By PKN NARS. Date 5/1/65




February 12, 1941


Subject: Reorganization of Japanese Intelligence Service in the United States.

1. This Branch has information from a highly reliable source to the effect that the Japanese intelligence service in the United States is being reorganized and enlarged and is cooperating with German and Italian services.

2. The salient points of the directive sent to the Embassy in Washington are as follows:
"1. Establish an intelligence organ in the Embassy which will maintain liaison with private and semi-official intelligence organs.

"2. The objective of investigations is to determine the total strength of the United States. Investigations will cover the political, economic and military fields.

"3. Surveys to be prepared of all persons or organizations which either openly or secretly oppose participation in the war.

"4. Investigation to be made of all anti-Semitism, communism, Negro movements, and labor movements.

"5. Utilization to be made of citizens of foreign extraction (other than Japanese), aliens (other than Japanese), communists, Negroes, labor union members, and anti-Semites, in carrying out investigations, to get best results. These agents should have access to governmental establishments, laboratories, governmental organizations or various sorts, factories, transportation facilities, etc.

"6. Utilization of second generation Japanese to be made with utmost caution as a slip in this phase would subject Japanese in America to considerable persecution.

"7. Plans to be made to move the Japanese intelligence net to Mexico in the event the United States enters the war.

"8. The net covering Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru to be centered in Mexico.

"9. Close cooperation to be had with German and Italian intelligence organs in the Untied States."
Colonel of Infantry, G.S.C.,
Chief, Intelligence Branch.

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

In reply refer to No.

February 12, 1941

MEMORANDUM for the Chief of Naval Operations

Subject: Japanese Espionage Organization in the United States

1. It is recommended that the following be brought to the attention of the President and the Secretary of the Navy. This information has been compiled from highly confidential and reliable sources by the Domestic Intelligence Branch of the Office of Naval Intelligence from documentary evidence in its possession.

"In view of the critical situation existing between the United States and Japan, the latter has decided to strengthen its intelligence network in the United States upon the arrival of Admiral Kichisaburo NOMURA, the new Japanese Ambassador.

Japanese Diplomatic and Consular representatives have been instructed to reorganize and strengthen their intelligence nets in this country. A fairly accurate portrayal of Japan's espionage organization is as follows:

1. Hidenari TERASAKI, Secretary of the Japanese Embassy, Washington, will be the guiding influence. He will establish an intelligence unit which will maintain liaison with private and semi-official intelligence organizations.

2. Focal point of all Japanese investigations shall be the determination of the total strength of the U.S. Investigations will be divided into political, economic and military classifications, and a definite course of action shall be mapped out.

3. Intelligence net will make a survey of all persons and organizations which either openly or secretly oppose U.S. participation in the present war.

4. The net will make a survey of all anti-Jewish, Communistic, Negro and labor movements.

5. Citizens of foreign extraction except Japanese, aliens except Japanese, Communists, Negroes, labor union members and anti-Semites and men having access to governmental departments, experimental laboratories, factories, transportation facilities and governmental organizations of various character will be utilized.

6. Nisei Japanese resident nationals are to be employed but if there is any 'slip' in this phase, the Japanese Government thinks these nationals in the United States will be subject to considerable persecution; therefore, extreme caution should be exercised.

7. Japanese representatives in this country are cautioned to bear in mind that war between Japan and the United States is an eventuality. In such a case, the Japanese intelligence setup will be moved to Mexico, making that country the nerve center of the intelligence net in the western hemisphere. In further anticipation of such an eventuality, the United States - Mexico international intelligence route will be established. The Japanese intelligence net covering Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru will be centered in Mexico.

"The Japanese shall cooperate with the German and Italian intelligence organizations. This phase has been discussed in Tokyo with German and Italian representatives and has been approved.

Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans, Chicago, New York and Washington will be the espionage centers in the United States, all instructions emanating from Washington. Mexicali, Sonora and Vancouver, B. C. will also be centers along our boundary."

2. This information has been transmitted to the Military Intelligence Division of the Army and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Jules James
Captain, U.S. Navy
Acting Director of Naval Intelligence

Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Department of Justice
Washington, D. C.

February 16, 1941


Re: Obtaining Records of Japanese Organizations

Set forth herein is information concerning the obtaining of records by the FBI of various Japanese organizations through the country. This is pursuant your inquiry based on the Attorney General's request of you in the matter.

On December 11, 1941, a memorandum was directed to the Special Defense unit? of the Department, suggesting that consideration be given to the issuance of search warrants under the provisions of the Voorhis Act or other pertinent Federal statutes to enable the securing of the records of organizations potentially dangerous to the internal security of the country.

A memorandum dated December 16, 1941, was received from the Criminal Division of the Department authorizing the obtaining of the records named in the Bureau's reference memorandum and also naming three additional German organizations, two additional Italian organizations and one Japanese group. Pursuant to the authorization contained therein, a letter was sent to all Field Offices under date of December 27, 1941, arranging? for the securing of the necessary subpoenas duces tecum for simultaneous service? throughout the country on January 5, 1942.

Subsequently facts were submitted to the Department on ten additional Japanese organizations and upon receipt of authorization, subpoenas were secured and the records obtained. In many of the instances the desired material was surrendered voluntarily to the Agents without use of the subpoenas, although they were issued and on hand if the occasion had arisen for their need.

