Polish-Japanese Secret Cooperation During World War II

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Musashi
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Polish-Japanese Secret Cooperation During World War II

Post by Musashi » 05 Jul 2005 00:08

Polish-Japanese Secret Cooperation During World War II: Sugihara Chiune and Polish Intelligence
Dr. Ewa Palasz-Rutkowska

The March meeting was one of the outstanding occasions of the ASJ, when a near-capacity audience of around 150 gathered in the great hall of OAG House, drawn no doubt by the topicality of the subject, which was reinforced by a "national news brief" in the Japan Times the previous day, announcing the meeting. The meeting was covered by Austrian television, and attended by staff of the Japan Times Weekly, which had recently published a feature article on Sugihara; the Japan Times followed up the meeting by publishing a two-column report on page 2 on March 15th. Dr. Rutkowska expects her paper to he published in Japanese this spring in "Polonoica", and hopes for publication in English in the autumn in "Japan Forum" (Journal of the British Association for Japanese Studies, Oxford University Press).

Dr. Rutkowska's subject, Polish-Japanese cooperation during World War II, mainly concerned intelligence activities, and she began by outlining the difficulties facing a researcher in such a field. As agents keep no notes, their later reconstructions of their activities are necessarily faulty, and some of them adhere to the principle of secrecy, not revealing names even when the need for secrecy has long since passed. Also the practice of releasing state documents after 50 years does not always apply to military documents, especially those concerning intelligence activities. Moreover, in the case of Japan the authorities claim that the archives of that period were either burnt or moved to the U.S.

In 1936 Japan signed an Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany and Italy. In the next three years Hitler's policy of aggrandizement moved inexorably towards war, and the final signal was the signing of the Ribbentrop-Molotov treaty on August 23rd, 1939. Japan took this as a breach of the Anti-Comintern Pact, and, feeling no longer able to trust its allies, decided to set up an observation post on both Germany and USSR in the form of a consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania. In September Poland was invaded from both sides, and some of the Polish military units in the east crossed the Lithuanian border and were interned. Some escaped from the camps and set up an escape network, in which they were assisted by the head of the Polish intelligence in Lithuania (called Wierzba, 'Willow'), Ludwik Hryncewicz, whose main aim was to get intelligence officers out of the camps. One of these was Lt. Leszek Daszkiewicz, and he established contact with Capt. Alfons Jakubianiec in Kaunas. Meanwhile, with the completion of the German and Soviet occupation of Poland, thousands of refugees poured into Lithuania. However, the Polish legation in Kaunas closed down in protest against the handing over of Polish territory around Vilnius to Lithuania, and it was left to the British and French representatives to look after the refugees. In this they were helped by the Polish intelligence service, who soon extended their cooperation to the newly opened Japanese consulate in Kaunas, and in particular to the Vice-Consul, Sugihara Chiune.

Sugihara, who was fluent in Russian, had previously served in Harbin, and was charge d'affaires in Helsinki before being transferred to Kaunas. He later described his mission in Kaunas as being to discover when Germany was most likely to attack Russia, thus enabling Japan to transfer forces from the Soviet-Manchurian border to the south Pacific. Hryncewicz learnt of these Japanese intelligence operations by getting a Pole placed as a butler in the consulate, and in the spring of 1940 Jakubianiec and Daszkiewicz contacted Sugihara, using the names Kuncewicz and Perz respectively. We have various accounts of what transpired. Sugihara says he used to see them whenever they wished until August of that year, when the consulate had to be closed down; at that point he issued them with Japanese service passports as secretaries of the consulate, and sent them to Germany in his official car. Hryncewicz says he had taken the initiative in this matter because Jakubianiec was in danger; it was agreed that Sugihara would take the two men with him to Germany, where they would then be able to contact Wierzba through the Japanese diplomatic couriers plying between Berlin, Kaunas, Moscow and Tokyo, and Sugihara would also help to transfer packages to Maj. Michal Rybikowski in Stockholm for transmission to the Polish government in exile in London. Daszkiewicz reports that during 1940 he passed to Sugihara information about Soviet troop movements, and that Sugihara knew perfectly well that he and Jakubianiec were involved in military intelligence. Sugihara gave Jakubianiec a Japanese passport in April, but procrastinated over giving one to Daszkiewicz, eventually issuing it in August but backdating it.

