NOTE: Sections blacked out are noted by X's, with number of lines where applicable.




Form No. 1
Honolulu, T. H.
(Alien Enemy Control)
SYNOPSIS OF FACTS: JOHN YOSHIYE MIKAMI, an alien Japanese, born 3/16/95, in the Chiba Prefecture, Japan, entered the United States at the port of Honolulu on 5/7/10, and never returned to Japan. He admits he had been driving the Japanese consular staff at Honolulu as a taxi driver for six years and as a temporary chauffeur from July to November, 1941. When hired by the Consulate, he made numerous trips to the vicinity of Pearl Harbor and other strategic points, taking there XXX-3 lines-XXX. Internee Hearing Board recommended internment, 1/21/42, and the Military Governor, on 2/17/42, ordered MIKAMI interned for the duration of the war.
Details: The case entitled "JAPANESE ACTIVITIES, Honolulu, T. H.; CONFILE - ESPIONAGE-J," Honolulu file #65-414, reflects the results of investigation conducted with reference to the staff of the Japanese Consulate General at Honolulu and persons associated with them. The activities of JOHN YOSHIYE MIKAMI set forth hereinafter are abstracted from that file.

The files of the Immigration & Naturalization Service at Honolulu, T. H. reflect that YOSHIYE MIKAMI, age 15 years and 2 months, [continued below]
(signed) R. L. Shiraishi?

5 Bureau
1 ONI, Honolulu
1 G-2, Honolulu
2 Honolulu
SEP 19 1942
OCT 12 1960
N 98

entered the United States at the port of Honolulu on May 7, 1910, ex  the SS "MONGOLIA." A Board of Special Inquiry held May 13, 1910, reflects that he came to Hawaii to do farm work, which was his occupation in Japan, and further, that he desired to join his father, EITARO MIKAMI, age 48, at Waialua, Oahu. He indicated that he planned to stay in the United States for four years. His mother's name was given as MOTO MIKAMI, who was described as a resident of Chiba-ken, Japan, where he had also one sister and one brother. It was ascertained that he lives at 33 Peleula Lane, Honolulu, with his wife, and is the proprietor of the Royal Taxi Stand at 6 South Union Street, Honolulu. He shares this stand with two taxi drivers who do business as the Iroha Taxi Stand, but is not in partnership with them. These are XXXXX, an alien, and XXXXX, a citizen.

The file entitled ""JAPANESE ACTIVITIES, Honolulu, T. H." reflected that JOHN MIKAMI was frequently employed by the staff of the Japanese Consul General at Honolulu as a taxi driver and subsequently as a temporary chauffeur. It was also developed that XXXXX, one of the Secretaries of the Consulate, whose work was apparently outside of the Consulate, used MIKAMI almost exclusively in visiting the vicinity of Pearl Harbor and other areas of strategic military interest.

JOHN YOSHIYE MIKAMI was interviewed on January 6, 1942, by Captain XXXXX, Military Intelligence Division, Lieutenant XXXXX, Office of Naval Intelligence, and the writer. At this time he indicated that he was born in Chiba Prefecture of Japan on March 16, 1895. He attended the grammar school in that prefecture for six years, and departed for Honolulu, arriving in April of 1910, on board the SS "MONGOLIA." He claimed that he had not since returned to Japan or visited any other country. While in Japan he denied having any employment except that as a student. Following his arrival in the Hawaiian Islands, he obtained a job at the Waialua Plantation, Oahu, where his father was employed as a laborer. He subsequently worked as a yard man, and attended St. Mary's School for three years at Honolulu. He states that for the past 25 years he has been driving a taxicab. During this period he states that he always drove his own cab, and was not employed by others.

He denied any military or naval service either in the United States' or Japanese or other armies. He also denied belonging to any organizations and indicated that he was baptized as JOHN MIKAMI at an Episcopal Church, St. Mary's Mission, by a Rev. FUKAO.

As to his previous record, he denied any serious criminal record other than traffic and gambling violations. When questioned concerning his assets, he advised that he has $350.00 in the Bank of Hawaii, and a certificate of deposit in the Yokohama Specie Bank for $3,000.00. He is also the owner of a Packard sedan, 1931 model, bearing 1941 Hawaii license 47766. This is the automobile he used to transport various members of the consular staff. He denied having any insurance policies or other assets.