In all, the names of eleven Japanese organizations and their branches have been referred to the Department with available data for consideration in this project and authority for the obtaining of their records has been granted in each instance. Set forth herein for your reference are the names and addresses of the Japanese organizations for whose records subpoenas were authorized and whose records have been secured:

Heimusha Kai, San Francisco

Nanken Gauken Kyokai, Los Angeles
Japanese Prefectural Association, Los Angeles

Tenrikyo Mission Headquarters in America, Los Angeles
Sokoku Kai, also known as Black Dragon Society, Portland

The Central Japanese Association of America, Los Angeles
The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Los Angeles

The Japanese Cultural Center of Southern California, Los Angeles
The Nichibei Kogyo Kaisha, Los Angeles

Dai Nippon Butoku Kai, Sacramento
Hokoku Kai, San Diego.


D. M. Ladd

The records of these associations are being reviewed by the Bureau Agents at the present time and in most cases it is necessary to utilize Japanese translators, which requires a considerable amount of time, but the results of the various examinations will of course be referred to the United States Attorney or to the Department as soon as reports can be written.

{Handwritten with arrow pointing to the above paragraph: "Can't this be expedited? I have noted recently several offers of assistance from Americans who know Japanese. Why don't we utilize these?"}


Classified by 8967/WE6/BCE
Declassify on: DATE 4-27-84

US DC 83-122 V

March 12, 1941










Dear Sir:

Naval authorities have advised that information has been received from what is described as "highly confidential and reliable source" to the effect that the Japanese Nation has decided to strengthen its intelligence network in the United States.

According to naval authorities, Japanese Diplomatic and Consular representatives have been instructed to organize and strengthen their intelligence networks in this country.

According to available information, Hidenari Terasaki, Secretary of the Japanese Embassy, Washington, D. C., will be the guiding influence in intelligence work and will establish an intelligence unit which will maintain liaison with private and semi-official organizations.

Available information indicates that the main objective of all Japanese espionage is to be the determination of the total strength of the United States. Investigations allegedly will be divided into political, economic, and military classifications, and a definite course of action is to be mapped out. Naval authorities advised "the intelligence net will make a survey of all persons and organizations which either openly or secretly oppose the United States participation in the present war, and will make a survey of all anti-Jewish, Communistic, Negro, and labor movements.

It is reported that citizens of foreign extraction, Communists, Negroes, labor union members, anti-Semites, and men having access to government departments, experimental laboratories, factories, transportation facilities, and governmental organizations of various characters will be utilized. While second generation Japanese and Japanese resident nationals are also to be employed, the Japanese authorities have allegedly indicated that any Japanese individual who might be caught will be subject to considerable persecution.

Naval authorities report that Japanese representatives in this country have been cautioned to bear in mind that war between Japan and the United States is an eventuality, in which case the Japanese intelligence setup will be moved to Mexico, making that country the nerve center of the intelligence net in the western hemisphere. In further anticipation of such an eventuality, the United States-Mexico international intelligence route will be established. It is stated that the Japanese intelligence net covering Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru will be centered in Mexico. Japanese representatives allegedly have been instructed to cooperate with German and Italian organizations which move has reportedly been approved in Tokyo by representatives of the Axis Alliance.

It has been stated by Naval authorities that Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans, Chicago, New York, and Washington will be the espionage centers in the United States, with all instructions emanating from Washington, whereas Mexicali, Sonora, and Vancouver, B. C. will also be centers in proximity to the United States boundary.
Very truly yours,

John Edgar Hoover

By PKN NARS. Date 5/1/65



May 21, 1941


Subject: Espionage Activities of Japanese Consul in Los Angeles.

1. This Branch has information from a highly reliable source to the effect that the Japanese Consulate in Los Angeles is the Japanese espionage headquarters for that region. Their plans include the following:
a. Use of white agents and Negroes through trusted Japanese residents.

b. Close contact with the Japanese Association, Chamber of Commerce and the press.

c. Close surveillance of airplane factories and other plants producing military equipment.

d. Intelligence on shipments of aircraft.

e. Close contact with second generation Japanese present in the U.S. army or working in aircraft factories.

f. Close cooperation with the office of the Japanese Naval Attache.

g. Gathering intelligence on military movements, labor disputes and communist activities.

h. Connection with influential Negroes to secure data on the "Negro movement."
Colonel of Infantry, G.S.C.,
Chief, Intelligence Branch.
DEFENDANT {Respondent}
ADMITTED __________

May 22, 1941


The Office of Naval Intelligence, Washington, D. C., has advised this Bureau that a considerable amount of general information concerning Japanese Intelligence activities in the United States has been received from a source which is described as "thoroughly reliable and highly confidential."

With reference to their intelligence activities in Southern California, it is stated that Japanese authorities are making every effort to establish useful contacts and in this connection they are endeavoring to make use of white persons and negroes, as well as Japanese associations, Japanese chambers of commerce and Japanese newspapers. It is stated that they have already established contacts with reliable Japanese in the San Pedro and San Diego areas who will observe closely all shipments of airplanes and other war materials and who will report the amounts and destinations of such shipments. It is indicated that they have also taken steps to have the traffic of war materials across the Mexican border closely watched.

It is further stated that Japanese authorities plan to establish close relations with appropriate individuals and organizations in order to keep airplane manufacturing plants, as well as military and naval establishments under close surveillance. In this connection, it is stated that a number of second-generation Japanese have been placed in airplane plants for intelligence purposes and it is stated that Japanese authorities maintain contact with the second-generation Japanese who are now in the United States Army, in order that the Japanese authorities may be currently informed of developments in that branch of the service.

It appears that Japanese authorities are interested in negro movements and anti-Semitic movements in this country. It is stated that they have established contacts with influential negroes for the purpose of being informed with reference to negro movements. They are reported to have employed prominent Americans and Japanese connected with the motion picture industry to investigate anti-Semitic movements, particularly on the West Coast.

