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Hope all is well with you. Just came across this Politico article, and thought I'd pass it on, on the off chance you haven't seen it yet:
I'm very interested in your findings with the comfort-women story, given how substantially it goes against the 'accepted' narrative. As a former psyoper, I've long been interested in the history of Soviet propaganda, and more broadly how those techniques infiltrated the American left at a cultural level, along with how it has been used by other Kremlin-trained agents and their descendants. And it feels like I'm catching a pretty strong whiff of that here, with the comfort-women issue, which is absolutely fascinating.
It's pretty startling when you can trace these techniques back to the Bolsheviks, and start seeing the forest through the trees - it's a whole cultural norm for debate and seizing power that operates on far more levels than what comes out of the right, or western democracies in general in the modern era. But the possibility that the comfort-women issue may be a wholly fabricated element of Beijing's psyop would deeply interesting, as it would also fit an element of that Kremlin-tradition pattern very well. I've been watching Russia's work intently as regards Ukraine for the last year or so, and it's simply gotten even better, but the playbook is remarkably similar to what they've been doing since even before 1917, with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion being a prime example. These techniques and habits of thought-process in how targets are isolated and discredited are in evidence anywhere you find a history of Soviet support: everywhere from Saul Alinsky, to Arab terrorists of the 20th century, to Beijing. Also, you may find a google search of the Tanaka Memorial to be interesting - it seems to fit part of this same pattern, and may, at least tangentially, relate to your research.
I remain a bit confused as to where the line is on what the Japanese actually did or did not do regarding brothels and comfort women, but have enjoyed your posts on the issue. On that note, that's actually a key signature of Kremlin-tradition psyop: they're not out to necessarily 'win' an argument in most cases. When they put out psyop, in addition to almost always being strategically integrated, it's generally kind of an indirect, shiatsu type of approach, where the strategic intent is to weaken their opponent by diminishing its support, and isolating it. They do this primarily by attacking the credibility upon which its authority rests, especially its moral authority. When they target individuals, they put out psyop that makes the person radioactive for the social status of those in his circles - they willingly distance themselves from the target for fear of being associated with a sexual degenerate, or foreign agent, or fifth column infiltrator, or whatever.
When they target a foreign state for this treatment, they often create these same kinds of situations in the minds of key influencers (playwrights, journalists, academics, celebrities, diplomats, etc), and in broad audiences, both internal to the target country and in other countries. They specifically seek to create impressions against the target state of moral degeneracy, being part of an unjust grand plot, having a pattern and history of moral crimes, etc. And the key thing is, to do this, they don't need to 'win' any given argument or issue - as long as they can isolate their target from support, they win. And a key goal in accomplishing that is simply to create confusion as to what the 'real truth' actually is, at least in the beginning. Just get those pieces of potential resistance off the chessboard, by causing them to question what they 'know', and simply just back away from the conflict with a type of "Well, I just don't know what to think anymore" type of response. The brass ring is to create an impression so widely held, that for someone to even question the narrative or 'evidence' causes them to be accused of supporting that degeneracy/immorality, etc - dissenters and questioners essentially submit themselves to that same social isolation. And often the economic isolation that comes with it.
Practitioners of this Kremlin-tradition of psyop will often seek to gin up arguments or situations entirely to create more confusion on a specific issue, and advance the general impression that their target is, at a minimum, simply not respectable, and at best, to create a sense of profound injustice and threat so that these audiences actively begin to resist and work against their target. It's what they've been doing against Ukraine ("fascists" "rapists" and "racists"), and it's the same thing they've been doing in the US for decades, on things as wide ranging as race relations and seeking to fundamentally transform Americans' impressions of the Founding Fathers, and the entire moral underpinning of our Constitution. And their time horizon for this stuff is often generations - you can trace it in the US from Alinsky to the Weather Underground, to members of the Weather Underground actively getting PhDs in Education to directly alter American culture through the school system (Lenin: "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted").
So what China is doing broadly speaking against Japan with Chinese audiences absolutely fits this pattern - but if the comfort-women issue has been being used in foreign audiences for decades as part of a strategically integrated psyop campaign to isolate Japan, to the point of getting the story planted in foreign textbooks, that would be pretty damn interesting indeed.
All the best,