He advised that his wife was formerly KIMI YOSHINO, age 42, who was born in the Shiba Prefecture. She is presently employed by the Taisho Printing Company, Honolulu, T. H.

As to his employment by the Consulate, MIKAMI related that he had been driving members of the Japanese consular staff at Honolulu for about seven years, claiming that he only drove them on short trips. He also indicated that he had been employed as a chauffeur for the Consul on a part-time basis from July, 1941, to November, 1941. He explained that the regular consular chauffeur, ICHITARO OZAKI, was in Japan on a vacation during that period. He stated that he was paid two dollars an hour for driving the consular car and $2.50 an hour when driving his own. This latter figure was to include the expense of his automobile. He claimed that he only drove the consular car about the city of Honolulu, claiming in the first instance that he just took them from the Consulate to golf courses, parties, downtown for shopping, or to the beach at Waikiki. He also stated that he took the children to school and drove the Consul's car about town while he paid bills and ran other errands. In this connection, it is observed that MIKAMI had in his possession two checks, both drawn on the Yokohama Specie Bank, Ltd. at Honolulu, Hawaii, by XXXXX, Japanese Consul General at Honolulu, on December 6, 1941.

Check #M-2375 was made payable to the Royal Auto Stand, and was in the sum of $45.75. Check #M-2374 was made payable to Mr. JOHN MIKAMI, and was in the sum of $42.00.

Both of the above checks bore a rubber-stamp imprint "Z A/C". These checks are presently in possession of the Military Intelligence Division at Honolulu.

Subsequent questioning elicited from MIKAMI that he had driven XXXXX to Pearl City perhaps six or seven times, although he could not exactly recall. He was questioned concerning the records and books of his taxi stand and whether or not they would show the trips which he made with the consular staff. He claimed that he had destroyed all his books because he had heard someone, whose identity he does not recall, say that he could get into trouble by having Japanese writing in possession during wartime. When questioned concerning the identity of this person, he stated that he overheard two men, whose names he does not recall, conversing in front of his stand. He stated that his records were in five-cent composition books, and reflected the names of persons whom he carried in his taxi, the dates, charges, and places visited. His home was searched by direction of the Military Intelligence Division and there were found a number of copy books as described by MIKAMI from which all of the writing had been torn out.

In his trips to the vicinity of Pearl Harbor with XXXXX he admitted having stopped at Eto's Soft Drink Stand, which is owned by TEISAKU ETO, an elderly alien Japanese. MIKAMI claimed not to be acquainted with ETO or to know his name. However, he described the stand as being at the end of the Pearl City Peninsula and adjacent to the Pearl Harbor Naval Enlisted Men's Landing. The store itself is patronized considerably by Navy men. MIKAMI stated that at ETO's stand he saw an old man and sometimes an old woman, who were apparently the proprietors. He stated that the old man at one time said the Fleet had just come in or out and that his business prospered when the Fleet was in, but was no good when the sailors had gone.

When questioned concerning other places where he stopped, he indicated that he and XXXXX had entered the Pearl City Tavern on several occasions for meals. He also advised that about December 1, 1941, he drove to Honouliuli, and stopped at a store opposite a large Standard Oil Company tank. This tank is not far from the West Loch of Pearl Harbor. At this place MIKAMI stated XXXXX asked an old Japanese woman where the "road" was. MIKAMI refused to name, or did not know, what road was meant. He later admitted that he drove XXXXX who was frequently accompanied by XXXXX to Pearl City about 20 times. It may be stated in this connection that XXX-1 line-XXX admitted riding in MIKAMI's taxi with XXX-2 lines-XXX also admitted that he went with MIKAMI on several occasions alone for the same purpose.

MIKAMI was questioned concerning trips made by XXXXX which XXXXX described. MIKAMI admitted taking a long trip on the Kokokahi Road where it was possible to obtain a panoramic view of the Kaneohe Naval Air Station. MIKAMI stated that at several points along this road XXXXX requested him to go slowly so that he could obtain a better view. MIKAMI was very reluctant to make any statements in this connection. He subsequently admitted that XXXXX made this trip twice in his taxi, and was accompanied by XXXXX on the second time. MIKAMI could not recall whether or not XXXXX used binoculars to view the Kaneohe Naval Air Station, but believed that he had a pair with him in the car.

