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Editorial: Now Who’s Lying About the United Nations Special Report?



The United Nations Special Rapporteur David Kaye speaks to the Japanese press  in Tokyo on June 2, 2017



The United Nations Special Rapporteur continues his anti-Japanese criticism.


He finds faults based on one-sided arguments, such as the Japanese government using its influence to distort history textbooks, and the media atrophying. He also questioned the Revised Organized Crime Punishment Law, which includes the provision of a new “anti-terror law.”


So on whose story did he base his findings? We must not neglect such unfair criticism.


Many of you must be thinking, what is a special rapporteur, anyway? The special rapporteur is chosen from among law experts and so forth, and appointed by one of the major institutions within the United Nations, the United Nations Human Rights Council. He or she conducts investigations on various themes, categorized according to country and region, before presenting recommendations and such.


It is a significant position, with the holder recognized as an independent expert capable of conducting an investigation separate from any affiliations to country or organization.


However, amid the anti-Japanese criticism, there is evidence of the rapporteur having inadequate understanding of Japanese law and systems, factual misunderstanding, and erroneous points. This cannot be overlooked.


For example, in the report investigating freedom of expression in Japan, Special Rapporteur David Kaye, also a California university professor, made notes that the number of articles dealing with the comfort women issue has decreased in school textbooks. He stated that “the government should abstain from intervention.”


Surely, however, feeding lies to children would be a bigger problem. Remember that the comfort women issue testimony of Mr. Seiji Yoshida, which included allegations of “slave hunting,” has been clearly proven to be perjury. It is only fitting that the description, which formed that basis of the “forced removal” theory, be amended.


Kaye’s recommendation to eliminate Article 4 of the broadcasting law, supposedly because the provision leads to the atrophy of the Japanese media, is ridiculous at best. The article ensures political fairness in reporting. Removing that, which could lead to unfair reporting, could mean the media losing the trust of the public.


In its response to the report to the UN, the Japanese government pointed out: “Since the majority of the points raised are based on lies and rumors, opinions included show evidence of inadequate and inaccurate understanding of Japanese culture and the current situation in Japan.”


Speaking with respect to the privacy issues raised in conjunction with the new terror law, Special Rapporteur and university professor Joseph Cannatacithe said that “there is a concern that it may constrain privacy and freedom of expression.” He failed to understand that the purpose of the new law is to protect the lives of the Japanese people from organized crime, including terrorist attacks. This criticism sounds familiar.


If we remain silent in the wake of “lies” propagated under the banner of the United Nations, then the misunderstandings will only continue to spread. The Coomaraswamy Report of the former United Nations Human Rights Committee (forerunner of the Human Rights Council) labeled the comfort women as sex slaves; it has yet to be corrected.


We must overturn these claims one by one with objective, factual evidence.



(Click here for the original editorial in Japanese.) 


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