities is not limited to historical controversies. To protect the honor and dignity of Japan and the Japanese people and to preserve Japanese traditions, concerning any topic, we will actively speak out to the rest of the world . We also endeavor to cooperate with other groups, both domestically and globally to spread our message.