|NOTE: Sections blacked out in the original are noted by X's,
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FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Bureau letter dated October 17, 1941 (No file number).
Bureau letter dated November 15, 1941 (No file number).
For the purpose of information of the Los Angeles Field Division, the reference letters are contained in Los Angeles File #100-8075.
A literal translation of the Japanese names by which the subject organization is known is interpreted to mean "The Association of Those Japanese in America Who Are Eligible for Compulsory Military Service in Japan." The organization is commonly referred to in English as "The Japanese Military Service Men's League." The variations in the title of the instant report result from a translation of this English name into the Japanese language. For the purpose of convenience in this report, the subject organization will be referred to as "the Association."
Shortly after the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, the Association was organized by a group of Japanese living in and around San Francisco, California. The exact date of its founding was August 21, 1937. The headquarters of the Association are at 1783 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California. Its founders numbered some fifty or more local Japanese, who agreed to bear the burden of the operating expenses in order that the entire amount of money collected as contributions could be forwarded to Japan. The basic idea behind the formation of the Association was to give those Japanese who lived in America and who were eligible for compulsory military service in Japan an opportunity to fulfill their duty to the mother country. Consequently, the regular members are all between the ages of 21 and 45, inclusive, and are either Japanese aliens or Japanese possessing dual citizenship. The Association also comprised so-called "patron members," who were those individuals who voluntarily contributed funds to Japan through this organization. Both the regular and the patron members were required to pay dues of $1.00 per month and, in addition, contribute whatever funds they deemed advisable, according to their means. The regular members of the Association were required to make annual application for deferment from the military service in Japan.
In the report of Special Agent XXXXX dated July 3, 1941, at San Francisco, California, bearing the same title as the instant report, there is set forth a report of
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According to XXXXX the Association is composed of both "regular" and "associate" members who contribute $1.00 per month as dues. This informant disclosed that the members are required to apply through the Central Japanese Association of America for an extension of time relative to their military conscription. Such action is only a formality, as their residence in the United States is sufficient to disqualify them for such conscription. This informant stated that the usual activities of the Association consisted in the showing of patriotic pictures imported from Japan and the sponsoring of lectures by visiting men from Japan. XXXXX
By letter dated October 1?, 1941, from the San Diego Field Division there was transmitted XXXXX by a confidential informant of that office.
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On June 7, 1941, ITARU TACHIBANA, Commander in the Imperial Japanese Navy, was taken into custody and his premises were searched under authority of lawful search warrant. Among the effects of TACHIBANA certain records of the Association were seized.
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The records of the Association consist of notices sent to various branches by the headquarters in San Francisco, California. A translation of these notices discloses the following officers of the organization:
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This notice, which was signed by all the officers and chartered members mentioned above, read as follows: "Whereas it is our duty we assist in the military activities of Japan, we must place ourselves in a position of national unity. We who are living in a foreign land and are unable to show our loyalty in any other way must take this opportunity to send consolation kits, relief donations, and any other contributions of a military nature. The chief reason of our activity while in a foreign country is due greatly to the powerful background of the Japanese prestige. The present emergency which is facing Japan at this time makes it necessary that we proceed in the above-mentioned manner. Consequently, for those reasons we are urging your approval of our cause."