On another occasion MIKAMI related that he drove XXXXX to Haleiwa, Oahu, by way of the windward side of the island, stopping at a restaurant operated by XXXXX and again at the Seaview Inn, Haleiwa. MIKAMI denies that they talked to anyone in the Sato Restaurant except to give their orders or that they had any other purpose in entering this restaurant than to eat. At this time MIKAMI mentioned that he drove XXXXX to Wahiawa on two occasions, and at one time attempted to go into Wheeler Field, but were not admitted as his taxi did not have sector plates. It may be stated that vehicles allowed to enter the military posts must have a small tag similar to a license plate. In connection with taxis, this was more of an insurance problem rather than an counter-espionage device.

MIKAMI stated that he took TOMOAKI NAKAMURA, a salesman for the Hakubundo Book Store at Honolulu, and one of the employees or staff of the Consulate to Waipahu, Oahu. He could not recall whom they saw on this trip. It may be stated that XXXX was a frequent caller at the Consulate, usually to sell or deliver stationery. He has been interned.

In relating further trips, MIKAMI admitted that he took XXXXX to Waianae, where they ate lunch which they purchased at a store on the beach. He denied that they talked to anyone on this trip or that XXXXX made photographs, notes, or drawings of what he saw.

At this time it was pointed out to MIKAMI that he consistently failed to remember pertinent information concerning his contacts with the consular staff and that he was reluctant to give definite answers. He was informed that if he were merely a taxi driver, he would not be reluctant to give straightforward answers. At this time MIKAMI rose from his chair, bowed several times, and stated that he was willing to take the blame for anything that may have been done and that he was perfectly willing to be shot. He explained that he believed that he was less valuable than others, presumably meaning XXXXX, and was firmly convinced that if anything should happen to him similar steps would be taken with regard to some American prisoner held by the Japanese. He stated that it would be much better if everything was settled by shooting him and not other Japanese, as it would only mean that a corresponding number of Americans would be shot in Japan or the Orient. He also stated that without question the Hawaiian Islands would be captured by Japan, and that the imprisonment or execution of Japanese here would meet with swift retribution upon the capture of the Islands. As it appeared that he considered himself a spy at this time, he was questioned as to whether or not he believed he had been engaged in espionage activities.

On January 8, 1942, Lieutenant XXXXX, Captain XXXXX and the writer took MIKAMI to the vicinity of Pearl Harbor, and directed him to point out all the places he had visited and observed with XXXXX or XXXXX. MIKAMI seemed to gain confidence since he relieved his feelings by requesting to be shot, and pointed out a number of places without contradicting any statements he made previously. While pointing out these places, MIKAMI stated he had taken XXXXX to Pearl City in his taxi without XXXXX. He was asked if XXXXX discussed any of the warships, but he could not recall whether or not he did so. When he was questioned about XXXXX purpose in going to Pearl Harbor, he explained that he had told all he had to tell.

It appears that MIKAMI's pride was wounded in that the Consulate sent XXXXX out to do this type of work instead of himself. He discussed the ships at Pearl Harbor, and stated that when he was there on December 5, 1941, he believed that all the ships had been out about fifteen days and had come back on the Friday preceding that date. He based his conclusion on his frequent observations of the ships and their absence prior to Friday. He also talked of having seen two battleships coming in, followed by other ships of the Fleet. He discussed that the warships were never protected in the war games, and that he noticed battleships and heavy cruisers stayed about two weeks when in port, and thereafter went out for about six days. He indicated that he passed the ships about twice a week in XXXXX company, at which time he would count the ships. He stated that there were thirty on the Friday preceding December 12, including two heavy cruisers tied up with a new destroyer. He states he did not see the Battleship "PENNSYLVANIA" at that time. MIKAMI stated he could tell the number of ships at Pearl Harbor by watching the sports page, as such would indicate that there was a fighter on the "OKLAHOMA," for example. He claimed to know of the new floating drydock because he heard talk about it on the streets from men who were presumably workers on it. He also stated he went to Alowa Heights to see the time it took for submarines to submerge, smokescreens, and the like. In this connection, he claimed to have attempted to make friends with a naval officer, as the sailors did not know the information he desired. [underline penciled in]

At this time he stated that XXXXX "didn't know anything," as he always asked him the names of the ships and couldn't tell them apart, even when he looked at pictures and used binoculars. It is apparent from MIKAMI's statements that XXXXX used either "Jane's Fighting Ships" or photographs made therefrom. He claimed that he would sometimes point the differences in ships to XXXXX but XXXXX was "so dumb" he didn't talk to him at times. He stated that XXXXX only half believed him when he, MIKAMI, told him of the ships in the harbor, which seemed to hurt MIKAMI's pride.

