Objection to the Chairman of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on Holding a Secret Meeting with Particular Japanese NGOs on August 16, 2018
September 11, 2018
Dear Professor Noureddine AMIR,
(cc Profs. Marc BOSSUYT and Gün KUT)
We are appalled that the CERD held a secret, backroom meeting with leftist Japanese NGOs during the 96th Session for Japan at the Palais Wilson in the early morning of August 16, 2018.
Officially, the CERD held two meetings with NGOs, “Informal Meeting with NGOs,” between 10:00-13:00 on August 14 and “Lunchtime Briefings by the NGOs,” between 13:45-14:45 on August 16. These two meetings between CERD Members and NGOs were officially scheduled and were publicized well in advance. On August 14, the “Informal Meeting with NGOs” was held, attended by all Japanese NGOs, leftist as well as conservative. At that meeting, six or seven leftist NGOs made speeches while two conservative NGOs including AACGCJ made speeches. However, no leftist NGO made any speech at the “Lunchtime Briefings by the NGOs” on August 16, whereas five conservative NGOs made speeches. We conservatives were very much surprised by the unbalanced number of speakers at the “Lunchtime Briefings by the NGOs”, unlike those at the “Informal Meeting with NGOs” on August 14. We very much wondered how this occurred.
We have come to the conclusion that an unscheduled secret meeting, between CERD Members and leftist NGOs, was held on August 16, entirely separate from the official “Lunchtime Briefings by the NGOs”. On August 17, the Ryukyu Shimpo, one of two of Okinawa’s major newspapers, reported that Ms. ITOKAZU Keiko (of Okinawa), a member of the Japanese House of Councilors, made a speech before the opening of CERD Session for Japan which started at 15:00 on August 16. Where did Diet member Ms. ITOKAZU make her speech on August 16? She was absent from the official meeting “Lunchtime Briefings by the NGOs” where we were in attendance. She must have made her speech at some other location with the CERD along with other Japanese leftist NGOs. From a reliable source, we have learned that a secret meeting was held between CERD Members and the leftist NGOs, presumably including Korean NGOs, at 9:00 a.m. on August 16. This was a backroom deal in which the CERD engaged upon request from the leftist NGOs. We see this is as fraudulent.
We are extremely dismayed that the CERD would resort to such obfuscation and lack of transparency. The CERD announced that it prepared two meetings with NGOs. All NGOs were requested by the CERD to gather at the two scheduled NGO meetings, and to engage in open discussion. That the CERD met privately with leftist NGOs indicates that the CERD rejects impartiality and presumably does not consider open debate of any value. We were not informed of this unscheduled meeting and we were entirely excluded. Moreover, we lost the opportunity to hold an open discussion with leftist NGOs at the “Lunchtime Briefings by the NGOs”.
Perhaps the leftist NGOs were afraid that what they were to claim would have been pointed out by us as false, had they attended the “Lunchtime Briefings by the NGOs”. It seems to us this is the real reason why they requested the CERD to convene a backroom meeting. Indeed, there is an overabundance of fallacies within each of their positions on a number of issues, including the Comfort Women, Okinawa, the Ainus, “hate speech” and so on. At the same time, CERD Members missed an opportunity to hear the facts at the “Lunchtime Briefings”. CERD’s behavior, holding a secret meeting with just one group of NGOs, entirely negated the purpose of the “Lunchtime Briefings by the NGOs”.
CERD Sessions should not entail the use of backroom or secret sessions. We request that you reflect on this issue and we ask that such behavior not be repeated in the future. We further request that the CERD explain how it will improve its practices in order to assure fairness and impartiality.
We look forward to your response.
Chairman, Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women (ATCW)
Chairman, Academics’ Alliance for Correcting Groundless Criticisms of Japan (AACGCJ)
Professor Emeritus, Tohoku University
Director & Secretary General, AACGCJ
Professor Emeritus, Osaka City University