UNICEF Japan, the children’s charity noted for considering the rights of imaginary children as more important than those of real ones, and for funding the lavish lifestyle of Agnes Chan, has come under sustained attack for its heavy handed attempt to muzzle a critic, using donations supposedly intended to feed starving children to fund a campaign of legal action against him.
A critic of UNICEF who became concerned about their latest donation drive, the “Tap Nagoya Project,” composed his objections into a letter which he then sent to participating businesses, also putting the letter online for all to read.
UNICEF’s reaction was to sue him in an attempt to silence the site.
A summary of the letter which prompted this attack:
UNICEF Japan recently held a fund-raising event called the “Tap Nagoya Project,” and there are some important questions I feel must be brought to your attention.
1. Are you aware that the organisation known as UNICEF Japan has no connection to the UN agency of the same name and merely appropriated the name? [details]
2. Are you aware that a quarter of all the donations received by this organisation are in effect “kickbacks,” having been used to build and furnish the organisation’s luxurious HQ in Tokyo’s Minato district [the most expensive area in Tokyo], to entertain VIPs in lavish parties, and to support Christian political lobbying [see here] with no connection to helping children?
3. Are you aware that those vast kickbacks are being used to pay salaries nearing 2 million dollars to staff who have been awarded their positions as a reward for their reporting in such news organisations as Asahi, Mainichi, Fuji TV, etc? [a well-known practice referred to as "amakudari"]
And did you know that the mass media refuses to report on the organisation’s shady background because of this relationship?
4. Did you realise UNICEF Japan spends much of its funds on aggressive direct mailing campaigns attempting to solicit more donations, and that some have objected to it spending their donations in this way?
5. Are you aware UNICEF Japan receives an annual income of some 18,000,000,000 yen (210 million dollars)?
Of course, they pay no taxes and there are no reports on just how many “children” they actually save. Much of this clearly disappears into employees’ lavish expense accounts and their numerous political contributions.
In spite of this, we “consumers” and “customers” are being involved with their fund-raising by way of the “Tap Nagoya” event at establishments such as yours – just why would this be?
6. The abuses of UNICEF Japan are well known on the Internet, away from the pressure of the mass media companies. Yet your company participates in their activities – do you approve of their swindling and misappropriation of funds in the name of saving the children?
7. Do you intend to keep collaborating with this fraudulent “donation business”?
This was physically mailed to a number of Nagoya businesses involved in the “Tap Nagoya Project.”
At least one business, the Nagoya branch of the Hilton Hotel, apparently took exception and forwarded the letter to UNICEF, who were doubtless highly upset about a direct attack on their funding.
UNICEF immediately proceeded to set lawyers on the site responsible, contacting the administrator’s host directly and ordering them to take the site down, whilst starting civil legal action. The site’s owner was subsequently ordered to appear at a Tokyo civil court in August to defend himself.
However, the host was not to be duped or intimidated, realising that UNICEF had no right to shut the site down.
They reported in no uncertain terms that “The site does not contravene any law or our terms of service” and that “Your claims about the site are completely without foundation.” They flatly refused to take the site down on legal or “voluntary” grounds.
The site owner reports that as he has no money with which to defend himself or pay any settlements he has no choice but to ignore the court summons, but whatever the outcome of any court action he will not take down the site.
He cites the example of 2ch founder Hiroyuki, who famously ignored all legal attacks on his site, as demonstrating that UNICEF are unable to directly do anything to him or his site.
He comments that “For such a huge organisation to take such an interest in suppressing the speech of one individual, the letter must have hit very close to home indeed.”