Daszkiewicz also reports on Sugihara's issuing of transit visas to Polish refugees. He says Sugihara came up with the idea of sending the refugees via Japan to a small island state off the coast of South America, and he got the honorary consul of that state to agree to issue residence visas, though they both knew that the refugees, once in Japan, would go elsewhere. When the time came, it was the Jews who came in great numbers. The agreed number of visas to be issued was 600, but they issued many more, about 900. Daszkiewicz also suggested making a rubber stamp to facilitate the process, and Sugihara agreed. They made a stamp for him, and also secretly made another for themselves, with which they issued more visas after the closure of the Kaunas consulate, backdating them.

Sugihara's own account of this is as follows. In August (probably in July, actually) the consulate was besieged by refugees wanting transit visas. They were eligible for these if they had visas for the country of final destination, but most of them had not. For ten days he sent fruitless dispatches to Tokyo asking for authorization to issue in any case, but eventually gave up and issued visas on his own responsibility - about 3,500 of them, to the best of his memory - having established that the USSR would also issue transit visas if Japanese ones were issued first. Mrs. Sugihara added, in a conversation with Dr. Rutkowska, that the refugees came because the Dutch consul in Kaunas had the idea of granting them entry visas for Curacao in the then Dutch West Indies, which could only be got to via Japan. She also said that her husband knew that he could lose his job if he was discovered, but was determined to go through with it. He worked from morning till night without a break for several days, knowing that the consulate would soon be closed; towards the end he got very tired, but fortunately he had a strong stamina.

When the consulate was closed, he burned all the documents and moved to the Hotel Metropolis. The consular seal had already been packed, but he continued to issue provisional laissez passers to refugees, writing the last ones at the window of the train taking him to Berlin on September 1st. In Berlin he reported his actions to the ambassador, Kurusu Saburo, who belonged to the pro-American faction in the Foreign Office and did not say a word. Soon after, Sugihara was moved to Prague as consul general, and from there he sent his own report to the Foreign Office, stating that he had issued 2,092 visas. His wife says that he had lost count, as he had stopped writing visa numbers in August, and present-day estimates of the number of Jews who escaped via Japan are in the region of 5,000-6,000.

The man charged with organizing their reception in Japan was the Polish ambassador in Tokyo, Tadeusz Romer, and his unpublished reports to the Polish government in exile make interesting reading. He organized a relief committee, which raised funds from the local Polish and Jewish communities and also from Jewish organizations in America, and found accommodations in Kobe. The embassy worked to get visas to various destination countries, and when it was closed down at the end of 1941 the Japanese transferred the remaining refugees, about 1,000 of them, to Shanghai. Many years after the war, Romer told his cousin, who had collaborated with Dr. Rutkowska in writing the present paper, about an amusing episode. One day thirty people arrived in Tsuruga from Nakhodka with forged visas, all using the same name "Jakub Goldberg" written in the Japanese phonetic "katakana" syllabary. The Japanese were furious, and sent them back to Nakhodka, where they could not disembark as they no longer had Soviet entry visas. For several weeks they sailed to and fro, until Romer finally got the Japanese authorities to allow them to land on condition that they would leave Japan within three weeks, which he arranged with the help of the Dutch and American ambassadors.

Back in Europe, Jakubianiec and Daszkiewicz went on from Berlin to Stockholm, where they got in touch with Rybikowski. There they decided that they would make use of their Japanese service passports to continue intelligence work in Germany, Jakubianiec with the Japanese military attache in Berlin (passing on all information from there to Stockholm), and Daszkiewicz with Sugihara in Prague and, from March 1941, in Konigsberg (in the former East Prussia), where Sugihara, under orders from Ambassador Oshima, opened a consulate general, whose purpose, like that of the old Kaunas consulate, was to provide information about German and Soviet troop movements. Wierzba again arranged to have a Pole working in the Sugihara household, and he was Daszkiewicz's most trusted co-worker. As Germany's preparations for war against the USSR increased, they discovered that the consulate was under observation. Eventually the Germans pressed the Japanese Foreign Office to recall Sugihara as a persona non grata; the consulate was closed down in autumn, 1942, and Sugihara was moved to Bucharest.

In July 1941, the Polish intelligence outpost in Berlin was liquidated by the German counter-intelligence, and Jakubianiec was arrested, and executed in Sachsenhausen in 1945. One reason for this disaster was Jakubianiec's own lack of prudence in his personal relations, and another was the carelessness of the Warsaw members of the network. Daszkiewicz escaped from Konigsberg with Sugihara's help, but this was the end of the cooperation between the Polish and Japanese intelligence services in Germany (Oshima fearing a deterioration in their relations with the Germans), though it continued in Stockholm between the Japanese military attache, Gen. Onodera Makoto, and Rybikowski.

