Documents show Japan government aide was CIA mole

Shigeru Yoshida

Shigeru Yoshida

A senior military aide to Japanese Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida in the 1950s was an informant for the CIA, according to documents unearthed at the US National Archives. A CIA memorandum dated November 26, 1956, describes Lt. Gen. Eiichi Tatsumi (ret.), who advised the Japanese Prime Minister on defense matters, as “one of the best, safest, most qualified persons in Japan today for CIA use”. Waseda University professor Tetsuo Arima, who unearthed the documents, said the CIA codenamed Tatsumi POLESTAR-5. Bearing fresh memories from Japan’s destructive participation in World War II, the government of Prime Minister Yoshida refused calls to remilitarize Japan. But a hardcore group of senior military officials, including Tatsumi, who had fought in the war, wished to see Japan rearm. Washington, which interpreted Yoshida’s refusal to rearm as a friendly gesture to Russia, also wanted to see Japan remilitarize. Tatsumi thus collaborated with the US in informing the latter about internal Japanese government debates on remilitarization. Tatsumi was also a member Kawabe, a notorious anticommunist Japanese spy ring, handled by the CIA, whose members were involved in a 1952 plan to topple the elected Japanese government and assassinate Prime Minister Yoshida. The plan never materialized. See here for previous intelNews reporting on operation POCAPON, a CIA project to meddle in Japanese elections in favor of Yoshida’s opponent, who routinely met with CIA agents.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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