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kuchikomi

Finding spies everywhere, and thinking the unthinkable

17 Comments

While news reports have been focused on lethal North Korean operatives who brought about the murder of Kim Jong-nam in plain view at Kuala Lumpur airport, Shukan Taishu (April 17) informs its Japanese readers that their own country provides an even better haven for foreign operatives than does Malaysia.

Its lack of an anti-espionage law has made it a feeding ground for foreign agents. If the article is to believed, Japan is crawling with Chinese spies -- perhaps as many as 50,000 of them.

"China has six major groups of 'kakyo' (overseas Chinese), with a combined membership of 600,000. They are overseen by a section in China that conducts intelligence, the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army and the Security Bureau.

According to journalist Kensaku Tokito, China's spy network operates from the Chinese embassy in Tokyo and consulates in Sapporo, Niigata, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagasaki. "They are backed by caretakers in the Chinatowns found all across Japan, and include a huge network that includes exchange students, laborers, scholars, and even the workers at entertainment zones such as restaurant workers, club hostesses and masseuses." Tokito estimates their number between 30,000 to 50,000.

There are also said to be Japanese nationals who provide support to the Chinese spy network.

In addition, hundreds of members of Japan's land, sea and air self-defense forces have foreign spouses, some 70% of who are said to be Chinese. Some, the article implies, are likely to pose a security risk.

In addition to military intelligence, industrial espionage is also claimed to be rampant. Ten years ago, a Chinese worker at Denso, an auto parts manufacturer, supplied Chinese companies with some 130,000 items of data related to component design. The man destroyed the evidence, slipped away and is believed to still be working in Japan under a new name. Unlike the U.S. and China, Japan has few restrictions on taking data out of the country.

Compared with other countries, Japan's degree of awareness and countermeasures are at rock-bottom, warns Tokito.

Ironically, Thomson Reuters reported earlier on Monday that China has launched a campaign against foreign espionage, offering generous cash rewards to citizens who turn in suspected spies.

Meanwhile Aera (April 10) takes a "worst case" scenario regarding what might happen on the Korean peninsula.

What if Japanese cities were nuked? The article cites a 2003 book titled "War Simulation: The Day North Korea Explodes." According to the work, a study by the Heritage Foundation in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense, ran computer simulations on nuclear attacks on Tokyo and Osaka. The timing was 8 a.m. on May 31, 2004, and a "small" 12-kiloton nuclear device is detonated over the National Diet building, roughly at the center of Tokyo. (As a point of reference, the uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 was approximately 15 kilotons, and the plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki was 21 kilotons.)

Depending on weather conditions and wind direction, the explosion would kill 423,627 people, with another 811,244 suffering various degrees of injury. If detonated over Umeda in central Osaka, projected figures for dead and injured would be slightly more than Tokyo.

Many fatalities in Hiroshima resulted from people being crushed under collapsed buildings. While some have argued that today's ferroconcrete buildings are considerably more robust than those in 1945, it's pointed out that the extensive use of class windows and other objects would be turned into deadly missiles. People fleeing down emergency steps from skyscrapers would topple over like dominos, and even if they reach the street level, they would be forced to run an obstacle course of fallen buildings and flaming vehicles.

At least some moves are beginning to prepare Japan for civil defense. Over 100 people in a fishing village in Akita Prefecture took part in an drill simulating a North Korean missile attack. But the time between a missile's launch in North Korea to its arrival in Japan is estimated at 7 to 10 minutes. But needless to say, the heavy concentration in major populated areas makes Japan extremely vulnerable.

The government is also said to have budgeted 2 trillion yen for development of a missile defense system -- code-named "Tate" (Shield) -- through 2018.

Since the beginning of this century, Japanese prime ministers have visited Pyongyang on two occasions. But the dialogue was allowed to lapse years ago. Can Japan, asks Aera, come up with a workable means of avoiding a crisis?

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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All of this espionage this and that is more to do with xenophobia.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

According to journalist Kensaku Tokito, China’s spy network operates from the Chinese embassy in Tokyo and consulates in Sapporo, Niigata, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagasaki. “They are backed by caretakers in the Chinatowns found all across Japan, and include a huge network that includes exchange students, laborers, scholars, and even the workers at entertainment zones such as restaurant workers, club hostesses and masseuses.” Tokito estimates their number between 30,000 to 50,000. ...There are also said to be Japanese nationals who provide support to the Chinese spy network. ... In addition, hundreds of members of Japan’s land, sea and air self-defense forces have foreign spouses, some 70% of who are said to be Chinese. Some, the article implies, are likely to pose a security risk.

Is this the Japanese incarnation of Trump-style populism? While the bigots in the US spread FUD that anyone who is a Muslim is a potential terrorist, the bigots in Japan spread FUD that anyone with Chinese ancestry is a potential spy. Shame on JT for spreading fear and hatred without exercising the slightest shred of critical thought.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Compared with other countries, Japan’s degree of awareness and countermeasures are at rock-bottom, warns Tokito.

Japan, the government that is, is 100% to blame for this. The media is controlled, the population only believes what the press or media puts out. The "other" side of the story is often, if not always, swept under the carpet, or totally hidden from view.

With awareness comes a need to admit there is a problem.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm sorry, Mr. Tokito I didn't know that my foreign wife made me more of a traitor. However this article reeks of tabloid "journalism".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is so scripted if it weren't so dangerous it would be funny. Although espionage does probably exist on some scale, 50 000 ? Really? Embassy, consulates, Chinatowns, exchange students?? Please. Actually that guy with his wok making my cheap and delicious noodles yesterday had a funny looking smile. His kitchen hand also looks too buff just to be a kitchen hand. Be vigilant people, they are everywhere! Lame level Master. Hope that xenophobia works out well for ya guys.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Xenophobic prole-scare tabloid filth. Replace Chinese with Muslim and it could be the Daily Heil or Faux News. What a joke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is an issue in all countries with large Chinese diaspora populations. China is famous for being able to muster massive local pro-government support crowds during state visits or other political events, just look at what happened when Xi visited the US and the UK, and also the major "instant crowds" they muster in Australia. These operations are all organized by the embassies and consulates so it's not too difficult to imagine hundreds of different scenarios where some local Chinese or even Japanese want to earn some extra cash by sharing a few files every now and then, particularly in Japan where security is almost non-existent

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Only a fool would not volunteer for "duty" in Japan. A paycheck, easily accessed accommodations, a safe country, and excellent travel and food in Japan. It is the perfect job especially as an ALT or tutor in a Chinese class.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Undoubtedly a paranoid piece of junk journalism. However that does not preclude a kernel of truth; are there Chinese and North Korean spies in Japan? Undoubtedly yes some (number unknown/arguable but certainly some). Does the lack of control on data transfer and the openness offered by Japan facilitate any espionage activity, yes. Does Japan need to take more action to mitigate this situation? possibly (up to the Japanese to decide), do they need a massive paranoid over reaction (also up to the Japanese) but IMHO no.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it’s pointed out that the extensive use of class windows and other objects would be turned into deadly missiles

Hmmm... Class warfare?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Boogeyman under the bed syndrome in a nutshell!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There is no higher value military target in the whole of Nippon than the awesomely critical Akita village infrastructure.

@marcelito,

They may be be working on the premise that an NK device has a high chance of missing the intended target.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan is already vulnerable to attack on its coastal nuclear reactors-if real harm is intended there is little that the Japanese government can do.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More boogeyman under the bed syndrome!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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