This notice also contained the following resolution: "We, the members of the Japanese Compulsory Military Service Association of America, hereby pledge to assist the Department of Military Relief in Japan on the occasion of the Sino-Japanese Incident." (Dated August 21, 1937, signed Japanese Compulsory Military Service Association of America). Under this resolution was set forth the following application blank:
"AmountContinuing, this notice read in part as follows: "In order to establish the Far Eastern eternal peace, we must endure great sacrifices to carry on the Imperialistic policy to guide our fellow Japanese along the right path, and to prosecute the cruel subjects. Since we were born in glorious Japan, we are under the obligation and full responsibility of participating in the military service and take our place in the front line of national defense. We are unable to meet such responsibilities, solely because we happen to be in America. Once we shift our thoughts to the fighting Japanese soldiers, we are unable to sit by and watch their hardships, but we should and must do something. Therefore, on August 21 we called you together to organize the JAPANESE COMPULSORY MILITARY SERVICE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, and a resolution was passed to choose the best method to send the Japanese Soldiers Relief Donations. Immediately upon sending out this encouraging statement, we followed it up with actual collections of relief money, which was sent to Japan. This is, of course, only a part of what we accomplished from this resolution. With reference to the Japanese living in America, their loyalty toward Japan is no different from that of those who live in Japan. Since the start of this conflict, we have shown our sincere sympathy by sending consolation kits, national defense contributions, and Relief for Soldiers Donations. We, the members of this Association, felt the importance of such services. We expect your approval of such action, and we expect you to do your part concerning such contributions. It does not matter whether you send your contribution through our organization or any other organization. We are interested only in your sincerity toward the important emergency confronting Japan. At the present time Japan is confronting a serious stage of glory or downfall, and in such a time as this we Japanese must stand by and make our greatest efforts toward the sacred acts being taken in the Far East. We hereby desire your utmost cooperation as a "member behind the guns," and request that you make a contribution." (Dated September 2, 1937).
Another notice from the headquarters of this Association, dated February 11, 1938, read as follows: "Exactly a half year has passed since the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese conflict. During this period the powerful Imperial force has pushed CHIANG KAI-SHEK's anti-Japanese regime to the inner Chinese districts. Although China is still depending on third powers and boasting their long period of anti-Japanese policy, the successful conflict is continuing. China is the evil of Oriental peace. Unless we crush them completely, there never shall be peace. In order that this peace, harmony, good government, and six hundred million Far Eastern people will be guided through this historical undertaking, we must make great sacrifices. The enemy is not merely an anti-Japanese political machine, but apparently with the aid of two or three other great powers, they are stating? to stem? the ?? expansion? of Japan's peace-making civilization. [Next 6 lines illegible]
Another notice from headquarters outlined the following provisions of membership in the Association:
"1. Temporary exemption from conscription. Each member is to donate $1.00 per month Military Relief Contribution until the end of the war.Another notice to the branch organizations dated September 30, 1938, read as follows:
"The Patriotic Bonds: In order to achieve the object of the present conflict, it is very essential to balance the national budget. It is estimated that about eight billion yen have been spent financing the war. This amount is equal to approximately one hundred and ten yen per person in Japan. This is no time for us Japanese in America to stand by and do nothing. Although we have already begun our contribution campaign, we also ought to loan our money to Japan. Therefore, every organization must cooperate in buying the patriotic bonds. If you will approve our great work, we shall be more than thankful to you. The classification of these bonds is as follows: $25.00, $50.00, $100.00, and $500.00. An annual interest of 3½% will be paid semi-annually, and the redemption date will be June 1, 1955."
"Application and Cash Handling Methods: From your Association you solicit at least one $25.00 bond or more per person among the members or the volunteers. The sales price will be at a rate of $30.00 in American money. After the sale of the bonds, please remit the cash to our headquarters, together with the purchaser's name and address."
"Purchase Method: At our headquarters the purchase application will be arranged, and the total money received will be sent to the Minister of Finance, who, in turn, will purchase the bonds from the appointed agency. These bonds and any cash balance due you will be returned to your office."
"Fees: No fee will be charged for the purchase of these bonds. However, please understand that the mailing charge and insurance charge will be added to the cost of your bond."
"Certificate of Receipt: An individual receipt will be issued from your office which, in turn, will receive a receipt from our headquarters."
"Comments: The above provisions may at any time be amended to suit the individual. The purchase of Japanese (yen standard) bonds by American dollars is highly approved by the Japanese Government's financial policy as the most worthwhile scheme. We hope for your cooperation."
On August 19, 1939, a meeting of the Association was held at the Buddhist Church Auditorium in San Francisco. At this meeting various welcoming addresses were made, the representatives were introduced, and the various business reports were submitted to the committees. A dinner was had, and motion pictures were shown. The patriotic marching song, the warship marching song and the theme song of the Association were sung.