A question time followed, during which many searching questions were put to the speaker, and then the meeting closed with a vote thanks proposed by Rabbi James M. Lebeau, who thanked both the ASJ and Dr. Rutkowska for making available this information about a man of whom he had known nothing prior to coming to Tokyo. This was not the end of the evening's activities, however, as we were treated to a reception hosted by the Polish Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Henryk Lipszyc, and members and visitors lingered on until close to 10:00 pm.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapted from "The Asiatic Society of Japan Bulletin No. 4", April 1995, compiled by Hugh Wilkinson.
Source: http://www.asjapan.org/Lectures/1995/Le ... 995-03.htm

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Post by Larry D. » 05 Jul 2005 00:28

Musashi wrote:
Moreover, in the case of Japan the authorities claim that the archives of that period were either burnt or moved to the U.S.
Partially true. Most were burned. Eight-five tons of surviving documents, mostly pre-war, were brought to the U.S. in 1946-47 but then returned to Japan in 1958 after about 5% of the total was microfilmed (mostly ship TROMs). But a considerable amount of documentation was hidden away in Japan in August 1945 and not "discovered" or recovered until the mid-1950's and even later. I have seen it said that BKS (the Japanese War History Office in Tokyo) holds approximately 23,000 documents from the World War II period, not counting ship's TROMs (logs), Merit Award Committee documents and similar. That is why the official 102-volume Japanese history of the war, Senshi Sosho, had to rely very heavily on personal diaries and recollections.

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More Details

Post by Kim Sung » 21 Jul 2005 14:29

Before the outbreak of WW2, three polish officers were sent to Kwantung army as specialists to decode the Soviet COMINT. The Polish government in exile in London let them stay in Manchuria and continue to do their duty.

And, during the Russo-Japanese war, Polish leaders including Pilsudski visited to Japan and suggested that they would conscript ten thousand Polish Americans as volunteers and join the battles in Manchuria. This suggestion was refused by Japan that feared it would be involved in the turmoil of European conflicts.

After Pilsudski becoming the president of Poland, he gave Virtuti Militari to 51 Japanese officers for their assistance to Polish independence movement who participated in the Russo-Japanese war.

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Post by Larry D. » 21 Jul 2005 15:28

killchola wrote:
Before the outbreak of WW2, three polish officers were sent to Kwantung army as specialists to decode the Soviet COMINT. The Polish government in exile in London let them stay in Manchuria and continue to do their duty.
a) How successful were they in penetrating the Soviet code and cipher systems?
b) What happened to the 3 officers after 7 December 1941?

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Decoding Ability of the Polish Army

Post by Kim Sung » 21 Jul 2005 16:23

In the 1920s, the Polish Army was famous for its decoding technology especially relating to the Soviet code encoding system. At the battle of Vistula in 1920, Pilsudski's army deciphered the Soviet code, which decisively contributed to its victory.

So the Japanese army invited Major Jan Kowalewski, a decoding specialist, to Japan in 1923. He stayed in Japanese Command Headquarter for 3 months. He teached Japanese officers about the Soviet encoding system. His lecture was very popular among Japanese decoding personels, so they decided to send following three delegations to Poland.

Lt. Colonel 百武春吉 in 1925
Major 酒井直次 in 1928
Major 桜井信太 in 1936

Owing to their learning in Poland, the Japanese Army could succesfully decode the code of Jiang She Liang's army by which Jiang suggested they would join the Kuomintang forces in 1928. And Japanese decoded the code of the Chinese forces in the Mukden Incident and knew in advance what action the Chinese would take, for example, '二二電本', '二三電本' and '二六電本'.

Like this, Polish technical assistance enabled the Japanese improve their encoding and decoding capabilities, even in encoding telegrams of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Basically, the Poles had a good feeling towards the Japanese because they assisted Polish independence movement and Japan was the only non-western country that defeated Russia.

I have no information relating on what happened to the 3 officers after 7 December 1941, but I believe Japanese did not do them any harm even if their former friends became their enemies and because they were very useful in Japanese intelligence operation against the Soviets.

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Post by Larry D. » 21 Jul 2005 16:44

killchola wrote:
Like this, Polish technical assistance enabled the Japanese improve their encoding and decoding capabilities, even in encoding telegrams of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
Basically, the Poles had a good feeling towards the Japanese because they assisted Polish independence movement and Japan was the only non-western country that defeated Russia.
I have no information relating on what happened to the 3 officers after 7 December 1941, but I believe Japanese did not do them any harm even if their former friends became their enemies and because they were very useful in Japanese intelligence operation against the Soviets.
Very interesting, thanks. The Poles were the pre-war leaders in cryptanalysis. While helping the Japanese with the left hand, they were breaking the German Enigma system with the right hand and giving this to the French and then to the British! They were busy, busy fellows!

