Far East and Pacific Theaters


A - J

Allen, Lewis. "Japanese Intelligence Systems." Journal of Contemporary History 22, no. 4 (Oct. 1987): 547-561.

Sexton calls this article "a balanced account of Japanese Intelligence organizations." The author's "discussion of the Owada Sigint unit is especially enlightening."

Ardman, Harvey. "U.S. Code-breakers vs. Japanese Code-breakers in World War II." American Legion Magazine, May 1972, 18-23, 38-42.

The author covers Magic and Enigma on the Allied side and the activities of the Tokumu Han on the Japanese side. The article was published before the main revelations about Ultra. A reproduction of the Chicago Tribune's infamous dispatch on the Battle of Midway appears on p. 21.

Ariga Tsutao. Nihon Riku-Kaigun no joho kiko to sono katsudo [Japanese Army and Navy Intelligence Organs and Their Activities]. Tokyo: Kindai Bungeisha, 1994. [Mercado, Studies 46.4/fn. 2]

Ban Shigeo. Rikugun Noborito Kenkyujo no shinjitsu [The Truth About the Army Noborito Research Institute]. Tokyo: Fuyo Shobo Shuppan, 2001.

Mercado, Studies 46.4 (2002), finds that the late author, "a technician at the Japanese Army's 9th Technical Research Institute,... [has] put together a good account of the Noborito Research Institute. The book touches on the institute's background, offers a portrait of its founder,... and lists its areas of research and the products developed.... Noborito's main customers were the covert operatives trained at the Army's Nakano School and the counterintelligence officers of the Kempeitai..... One of [the] book's contributions is to further tie Noborito to the Japanese Army's infamous Unit 731, which participated in biomedical research." The reviewer concludes that this book is "a valuable resource for serious researchers."

Bennett, J.W., W.A. Hobart, and J.B. Spitzer. Intelligence and Cryptanalytic Activities of the Japanese During World War II: SRH 254, the Japanese Intelligence System. Laguna Hills, CA: Aegean Park Press, 1986.

Sexton notes that this previously classified study, written in 1945, is a "valuable introduction to the often denigrated Japanese intelligence agencies."

Berry, Scott. Monks, Spies and a Soldier of Fortune: The Japanese in Tibet. New York: St. Martin's, 1995.

Surveillant 4.2 says that Berry follows the exploration of Tibet from 1937 to 1950 by two Japanese travelers. Was one of them a Japanese spy? See Hiseo Kimura, as told to Scott Berry, Japanese Agent in Tibet: My Ten Years of Travel in Disguise (London: Serindia Publications, 1990).

Bisher, Jamie. "The Warning Shot." Honolulu Magazine 16, no. 1 (Dec. 2012): 55-57. []

From author: This "article describes the confiscation of a Japanese pocket novel by US Customs in Hawaii on December 7, 1933.  The novel, written by a Japanese Naval Reserve officer ..., described a future war with the US with Tom Clancy-like detail.  The US Army intelligence officer recommended seizure of the book and Hawaii's Japanese-American community earnestly concurred, lest the incendiary fiction arouse ethnic antagonism.  US military intelligence quickly translated it, recommending that the Army Chief of Staff take note of certain scenarios, and a copy of the translation was leaked to the Washington Herald, which published it in its entirety in several installments in early 1934. The article ... declares that the Japanese intention to attack Pearl Harbor and United States interests throughout the Pacific was hardly any secret, as the 1933 bombshell confirmed. The surprise lay merely in the date and execution."

Chapman, John W.M.

1. "Signals Intelligence Cooperation among the Secret Intelligence Services of the Axis States, 1940-41." Japan Forum (1991): 231-256.

2. "Tricycle Recycled: Collaboration among the Secret Intelligence Services of the Axis States, 1940-41." Intelligence and National Security 7, no. 3 (Jul. 1992): 268-299.

This article is somehow passing strange. It includes some interesting Axis-states source materials that "throw light at least on the broader context of the intelligence collaboration, in which Popov [Tricycle] played a very minor role." This is true, but the focus here is on the "context," not on the Tricycle case per se.

Drea, Edward J.

1. "Reading Each Other's Mail: Japanese Communications Intelligence, 1920-1941." Journal of Military History 55, no. 2 (Apr. 1991): 185-205.

2. "Were the Japanese Army Codes Secure?" Cryptologia 19, no. 2 (Apr. 1995): 113-136.

The conclusion: "[T]he security of Japanese army codes fluctuated according to time, place, system, and circumstances. So the answer to the question of the title is, 'It depended.'"

3. and Joseph E. Richard. "New Evidence on Breaking the Japanese Army Codes." Intelligence and National Security 14, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 62-83.

Using documents released by NSA in 1996, the authors conclude that "Japanese cryptologists, content with the system they administered, complacent about the impenetrability of their codes, contemptuous of their enemies, fell into a classic pattern of believing their system was foolproof."

Felton, Mark. Japan's Gestapo: Murder, Mayhem, and Torture in Wartime Asia. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword Military, 2009.

Martin, International Journal of Intelligence Ethics 1.1 (Spring 2010), sees this as "a bleak and disturbing historical narrative ... tracing the activities of and particularly the atrocities committed by the Kempeitai ... in the buildup to and during World War II." The book "is beautifully written," but "the vitriol that permeates" it "casts doubt on the entirety" of the work. "As a reference work ... the book is invaluable. As an aid in understanding what happened and why ... it is sadly inadequate."

Goldstein, Donald, and Katherine V. Dillon, eds. The Pearl Harbor Papers: Inside the Japanese Plans. Washington, DC: Brassey's (US), 1993.

According to Bates, NIPQ 11.1: This book contains "translations of documents by Japanese naval officers involved in the planning and execution of the attack on Pearl Harbor.... [The] authors contend that these documents prove, in so far as memory can be trusted, that the Japanese task force never broke radio silence until the strike was in the air, and that neither Churchill nor Roosevelt could have known of the attack plan." Kruh, Cryptologia 18.1, also notes the presence of "records confirming that the Japanese task force never broke radio silence," and calls this work a "major contribution to our understanding of that unforgettable day."

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