MIKAMI admitted that he was quite an amateur military and naval critic and during the drive in the Pearl Harbor vicinity he pointed out that certain airplanes had shorter wings, how the battleships were moored, and the fact that the dredging at Pearl Harbor Peninsula was widening and not deepening the channel. He explained that he pointed this out to XXXXX but they ignored his knowledge, referring also to XXXXX who was "as dumb as XXXXX."

MIKAMI was intensely pro-Japanese and claimed that the Japanese Navy was in every way superior to the United States Navy, and that the Japanese sailors conducted themselves better in that they didn't get drunk. He stated that if the American ships went near Japan, Japan would take all of the ships. [lined in margin]

MIKAMI stated that he took members of the consular staff on two occasions to a home on Kailua Beach for a picnic, obtaining permission from a Japanese yard man, who asked the housekeeper if he could allow his friends to use the grounds. MIKAMI stated that he told the yard man it was the Consul who desired to come there, but did not tell the housekeeper that it was the Consul. This is the XXXXX place at Kailua, and two picnics were held there by the consular staff in the summer. It did not appear that the visits to this place were connected with espionage but were merely social outings.

Confidential Informant XXXXX mentioned in the file captioned "JAPANESE ACTIVITIES, Honolulu, T. H.; CONFILE - ESPIONAGE-J," reflects that XXX-1 line-XXX.

MIKAMI was kept in custody continuously by the military authorities from the time of his first interview on January 6, 1942. He was brought before an Internee Hearing Board on January 21, 1942, following which the board submitted the following findings:
1. Citizenship: that subject was born in Japan and hence an enemy alien;

2. Loyalty: The board believes subject is loyal to Japan, and not loyal to the United States.

3. Activities: No specific anti-American activities have been shown. The board has been furnished with no government evidence. However, when the man was called, he was not only told that he did not need to make a statement, but he was specifically warned that if he did make a statement anything that he said might be used against him.

Internee admits knowing all the people at the Japanese Consulate, and is called frequently in his capacity as a taxi driver by different persons connected with the Japanese Consul's office, and sometimes drives the Consul General and sometimes drives other persons.

The internee is a very strongly built person and the board believes that it is not unlikely that when the Consul General secured the services of this man to drive him personally, he may be considered a bodyguard as well.

On Friday, December 5, before the raid, he was called by the Consul's office to take a man for a drive. The internee states he does not think he was an official, but thinks he was a waiter, who had only been there a short time. The internee took this person for a drive from the Consulate over to Red Hill, down through Aiea and past the school house, turning toward Pearl Harbor, and beyond the school house, and at the junction of the Pearl Harbor-Schofield Road, he turned to the left and drove back by way of the oil tanks to the junction of the Pearl Harbor-Schofield Road with the Pearl Harbor-Honolulu Road, and returned to the Consulate. He was not paid by the man whom he drove, but a charge for the service was placed on the bill which was sent to the Consul at the end of the month. It was paid by the Consul, leaving the impression in the minds of the board that irrespective of the fact that there was no case made by the government, this man was too closely associated with the Consul to be released.

It may be added further that although internee denies that he was a Consular Agent, he states that many people came to him to have blanks filled out for expatriation purposes, principally, but did not say what the other purposes were. The internee, however, filled them out and returned them to the people who requested this service. This is one of the main duties of a Consular Agent. One who was not perfectly trustworthy is not entrusted with these duties, nor with the blanks for the making out of expatriation papers.

Up until he was 37 years of age, the internee has made his regular requests for military deferment to the Japanese government.

Further, although he has lived here since 1912, he speaks very little English and the services of an interpreter were required.

The internee impressed the board as one who would be close-mouthed, if to his advantage, but also he is a man who might at times talk too much.
In view of the above findings, the board recommended that the subject, YOSHIYE MIKAMI, be interned.

The Military Governor, on February 17, 1942, ordered that MIKAMI be interned for the duration of the war.

The following description was obtained during the course of the interviews:

157 lbs.
Gold crowns back tooth; right lower molars false.
Cut scar base of right thumb.
Taxi driver


-- Table of Contents --