The details of the consolation kits and cash contributions were set forth in this report opposite the names of the various branches. The names of these branches will be mentioned later in this report. This report reflected that the total contributions amounted to $93,920.31. This represented the amount of money received from April 7, 1939, to August 7, 1939. This report further reflected that the net proceeds of the second benefit movie contribution amounted to $7,914.12.
A report of the first convention of the Association was also found in the effects of ITARU TACHIBANA. This report was submitted at the representatives convention held at the San Francisco Buddhist Auditorium on June 25, 1938. At this convention XXXXX submitted his report of the past activities. Greeting speeches were given by XXXXX as representative of the Association; XXXXX as representative of the "New World Morning News"; by XXXXX representative of the "United States Japanese News"; by XXXXX representative of the Japanese Association of America; and by XXXXX representative of the Japanese Consulate. XXXXX made a formal reply as a delegate of the entire representative body. This report reflected that forty-one organizations were represented, fifteen were not represented, and the total number of representatives in attendance amounted to 188. A resolution was passed whereby films, a projector, and other equipment was to be purchased, and the remaining money was to be sent to Japan as a patriotic donation through the Consulate. The following resolutions were made and passed:
1. To invite someone from the Japanese Government as speaker at the next meeting.Cable appreciations were sent to XXXXX of the Japanese Armies in China. Appreciation notes were sent to the head office of the Association and to the chairman and vice-chairman and secretary. The meeting was closed with a cheer for Great Imperial Japan and for HEIMUSHA KAI. The closing remarks of this report were as follows:
"We all wish to accomplish the honorable mission for our Emperor, our country, our race, and our posterity."According to a report of XXXXX dated December 10, 1941, many Japanese Government agencies are encouraging the financial aid of their nationals in support of the incident in China. This report reflects that many of those contributions are earmarked for the Japanese Army and Navy Ministries. Although the exact total of the contributions was not known, this report stated that they were in excess of $10,000 per month. The source of these contributions are "patriotic savings accounts," dues, and admissions charged for viewing such Japanese propaganda films as "The New Continent," "The Japanese Navy," "The Japanese Naval Airforce," "The
Japanese Marines." This report reflects that the money is usually forwarded direct to the Japanese Consul through Japanese banks, and that receipts are always acknowledged with a flowery letter of appreciation, which is given wide publicity in Japanese circles. XXXXX
Among the various problems which arose shortly after the Association was organized was the question whether or not it had to be registered with the State Department as an agent of a foreign principle. This doubt was resolved by decision of the State Department, deciding that such registration was not necessary. By letter from the Bureau dated April 11, 1940, entitled "XXXXX ET AL, REGISTRATION ACT, AGENTS OF FOREIGN PRINCIPLES" (Bureau file 97-53), a copy of a letter setting forth this decision of the Department of State states that since this organization had discontinued its activities in connection with the sale of Japanese Government Emergency Bonds, the activities were not of such a character as to come within the purview of the act of June 8, 1938, as amended. With reference to the activities in connection with the collections and transmittal of funds for the relief of officers and men of the Japanese Navy, it was decided that since Japan had not been designated as a belligerent at that time, the persons and organizations engaged in the solicitation and collection of funds to be used for relief in that country were not subject to the requirements of registration with the Secretary of State.
Another problem which arose in connection with the Alien Registration Law raised the question whether or not the members should designate their connection with the Association in filling out the forms required by this law.
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Another problem which arose concerned the interpretation given to this Association by the American people. Many members feared a misunderstanding due to the name, which was given the Association.
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A report of Special Agent XXXXX dated February 10, 1940, at San Francisco, entitled "XXXXX ET AL, REGISTRATION ACT, AGENTS OF FOREIGN PRINCIPLES," discloses that the numbers of the Association received receipts and certificates of thanks issued by the Imperial Japanese Navy. Approximately ten thousand of those certificates were shipped to XXXXX for transmittal to the individual members. These certificates were shipped by the Japanese Foreign Office through the Japanese Consulate General in San Francisco. For the most part, these certificates are signed by some minister of the Japanese Navy or Army, depending upon the department which received the contribution. Many of these certificates were seized under lawful search warrant, especially with reference to the Guadalupe Branch. Those certificates are being retained in the files of the Los Angeles Field Division.
