Skip to content

Reviewed Book : The Comfort Women Hoax: A Fake Memoir, North Korean Spies, and Hit Squads in the Academic Swamp
Reviewer : Robert Eldrige


Robert D. Eldridge, who wrote a book review of Comfort Women Hoax was born in New Jersey, USA in 1968. He earned his doctorate in Japanese Political and Diplomatic History from the Graduate School of Law, Kobe University, in 1999. He is a prominent scholar on the Okinawa issue; he wrote The Origin of the Okinawa Issue—Okinawa in the Postwar US-Japan Relationship 1945-1952 (published by Nagoya University Publishing Society) and won the special award of the Asian-Pacific Awards. Later, he worked as an assistant professor at Osaka University and became deputy director of the diplomatic policy department of the United States Marine Corps in Japan.

In February 2015, at the height of the Henoko struggle*, a man was arrested, leading the protest in front of Camp Schwab, was arrested on the charge of violation of the special criminal law. The legality of this arrest was disputed over whether he crossed the yellow line separating the base and the road. The man argued that he had not crossed the line and the Okinawan media reported that his arrest was illegal. However, the camera installed at the base recorded him crossing the line. Eldridge, unable to leave Okinawa filled with lies and deceptions as it is, sent the image caught by the camera to an anchor of a YouTube program the following March and the scene in question was shown to the public. Although the recorded image was non-confidential, the U.S. Marine Corps succumbed to the anti-United States power in Okinawa and dismissed Eldridge from his post, citing that his revealed inappropriately his confidential duties through a private route.

Eldridge, learning from this experience that lies and deceptions overrule the truth, presumably wrote this book review to warn people of the crisis. He says, “For one having intelligence, nothing is more sinful than to lack courage to do the right thing using intelligence.” He just wanted to give a strong warning that if scholars lack conscience and courage, their attempts to improve and advance the society and culture would only bring deterioration and decay. strongly warn that study for improving and progressing society and culture reversibly invites deterioration and decay of society because scholars lack conscience and courage. Moreover, he wanted conscientious scholars and journalists to endeavor harder for justice.

Body of Review :

The Comfort Women Hoax exposes the lies and myths of the comfort women issue and ends the myths surrounding it. This is done through meticulous, multilanguage, and multiarchival research and cross-disciplinary cooperation. Meanwhile, the book calls for the restoration of integrity and honesty in academia and an end to canceling and censorship. Cont'd...(JAPAN Forward)