John Edgar Hoover


June 9, 1941


Subject: Japanese Espionage.

This branch has information from a highly reliable source to the effect that the Japanese intelligence and espionage unit centering in the Seattle Consulate has made the following "contacts":
a. Political.

John Sylvester, Speaker of the State Lower House.
Ralph Horr, Chairman local committee, Republican Party.
Daniel Trefethen, local Republican Party official.
From these men the Japanese collect information on political questions and on the degree of America's participation in the war.
b. Economic.

Employees in American and Japanese companies.
These men furnish information as to our war effort, construction of ships, number of planes produced, copper, zinc and aluminum production, the yield of tin for cans, lumber, etc. One such person (name unknown) recently gave the Japanese a report on machinists of German origin who are communists and members of the labor organizations in the Bremerton Naval Yard and the Boeing Aircraft Factory.
c. Military.

One Kaneko is in charge of men sent out into the field to get information concerning movement of naval craft, mercantile shipping, airplane manufacture, troop movements and maneuvers. These men contact a Major [Lt Comdr penciled in] Okada (not listed in The Diplomatic List) who wires his reports to Tokyo.

Second generation Japanese selectees report on the military service, morale, discipline, etc.

d. Labor Unions.

One Okamaru, a first-generation Japanese and a member of the C.I.O. reports on labor disorders, etc.

A second-generation Japanese lawyer named Ito collects information on anti-war-participation organizations.

Colonel of Infantry, G.S.C.,
Chief, Intelligence Branch.

ON 3-23-77


Los Angeles, California
December 10, 1941

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir:

Reference is made to telephonic instructions from Assistant Director E. A. TAMM on December 10, 1941, to the effect that I was to communicate with MR. CURTIS MUNSON and inform him that you have been advised by MR. J. F. CARTER of his statements relative to the exhausted condition of Agents of this office due to their overwork at this particular time.

Almost immediately after receiving this call from MR. TAMM, MR. MUNSON called me and inquired if we would be able to handle another situation such as we are now handling, and from our previous conversations, I know that he was referring to the apprehension of Communists. I assured him that we are in a position to do so in the same effective manner in which we are now operating while apprehending alien enemies. He stated that the apprehension of this new group was being considered in Washington, and that there was a bottleneck in the Department, and he undoubtedly referred to the Attorney General as he had in his conversations with MR. VINCENT of this office on the occasion of his visit here on December 9, 1941. I assured him that it would be a simple matter for the Bureau to coordinate its activities to the end that the individuals of any group be apprehended. He inquired if this were extended to include the persons in a "B" classification of this group, if it would be too big a situation for us to handle, and I assured him it was not; that there were many departments we had not called on at all in the present situation, and there were many officers to assist us and it would be easy from an administrative viewpoint in the office to handle this situation. It was pointed out that the experience gained in this present activity would enable us to handle a greater volume of it in the future with the same force. I stated that it was necessary to work hard, but that that was absolutely necessary at such a time as this.

I advised MR. MUNSON that MR. HOOVER has informed me of a telephone call from MR. J. F. CARTER in Washington, advising that the Agents of this office were in a very exhausted condition and were about to drop from overwork, and that I had informed MR. HOOVER that such a statement was a lie. MUNSON immediately began to attempt to smooth things over and stated that he did not make that statement at all; but his words to me were, "I said they were working very hard day and night, and if any more work is placed on them now it might be too much." He stated this was in order that the Bureau would be enabled to obtain anything in Washington that it desired, and that he absolutely did not mean it in a sense of criticism. He stated MR. CARTER is very well known to MR. HOOVER and believes the Director would understand why MR. CARTER would say that to him. He stated, however, if there were any criticism it should be "pinned on him," but what he was actually doing was trying to give us his help.

I advised him that the Agents had worked hard, but were not at all near the exhaustion point -- in fact, almost to a man they had volunteered to continue working when I had instructed them to return to their quarters for some sleep. I could tell from his reaction that MUNSON thought I was in exceedingly good spirits at the time of our conversation. He was aware of the fact that I did not appreciate receiving a complaint about this office from the Director and he requested that I not be angry with him, as he had meant absolutely no harm to this office.

After my conversation with MR. HOOVER on December 10, I called MR. MUNSON again at the Biltmore Hotel and informed him that you had severely criticized me, for you had received a complaint that the Los Angeles Office has picked up only half of the individuals who should be apprehended, and if this is the case, I am at fault for not having requested additional personnel from the Bureau. I informed MR. MUNSON that this was not the situation at all, as I had sufficient personnel and had not, therefore, made a request for additional Agents from the Bureau, and those individuals whose names have been furnished us by the Department as being satisfactory subject for custodial detention at this time have been and are being apprehended rapidly. There are but a few outstanding at this time. I informed him very definitely that we can apprehend only those persons whom the Department authorizes be seized; and, therefore, we cannot take any motion against any other group at this time.

MR. MUNSON stated that there must have been a misunderstanding about this statement, as what he said was that only half of the persons who should be picked up have to date been apprehended because we have not gone into the citizens group; and it is his impression from what he has learned here on the Coast that the citizens who are disloyal constitute a large group of possible troublemakers in the emergency. He feels that the apprehension of the aliens is only half of the job, and the citizens constitute the other half of it.

He was very apologetic for having caused me any difficulties with the Bureau and stated that he was out here to give me whatever assistance he possibly could. He did not want me to misunderstand his purpose and he hoped that I would feel free to communicate with him at any time.
Very truly yours,

Special Agent in Charge
Air Mail Special Delivery

December 10, 1941

Dictated: 9:00 P.M.
Typed: 9:10 P.M.