According to a letter from the San Francisco Field Division to the Bureau dated May 10, 1940, entitled "XXXXX ET AL, REGISTRATION ACT, AGENTS OF FOREIGN PRINCIPLES," a shipment of two thousand badges and containers for badges arrived from Japan, presumably for distribution to members of this organization. The container is of light-colored wood with lettering thereon in gilt Japanese characters. The large central characters read "Organization Badge." The smaller characters are an abbreviation of the name of the subject organization. The badge itself, which is a lapel button, consists of a black enameled cloud with a gilt disk in the background.
Though no actual evidence of any subversive activities has been disclosed on the part of this Association, the excerpts from the records of the headquarters office as set out previously in this report reflect that the attitude of the Association is pro-Japanese in sympathy. Furthermore, since many of the branch organizations either disbanded or changed their names at the direction of the Association, fearing that some investigative steps would be taken against them, and since it was disclosed upon the seizure of many records of the branch organizations that their books had been destroyed, it is deemed advisable to continue the investigation with respect to the Association and its affiliated branches.
The names of many of the branches of the Association have been obtained from the records of the minute books of the Representatives Conference held on August 19, 1939, at the Buddhist Church Auditorium in San Francisco, California. These records were obtained from the effects of ITARU TACHIBANA under lawful search warrant upon his arrest on June 7, 1941. The names of these branch organizations have been rearranged in alphabetical order and are being set forth, together with any information which may have been obtained from other sources.
Alameda, California, Branch: According to the report of Special Agent XXXXX dated July 3, 1941, at San Francisco, which has been previously referred to, this branch is known as the "WAKABA KAI" (Green Leaf Society), 2161 Pacific Avenue, telephone Lakehurst 23339. This name was adopted on February 4, 1941.BUTTE COUNTY
Chico, California, BranchCOLUSA COUNTY
Colusa, California, BranchCONTRA COSTA COUNTY
Richmond, California, Branch: XXXXX is District leader.ELDORADO COUNTY
Placerville, California, BranchFRESNO COUNTY
Bowles, California, BranchThe Fresno Branch was recently disbanded and reorganized under the name of "KYUGO KAI," which in this instance means "Relief Association." There are also branches of the Association known as the 20-40 Club located in Fresno, Reedley and Del Rey. The Reedley, California, headquarters are located at Route 2, Box 907, Reedley, California.
El Centro, California Branch: This branch is known as HOKOKU KAI (Patriotic Society), Post Office Box 179.LASSEN COUNTY
Susanville, California, BranchLOS ANGELES COUNTY
Compton, California, Branch: This branch is known as HOKOKU KAI (Patriotic Society). There are thirteen members belonging to this branch, namely:MADERA COUNTY
Madera, California, BranchMARIN COUNTY
Chualar, California, BranchSACRAMENTO COUNTY
Florin, California, BranchSAN BENITO COUNTY
San Benito, California, BranchSAN DIEGO COUNTY
San Diego, California, Branch: This society is known as HOKOKU KAI. A report of XXXXX dated December 12, 1941, sets forth the following members of this association:
Chula Vista, California, Branch: This report indicates that XXX 2 lines XXX.SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY
San Francisco, California, Branch: This branch is located at 1766 Buchanan Street, telephone West 1428 and Walnut 6493.SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY
Lodi, California, BranchSAN MATEO COUNTY
Belmont, California, BranchSANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Guadalupe, California, Branch:
These minutes disclosed that at the first meeting held October 22, 1938, a resolution was passed whereby the organization was established.SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Gilroy, California, Branch: The report of Special Agent XXXXX, dated October 24, 1941, at San Francisco, California, previously referred to in this report, discloses that XXX 2 lines XXX.SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Watsonville, California, Branch: This society is known as HOSHI KAI (Service Association) and also KYUGO KAI (9-5 Association), or IMPERIAL RESERVISTS ASSOCIATION.SONOMA COUNTY
Sonoma, California, BranchTULARE COUNTY
Dinuba, California, Branch
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