Their assistance to the Japanese Foreign Ministry is of particular interest because the Foreign Ministry's PURPLE machine was the very first machine cipher system successfully attacked and broken by the U.S. Army's SIS (Signal Intelligence Service). It was read currently and continuously from 1939 to the end of the war and furnished the Western Allies a virtual goldmine of intelligence information that was code-named MAGIC. It was one of the two or three most important sources of accurate intelligence on the Tripartite Axis during the war. I wonder if the Poles might have been playing both sides of the street on this? I wonder if they helped the Japanese Foreign Ministry develop their PURPLE system and then quietly tipped off SIS what was going on and provided them with details of how it worked? The U.S. team under William F. Friedman seem to have attacked and broken the system awfully fast (less than two years) unless, that is, they had some help from the Poles!

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It's quite plausible, I agree~!

Post by Kim Sung » 21 Jul 2005 17:03

I wonder if the Poles might have been playing both sides of the street on this? I wonder if they helped the Japanese Foreign Ministry develop their PURPLE system and then quietly tipped off SIS what was going on and provided them with details of how it worked? The U.S. team under William F. Friedman seem to have attacked and broken the system awfully fast (less than two years) unless, that is, they had some help from the Poles!
Yes, it's quite plausible. I know the system of diplomatic telegrams and its importance because I worked in the Korean Foreign Ministry for 3 years as a young diplomat. My duty there was to receive telegrams from embassies all over the world and report them to the deputy foreign minister. That's why I'm interested in the field of cryptanalysis.
Last edited by Kim Sung on 24 Jul 2005 14:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Larry D. » 21 Jul 2005 17:32

Yes, it's quite plausible. I know the system of diplomatic telegrams and its importance because I worked in the Korean Foreign Ministry for 3 years as a young diplomat. My duty there was to receive telegrams from embassies all over the world and report them to the deputy foreign minister. Now I'm working in a Korean military intelligence agency. My duty here is to analyze COMINT. That's why I'm interested in the field of cryptanalysis.
Most interesting. We have similar backgrounds, then. I worked in a COMINT (or Sigint) environment back in the 1960's while in uniform in the U.S. armed forces. Today, I am retired but I am still very much interested in the history of signals intelligence, especially during the World War II period. I devour every new book and journal article written about the subject and about the wealth of information it provided to the Allies during the war. One of the last remaining questions about the "World War II Sigint Story" concerns the Russians. How effective were they in breaking into the higher level German systems, i.e., Enigma and Geheimeschreiber, what did they learn and when, how did they apply what they learned, etc.? Although many have tried to find out and are still trying, this remains one of the last major secrets of the war. The Russians still won't discuss the subject. STAVKA provided very little intelligence information on the Germans to the British and the Americans during the war, so there is no way to guage or judge what they knew or did not know.

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Post by Windward » 22 Jul 2005 02:38

百武春吉 Hyakutake Haruyoshi
酒井直次 Sakai Naoji
桜井信太 Sakurai Sida

best

PS, I recalled in Walter Schellenberg's memoir, he said Japanese and Manchurian intelligence agencies hired some Poles to work for them in Germany during WW2.

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Colonel Akashi Motojiro

Post by Kim Sung » 28 Aug 2005 16:23

Colonel Akashi Motojiro was the military attache in the Japanese embassy in Sweden during the Russo-Japanese war. He had spy activities there to cause social turmoil and motivate Polish and Finnish independence activists.

He went to Kraków to meet the leader of Polish independence actvist Domowski with Konni Siriakus who was the leader of Finnsh independence movement. They stayed there for a week.

They discussed how to establish a common front against Russia. It doesn't seem that their talks achieved anything serious, but, anyway, Japan tried to use their will to independence to give a blow to the Russian Empire.

There is even an account that he had a contact with Armenian independence activists. He did anything he could do there.

He is said to have been involved in assassination of Vyacheslav Konstantinovich von Plehve (Вячесла́в Константи́нович фон Пле́ве) on July 15, 1904 who was the director of the tsarist Russian Police and later Minister of the Interior, Bloody Sunday incident of January 22, 1905, and mutiny of the battleship Potemkin uprising on June 14, 1905.