Mr. Hood called from Los Angeles to advise that he had talked to Curtis Munson and advised him of the statements which had been made to the Bureau by J. Franklin Carter in Washington, and Munson stated that he had not made any statement that only half of the alien enemies had been apprehended but that what he told Washington was that in as long as the arrests were confined to aliens the job would only be half done. Munson claims that he told Carter that until the F. B. I. was authorized to pick up the dangerous citizens as well as the dangerous aliens, the job would be but half completed and that anticipating this, he thought additional men would be necessary to arrest the citizens when they were authorized. Munson insisted that he did not criticize the Bureau or desire to convey the indication that the Bureau was half doing its work. Munson claimed that he understood clearly that the Bureau was doing only what it had been authorized to do and that he was trying to point out to Washington the fallacy of the Department policy.

I told Hood to request Munson to call Washington and make his position clear in the matter.


Edward A. Tamm


Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Department of Justice
Washington, D. C.

December 22, 1941


I called upon Assistant Secretary of War Bundy this morning. I explained to Mr. Bundy that the Attorney General had talked to you about the matter of removing certain Japanese aliens from the Hawaiian Islands and that you had instructed me to ascertain the facts in order that the FBI might know what assistance could be rendered.

Mr. Bundy stated that at the Cabinet meeting several days ago the President had told the Secretary of War that he, the President, desired to have all of the Japanese aliens in the Hawaiian Islands interned at once. Bundy said that the President had mentioned particularly removing all of the Japanese aliens from the islands of Oahu and Hawaii, possibly to some other island in the Hawaiian group. I told Mr. Bundy that apparently someone had received the impression that the program contemplated the evacuation of certain Japanese from the Hawaiian Islands to the mainland. Bundy, who did not appear to have much knowledge of what this was all about, left the office, apparently to talk to the Secretary of War, and returned a few minutes later, and after checking with the various officers in the War Department by telephone, advised that the present plan of the War Department contemplated leaving the matter in its entirety in the hands of the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Islands.

Mr. Bundy stated that there was consequently no action or assistance which could be rendered by the Bureau at this time, in view of the War Department's plan, apparently in disregard of what the President apparently said at the Cabinet meeting, to allow the commanding general to do as he saw fit with the Japanese aliens in the Hawaiian Islands.


Edward A. Tamm

Federal Bureau of Investigation

United States Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.

January 14, 1942

Memorandum for the Director
Re: Submarine Espionage Activities in the Vicinity of Hawaii.

For obvious reasons, the following information is very confidential and is not generally known even among the Army and Navy circles.

On the day before my departure from Honolulu, Mr. Shivers learned very confidentially from a Naval Cryptographic Officer that Japanese submarines are lying approximately five miles off the coast of Oahu, the island on which Honolulu is located, and are transmitting Naval information to the Japanese bases among the Pacific islands. The Naval Cryptographic Section has allegedly been successful in decoding these messages. In advising Mr. Shivers of this fact, the Naval Officer stated that as yet G-2 and O.N.I. had not been apprised of this information. At this point in the conversation between Mr. Shivers and his informant, a third party entered which terminated the interview. Mr. Shivers stated, however, that he will re-contact this informant and obtain additional details.

This Cryptographer has in the past given Mr. Shivers a considerable amount of highly confidential information and has proven himself to he reliable. Mr. Shivers guards the identify of this informant very closely in view of the fact that it is possible for him to obtain through this informant highly confidential information that in some instances at least would not be obtainable from any other source.

Even this meager information if correct, and there is nothing to indicate that it is not, definitely establishes the fact that a Japanese espionage ring is still operating in the islands. Although the Navy is primarily responsible, I outlined to Mr. Shivers the following investigative procedures of possible assistance to him.

(1) Re-contact the informant to ascertain:
a. The nature of the information being transmitted
b. The usual time of transmission
c. The radio frequency used
d. If known, the general location of the submarine when sending.
(2) Bring about the cooperation of the Army, Navy and the F.C.C, to jointly work with our office in locating the source of the information as well as the location of the submarines.

(3) Through F.C.C, bearings, ascertain the direction of travel of the submarines during transmission, with the thought in mind that the method of communication between the island and the submarines may be through the medium of radio or in a visual form, using lights, clothing on the line or other methods as outlined in the plan submitted to the Japanese Consulate by Otto Keuhn.

(4) If the submarines are proceeding from the same general vicinity during transmission, establish an offshore observation patrol in that vicinity.

(5) The F.C.C. to make a thorough survey in that vicinity with their mobile units in an effort to locate radio transmitters on the island.

(6) Check the type of information being transmitted to ascertain the source where such information could be obtained.

(7) If and when the activities are localized and as a last resort, conduct a house-to-house search in that vicinity for short-wave radio sets and equipment for the visual transmission of messages.

(8) An accurate record of all arrests and searches to be kept and checked against any interruptions in the transmissions being made by these submarines. In the event that the Navy is successful in sinking any of these submarines, the sinkings should also be checked against any interruptions in the radio transmissions.

I am definitely of the opinion that if all of the agencies were to unreservedly cooperate in this matter, the espionage agents would be located and the submarines sunk in a relatively short period of time. Mr. Shivers was advised that this is a Naval responsibility; however, that we should assist them in every way possible.
Respectfully submitted,

M. E. Gurnea



January 16, 1942

Honorable James Lawrence Fly
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Fly:

In regard to present conditions in the Hawaiian Islands, it is apparent that illicit short-wave radio transmissions are being sent from clandestine stations operating in the islands themselves, in communication with mobile units of the Japanese Navy, through which intelligence information is being reported to the enemy. It is extremely important that those clandestine stations be located and eliminated from operation and that the individuals concerned with their operation be dealt with appropriately as rapidly as possible. It is also highly important that bearings be obtained on radio transmissions from Japanese naval craft which may be operating in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands in order that their location and direction of travel may be determined and appropriate action taken by our armed forces.

The question of monitoring the transmissions of the illicit radio stations in the Hawaiian Islands and vicinity was discussed with Rear Admiral Wilkinson, Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence, and Colonel Bissell of the Military Intelligence Division on January 14, 1942, and it was agreed that the problem presented is most serious and is one which should be given early attention. We were all of the same opinion, that radio monitoring activities in Honolulu, Hawaii, and throughout the islands are the primary responsibility of the Federal Communications Commission. On the occasion of this conference Rear Admiral Wilkinson and Colonel Bissell expressed the desire that I call your attention to the situation by letter and impress upon you the vital importance and necessity for establishing immediately an exhaustive coverage on these radio activities.

In order that this situation in the Hawaiian Islands may be clarified with the least possible delay, it is urged that monitoring activities on the part of the Federal Communications Commission in the islands be intensified to the highest possible degree and that information developed and problems arising in connection with these activities be promptly worked out in collaboration with the military and naval authorities and with the office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at Honolulu.

Sincerely yours,

John Edgar Hoover
[Declassified 6/15/87]

DATE 9/14/85 BY 1678RFP/AG

February 9, 1942



With reference to the above-entitled program, I wish to advise you of the results of a series of searches and apprehensions made by the Portland, Seattle, and Los Angeles Field Divisions on the afternoon and evening of February 7, 1942.

The Portland Field Division searched eighty-one premises and interviewed the one hundred fifty-one aliens who were found to be occupying these premises. Four arrests were made in connection with the seizing of twenty-one sticks of dynamite, sixty-two dynamite caps, and one hundred forty feet of fuse. These searches were conducted at Hood River, Oregon, in the vicinity of Bonneville Dam. The vicinity in which these searches were conducted is considered to be the most vital military area in the Portland Field Division.

The Seattle Field Division conducted searches of the premises and residences occupied by twenty-eight German and Japanese aliens who reside on Vashon Island, near Bainbridge Island, on which a Naval radio station is located. Two Japanese aliens and one German alien were found to be in possession of prohibited articles and are being held for custodial detention. During these searches one receiver, two cameras, one shortwave radio set, approximately twenty feet of fuse, approximately one hundred dynamite blasting caps, and one-half box of dynamite were found.

On the same date the Los Angeles Field Division conducted searches of forty-six homes which were occupied by enemy aliens and as a result of interviews with the occupants and the location of prohibited articles, seventeen enemy aliens were apprehended. In connection with these arrests, the following material was seized: seven radio sets capable of receiving shortwave, one radio oscillator, four boxes of assorted radio equipment, two cameras, twenty-three flashlights, four large searchlights, three telegraphers' keys, one small radio transmitting set, one microphone, one .38 caliber revolver, fifty cartridges, one .22 caliber rifle, four blasting caps, three pounds of black powder, three feet of fuse, and two reels of 8 millimeter film containing photographs of battleships and fortifications. Further investigation is being conducted regarding the aforementioned file. The searches by the Los Angeles Field Division were conducted in the Palos Verdes Hills area which adjoins Fort MacArthur.

John Edgar Hoover

[Declassified 3/18/71; 6/24/74]



Subject: Enemy Aliens on the West Coast.

Confirming our telephone conversation this date on the above subject, there is attached hereto an information bulletin published by this headquarters on the subject of Japanese Espionage.

Some of the information contained therein may be of assistance to you in settling this question.

I am sure that the G-2 of the Western Defense Command has all this information for practically all of it was obtained from War Department G-2 sources and from the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Brigadier General, G. S. C.,
Deputy Chief of Staff
Info Bul No. 6,
G-2 GHQ, 1-21-42.



Army War College,
Washington, D. C.,
January 21, 1942


1. GENERAL. -- The alien Japanese organize for every conceivable purpose, a characteristic brought from Japan. Japanese societies existed in the Hawaiian Islands from the earliest migration. Every alien Japanese in Hawaii belongs to one or more organizations. These organizations exist in the United States, and are inimical to our best interests.

Japanese organization flows in specific and distinct channels, interlocked through the duplication of activity and the plurality of positions held by individual Japanese. Each of these channels is at least strongly influenced, if not directly controlled, by groups of similar type and purpose in Japan and under Japanese governmental supervision.

2. Diplomatic and Consular Organization. --
a. Japanese espionage activities in the United States were participated in, directed and controlled by representatives of the Imperial Japanese Government through the officials of its Embassy and Consulates. The Secretary of the Embassy was charged with the responsibility of coordinating and directing Japanese Intelligence activities in this country. He was instructed to visit Japanese officials in North, South and Central American countries. During July, 1941, he traveled over 20,000 miles in Mexico, Central America, Peru, Ecuador and other South American countries. Further, his travels in the United States substantiated his position as the director of Japanese espionage in this country. The facilities of the Embassy and Consulates were available to the Military and Naval Attaches for transmission of intelligence, and the Consulates maintained secret funds in cash for the purchase of information.

b. Naval Attache. -- The Naval Attache, attached to the Japanese Embassy was particularly active. He was generally a Naval captain, with previous experience in the United States or England in the capacity of Assistant Attache or language officer, and was an experienced Intelligence officer. Working with the Attache were several assistants, one of whom was generally a Naval aviator with Intelligence experience. In addition, several experienced Navy men were employed as clerks. There were always a number of Naval officers in the United States on temporary visitors visas. The Office of Naval Intelligence pointed out that over one hundred Naval officers visited the United States last year.