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Post by Kim Sung » 21 May 2006 15:02

I've found an interesting wikipedia article on Jan Kowalewski.
A polyglot and amateur cryptanalyst, he was initially attached to the staff of Gen. Józef Haller de Hallenburg fighting in Volhynia and Eastern Lesser Poland during the Polish-Ukrainian War for the city of Lwów. During his service there he managed to break the codes and ciphers of the army of Western Ukrainian National Republic and the White forces of General Anton Denikin. Although his discovery was caused by an accident and boredom (he had to spent all night segregating the intercepted radio messages and discard all the ciphered ones), it became a major sensation in the staff. Because of that, in July of 1919 he was transferred to Warsaw, where he became the head of the radio intelligence department of the Polish General Staff. By early September he gathered a group of mathematicians from the Warsaw University and Lwów University (most notably the founders of the Polish School of Mathematics Stanisław Leśniewski, Stefan Mazurkiewicz and Wacław Sierpiński), who were able to break the German ciphers as well. Although his contribution to the Polish victory in the Polish-Bolshevik War remained a secret for more than 70 years, he was awarded the prestigious Virtuti Militari medal, the highest Polish military award.

After the war ended, he was attached to the staff of the Third Silesian Uprising as the commander of intelligence services. In 1923 he was sent to Tokyo, where he organized course of radio intelligence for Japanese officers. In 1928 he graduated from the École Supérieure de Guerre in Paris and was promoted to the rank of Major. Although not directly involved in radio intelligence any more, he remained a Polish intelligence officer. Since 1929 he served as a military attaché at the Polish embassy in Moscow. In 1933 he was found persona non grata and was moved to a similar post in the embassy in Bucharest, where he remained until 1937. Upon his return to Poland he briefly headed one of the branches of the Obóz Zjednoczenia Narodowego political organization and became the director of TISSA company, a Polish intelligence-sponsored company importing rare materials for the Polish arms industry. He was also promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

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Post by Kim Sung » 04 Dec 2006 08:02

Here is a list of Japanese officers who participated in the three month long lecture by Jan Kowalewski under the auspices of the Japanese Chief Staff.
  主任 陸軍参謀本部第部通信課長 岩越恒一大佐
     幹事 同                  中村正雄大尉
     通訳(臨時派遣・ロシア語)        木村繁吉大尉
     同                     深堀游亀中尉
     講習員陸軍参謀本部露班員      百武晴吉大尉
     英班員                   井上芳佐大尉
     仏班員                   三国直福大尉
     独班員                   武田 馨大尉
     顧問 近衛師団歩兵第4連隊       三宅一夫中佐
     聴講者 海軍軍令部通信課         中杉海軍中佐

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Post by Peter H » 04 Dec 2006 13:14

Please translate.

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Post by hisashi » 04 Dec 2006 16:43

This list appears in this page;
http://www.bea.hi-ho.ne.jp/hirama/Yh_ro ... poland.htm


岩越恒一 (chief) Colonel IWAKOSHI Koichi director of communication section, general staffs
Retired in 1937 as Lt.Gen (engineer)
中村正雄 (administrator) captain NAKAMURA Masao communication section, general staffs
KIA in 1939 as the commander of 21st infantry brigade in China, promoted to Lt.Gen.
木村繁吉 Captain KIMURA Shigekichi temporally attached Russian translator
Biographies unknown
深堀游亀 First Lieutenant FUKAHORI Yuki temporally attached Russian translator
Led intelligence department of Kwantung Army HQ 1942-1943; His appointment include both open and secret positions. In July 1945 as a Lt.Gen. he was appointed to newly raised 322th infantry division.
百武晴吉 Captain HYAKUTAKE Harukichi a member of Russia section, generan staffs
Led 17th army in Guadalcanal front as Lt.Gen.
井上芳佐 Captain INOUE Hosuke? a member of Britain section, generan staffs
At the end of war he was Lt.Gen. and led 94th division in Thailand.
三国直福 Captain MIKUNI Naotomi? a member of France section, generan staffs
At the end of war he was Lt.Gen. and led 21st division in South Vietnam.
武田馨 Captain TAKEDA Kaoru a member of Gernamy section, generan staffs
At the end of war he was Lt.Gen. and was the inspector general of anti-aircraft artillery.
三宅一夫 Lieutenant Colonel MIYAKE Kazuo (advisor) 4th regiment, Imperial Guard Division
He commanded 7th division as a Lt.Gen., 1936-1937. His service in WWII is unknown.
中杉 Navy Commander Nakasugi (auditor) Navy General Staffs, communication section
He is perhaps Rear Admiral NAKASUGI Kyujiro (中杉久治郎). He served in 4th department (communication/cipher) from 1921 to 1940 (recalled 1943-1945).

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Re: Polish-Japanese Secret Cooperation During World War II

Post by stril » 29 Jun 2009 18:09

Anyone having info on these japanese officers ?
regards
stril

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0&t=154497

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