c. Naval Inspector. -- A counterpart of the Naval Attache's office was the Naval Inspector's Office at New York City, with a branch in Los Angeles, California. Aircraft parts, radio, electrical equipment, tools and accessories were purchased almost daily, apparently for examination. Japanese Naval officers were connected with the Naval Inspector's Office cooperated with German agents by accepting confidential data for transmission to Germany via Japan.

d. Military Attache. -- The office of the Military Attache in Washington, D.C., was also active. During the early part of 1941, the Chief of the American Section of the Japanese Army made an extensive tour of the United States to ascertain the attitude of the people toward present conditions and to gather maps. During his brief visit to Cuba, he conferred with various Japanese colonists there.

e. Ordnance Inspector. -- A complement of the Military Attache's Office, the Japanese Ordnance Inspector's Office, was maintained in New York for some time, and was similar to the Naval Inspector's Office.
3. Religious Organizations. -- The Buddhist and Shinto sects acted as Japanese propaganda agencies with the Japanese communities, holding services in Japanese. The Priests, held in deep respect, are in an excellent position to disseminate propaganda. Many of the Buddhist and Shinto priests entered the Hawaiian Islands as non-quota aliens and resided there only a short time.

4. Educational Organization. -- Japanese espionage recognized the strategic position of the Japanese Language Schools in molding the beliefs and ideals of Japanese students and the effect on their behavior and loyalty to the United States.

5. Commercial and Civic Organization. --
a. Commercial. -- The value of representatives of Japanese business organizations, banks, and newspapers has not been overlooked. In Japan, several of the large business firms must be considered semi-official in nature.

b. Civic. -- The Overseas Japanese Central Society is a liaison agency for all Japanese residing in countries foreign to Japan. It is connected with all Japanese organizations in the United States, such as:
(1) Japanese Association of America. -- National headquarters at 1619 Laguna St., San Francisco, Calif. Estimated membership of 100,000, with 10,000 active members. The purpose of this organization is to protect the rights of alien Japanese residents residing in America and to assist them in coping with social and economic problems.

(2) Japanese American Citizens League. -- This organization of approximately 10,000 members is composed of persons of Japanese descent born in America. Headquarters are located at 1623 Webster St., San Francisco, Calif. In recent months, the league conducted a vigorous campaign to abolish dual citizenship and prove that the members are loyal to this country.

(3) Sokoku Kai (Ancestral Country Society) Seattle, Wash. -- Sokoku Kai is reported to have connection with the Silver Shirts in that state. It published a magazine devoting itself to building up pride in the superiority of the Japanese race.

(4) Japanese Association of Utah. -- This is comprised of native born Japanese with the purpose of building closer relations between Americans and Japanese. One function is to register births with the Japanese Consul at San Francisco to insure dual citizenship.

(5) Intermountain Japanese Association. -- This organization is a farmers cooperative concern, located at Ogden, Utah. It registers births with the Japanese Consul to insure dual citizenship and arranges passports and re-entry permits for its members. In August, 1941, it completed a survey of Japanese property holdings and a census of Japanese for the Consul. It received literature propagandizing Japanese justification in the Far East and directed the activities of the Japanese language schools in Utah.
6. Conclusions. --
a. It may be expected that Japanese diplomatic and consular communications will be replaced now by using the diplomatic and consular organization of an allegedly neutral power identified with the Axis. They may also use officials of other neutral countries whom they have subverted.

b. Their espionage net containing Japanese aliens, first and second generation Japanese and other nationals is now thoroughly organized and working underground.

c. In addition to their communications net through neutral diplomats, they may be expected to have their own underground communication net.

d. Extensive use of Occidentals, such as Axis nationals, neutral nationals, and subverted Americans, is to be expected.
Lieut. Colonel, G.S.C.,
Ass't Chief of Staff, G-2.
Not to be disseminated lower than division.

E.O. 12085, Sec. 3-402
DOD dir. 5200.30 6/18/79
By WA Lewis Date 2/1/82


From: 12:00 Noon 21 February 1942 GMT
To: 12:00 Noon 28 February 1942 GMT

Headquarters Western Defense Command and Fourth Army
Presidio of San Francisco, California
12:00 Noon 28 February 1942 GMT

No. 9

Maps: See sketch.

a. Troops of the Western Defense Command and Fourth Army are not in contact with hostile ground forces. The following operations were reported occurring offshore:
(1) A hostile submarine was reported about 17 miles southeast of CHERNOFSKI, UNALASKA 20 February (not reported in G-2 Periodic Report No. 8) but result of subsequent search was negative. At least eight radio fixes have been established in the area 200 to 600 miles off VANCOUVER ISLAND since 14 February, the last three being registered at the closer distances. This may be further indication of presence of a hostile standing patrol which is observing our northwest Pacific water lanes. Other fixes were established as shown on attached sketch.

(2) A hostile submarine stood off the shore near ELLWOOD, CALIFORNIA about 7:00 PM 23 February and fired 25 rounds at oil installations of that area. Only minor damage was caused to an oil derrick and no casualties were reported. Five or 20% of the total rounds fired were duds. From the duds obtained, the following data was determined. The diameter of the projectile is 5.5" and is 21" long with fuse unattached. The fuse is attached to the nose and there is provision for a booster. The rotating band is 1.75" wide and the bursting charge resembles our "Explosive D". The submarine was tentatively identified as one of the I type, probably the larger classification number from 5 to 8. This class is capable of carrying an airplane. Contact with this sub has not been regained.

(3) Early 25 February LOS ANGELES was blacked out because of a report of unidentified planes over the city. The AA defense opened fire but no known hits were registered. Investigation of reports of eye witnesses, apparently reliable persons, indicated that from one to five planes were overhead. No bombs were dropped. No Army or Navy planes were in the air at this time and possibility exists that these planes were commercial type based on interior valley points in CALIFORNIA or elsewhere. The theory that these planes may have been planes carried by a hostile submarine is to have been in this vicinity, is largely discounted because of the height at which planes were estimated to be flying -- 9000 to 18,000 feet.

(4) It is probable that there is at least one, possibly two, hostile submarines off the southern CALIFORNIA coast. Indications of subs have been reported but definite proof of presence is lacking. No friendly ships have been attacked by torpedoes or shells.

(5) No hostile ground units are believed to be nearer than the enemy forces in the JALUIT - WOTJE area of the eastern MANDATED ISLANDS, about 2000 miles west by south of the HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
b. Hostile naval forces which may operate in the waters of the PACIFIC off the west coast could be reinforced by special task forces, locations not definitely known, or by elements of the enemy FIRST and FOURTH FLEETS estimated to be in the MANDATED ISLANDS. It is possible for elements of these units, including carriers to elude our naval defense and air patrols in the vast expanse of the PACIFIC especially to the northwest. Ground troops for raids or attack in force of the PACIFIC COAST including ALASKA or our island possessions in the eastern Pacific are available in JAPAN, FORMOSA, and possibly in the MANDATED ISLANDS.

No hostile operations were conducted within this theatre of operations.

a. Enemy casualties


b. Morale

The hostile morale undoubtedly remains high because of his successes so far. In a country where press, radio and public opinion are controlled entirely by the Government as in Japan, no hint of lowering of national morale is likely to reach the outside world. It is equally certain that reverses and losses will not be truthfully reported to the public.

c. Supply and equipment
The supply and equipment of the enemy is believed to be adequate for the campaign he is waging outside of this theatre. It is probable that he will be equally well supplied and equipped in the event he operates in this theatre for sometime in the future, at least as far as quality of weapon and equipment is concerned.

d. Terrain not under our control:
(1) Mexico
(a) Probable change General Cardenas Headquarters.

The headquarters of General Lazaro CARDENAS, commander of the Military Region of the Pacific, now at ENSENADA, Lower California, will be moved to MAZATLAN about 1 March, 1942 according to the Mexican press. The Liaison Officer of this headquarters questioned the Mexican Chief of Staff in General CARDENAS' absence, who stated that no decision had been made by the General. He stated that this decision would be communicated to our Liaison Officer if and when made.

(b) U. S. Submarine Maneuvers

The 11th Naval District on 17 February notified General CARDENA' headquarters of plans to conduct submarine maneuvers in the vicinity of CORONADO ISLANDS outside of the 3-mile limit and asked if there were any objections to these maneuvers by the Mexican authorities. The reply of the Mexican Chief of Staff on 19 February is quoted:

"The Headquarters of the Military Region of the Pacific has no objections to these maneuvers in the vicinity of the Islas Coronado, and considers the possibility that they may enter the Mexican nine mile limit as unintentional."

(c) German and Italian Prisoners

German and Italian prisoners interned at GUADALAJARA, Mexico have been active in spreading propaganda in that city, according to a confidential report, which hinted that the Mexican Government had done nothing to halt these activities. Restrictions on their movements are reported but not strict.
(2) Pacific Ocean

The waters of the Pacific Ocean, particularly to the north, northwest and west are so vast as to be considered not completely under our control.
e. Weather and visibility, including meteorological conditions, in enemy territory.


f. Enemy's probable knowledge of our situation.

The enemy's probable knowledge of our situation has not been gained by observation or reconnaissance but by information learned during peace by the activities of accredited diplomatic military and naval attaches and their agents. Efforts to deny this information to the enemy include general surveillance of enemy aliens, internment of alien leaders and suspected spies and agents, seizure of contraband in possession of enemy aliens, adoption of stringent censorship measures, and transfer of many other Japanese, including second generation Japanese members of our military forces, from this theatre. All persons of Japanese ancestry, including military personnel, will be removed eventually from this theatre of operations.

Se #162039


Seattle, Washington

6 March 1942

From: Commandant, Thirteenth Naval District
To: The Chief of Naval Operations (Director of Naval Intelligence)
Subject: Sabotage, suspected Japanese attempt of.

l. As a result of publication of the Army prohibited areas, in the afternoon papers of March 3, 1942, the alien Japanese living in the Elmore Cannery bunkhouse on Astoria, Oregon waterfront got drunk on "saki" [sake] and built up wood fires in the bunkhouse stoves to an excessive degree, endangering adjacent properties from overheated flues and large quantities of sparks. When cautioned by watchmen of the Columbia River Packer's Association, these alien Japanese took a very surly and defiant attitude and refused to reduce the fires in their stoves.

2. As a result and believing that this was a deliberate attempt to set fire to this property and possibly the entire waterfront area and the large food packing plants maintained thereon under the cover of a drunkenness excuse, the Columbia River Packer's Association have placed extra guards on their property while the Astoria City Police are covering the area with an extra prowl car.

3. On the night of March 4, 1942, all these alien Japanese quit their jobs with the company, with the exception of one individual who again got drunk, came outside the bunkhouse, becoming very abusive and as a result was arrested and taken to jail on drunk charges by Astoria City Police.

4. The Astoria Local Defense Committee is urging General DeWitt to take immediate steps to remove without delay the alien Japanese from this area to avoid the danger of serious sabotage.

5. FBI, Portland and Military Authorities at Fort Stevens are cognizant.

(Signed) W. J. Giles
Copies to:
Com 11
Com 12

Washington, D. C.

March 12, 1942

Information has been received from the Los Angeles Field Division that during the evening of March 11, 1942, and the early morning of March 12, 1942, twenty-three Japanese aliens residing in Riverside County, California, in the vicinity of March Field Army AIR BASE, were taken into custody upon the authority of the United States Attorney as dangerous enemy aliens.

These individuals were found to be in possession of Japanese Government, Municipal, and Public Utility Bonds in the value of approximately $200,000.00. No bonds or coupons were taken from the subjects at the time of their apprehension. These Japanese aliens also have relatives in Japan or children attending college in Japan, and are members of the Riverside Japanese Association.

Also in the vicinity of Riverside, California, the following Japanese aliens were taken into custody:

Kenaichi Hirokawa
A search of the premises of these individuals revealed that they were in possession of a camera; photographs of airplanes; a war map of Japan; aerial view map covering March Field, Camp Haan, and the Metropolitan water aqueduct; and a strong power light.

Karoku Akutagawa
Akutagawa was Treasurer of the Japanese Language School at San Gabriel Valley, California, and has three sons who were educated in Japan, one of whom is presently in Japan. This individual is reported to have held large meetings of Japanese at his home several weeks ago.

JCS: mert

[RE KOTOSHIRODO, a Kibei found guilty of espionage; before Internee Hearing Board, Oct. 17, 1942:]


On November 4, 1942 the Board, after receiving the testimony in instant case, made the following findings and recommendations:

"1. That the detainee, RICHARD MASAYUKI (M.) KOTOSHIRODO, is a citizen of the United States of Japanese parentage, who has never expatriated himself from his Japanese citizenship, hence is a so-called dual citizen.

"2. That he is loyal to Japan and is not loyal to the United States.

"3. That he is not engaged in any specific subversive activities.

"The detainee was born in 1916, went to Japan early in 1923, and remained there until the end of 1930; he had seven and a half years of schooling in Japan and one year of student military training.

"While in Japan the detainee lived as a Japanese citizen. He has never been expatriated and has applied for deferment from the Japanese military service up until 1940.

"He became a clerk in the office of the Japanese Consul-General in Honolulu in 1935, and was employed as such up to and including December 7th, 1941. In 1940 Tadasi Morimura came to the Consulate as one of the Secretaries. Prior to his arrival he was not known by any of the other Secretaries, and the detainee did not know whether he was an officer of the Naval or Military Reserve, or in the Military service of Japan.

"In general, the testimony given by the detainee is in line with the testimony of the Government and it is believed that this Government testimony is so concisely stated as to need no repetition.

"He told in detail about his trips to the various Islands. He stated that while on the Island of Maui he delivered a package to a man by the name of Sone, a teacher or a principal at Sprecklesville, for a Miss Yamasaki. What was in the package he stated he did not know.

"He made the trip to Kauai with his wife, as stated in the Government's case, and stated that he tried to get information relative to the airport and also went up and looked at the power plant in the vicinity of Kapaa. He stated that he knew what they were doing -- that they were collecting information for the Japanese Government. He stated that he was told that that was the customary thing, and he admits freely that he aided Morimura and Okuda in every way possible.

"On Hawaii he stated that they visited the photo studios of one Miyahara. He also stated that he helped burn pamphlets and letters that were burned in August of 1941.

"He also stated that he saw a large map of the Islands in the office of one of the Consular officials in which a cable line had been drawn to show its location.

"He stated that on the morning of the 7th of December he didn't know that there was going to be a war, and was not sure; but when he heard so much of the firing and the talking about it, he went down to the Consulate, and there found the officials -- the Consul, Vice-Consul and Secretaries -- gathered there and very much disturbed. He asked one of the Secretaries if it was actually war, and the answer in substance was 'No, that would be impossible.' He claims that he didn't know that war had actually broken out. A great deal of the time while there he was talking with Mr. Seki, a Secretary, who stated that he didn't even then understand that war had actually broken out. He states that he got no instructions while there and left there in ten or twenty minutes, and did not return again.

"As these findings have been decided upon some days subsequent to the hearing of the detainee, it is to be noted that he denied emphatically that they were ever asked, or told, anything about the possibility of war. This case should be read in connection with the testimony of SAHARA, to the effect that the Vice-Consul called each one in and asked him if war broke out whether or not he would go back to Japan or stay here.

"The Board finds that the detainee willingly assisted in whatever way he was told in collecting information, as stated in the Government's case; that he also conspired with Tadasi Morimura, Okuda, Seki, and others, exactly what others being unknown to the Board, to commit the crime of espionage by observing and reporting upon disposition of our troops, air fields, military movements, with a view of imparting it to the Japanese at a time when the feeling between the United States and Japan was very intense. This conspiracy continued up to and including December 7th, 1941, after they had knowledge that war had broken out, and as far as is known to this Board the conspiracy still may be in existence, there being no breaking off by any member of the conspiracy by any direct, affirmative action.

"It is believed, by the Board, that the conspiracy existing at the time after war was actually in existence, although not yet declared, that this man should be subject to trial by military commission."



October 24, 1942.

I was told last night by two officers of ONI, Commander Watts (who has taken over the Japan desk from Commander McCollum) and Commander Sebald, that if the "Japanese fishermen" are the ones holding up the second voyage of the Gripsholm, there will be no second voyage. They feel that these people have such an intimate knowledge of the inlets and waters of the Pacific coast that their detention here is well worth the loss of all the Americans now in the Far East.


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