Fear of 50,000 Communist Party Spies! China’s ‘mobilizing power’ threatens Japan’s security
Takushi Kensho (Writer)
A Part of the Silk Road Concept
On August 6, 2008, while the world was abuzz with the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, about 230 fishing boats carrying Chinese maritime militias and six armed ships of the Maritime Police Bureau swarmed into the Senkaku Islands’ connected waters in the East China Sea. Since then, the number of fishing boats has increased to more than 400 and the number of ships of the Maritime Police Bureau to more than 20, and tensions are still high in the area.
But already in June, Chinese warships frequently appeared in Japan’s territorial waters, and in the midst of the Upper House election in July, fighter jets and warships showed a different kind of demonstrative behavior. With the Hague Arbitration Court of the Netherlands ruling on July 12 not to recognize China’s sovereignty in the South China Sea, and its economy becoming unstable, it was inevitable that China would take action against the Senkaku Islands, saying that “attack is the best defense.
A Chinese official ship navigates the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. A fishing boat can be seen in the background on the afternoon of August 7, 2016.
These series of Chinese moves are deeply related to the “Silk Road Initiative” launched in 2013, which consists of a “land-based Silk Road” connecting China and Europe and a “maritime Silk Road” connecting China via ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and South Asia.
China’s aim is to capture the infrastructure demand of the countries along the Silk Road, mainly in the Eurasian region, and to support the slowing Chinese economy (the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a part of the plan to provide financial support for this).
On August 1, China’s Supreme People’s Court, the country’s highest court, established a “regulation” to pursue criminal liability for illegal fishing and intrusion into territorial waters under its jurisdiction. This makes it legal to arrest Japanese nationals in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands.
In the future, the world will be divided between the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the China-led New Silk Road to strengthen the economy, and the disputed East and South China Seas will become a region where the hegemony of the two countries will clash.
In order to make a breakthrough against China’s growing hegemony, Japan, with the world’s third largest economy, should take the lead in the encirclement of China, not the United States, which is stuck in a presidential election.
In 2003, the term “three battles” appeared in the Political Work Regulations of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The “three wars” are “public opinion warfare” (fostering public opinion to inspire the morale of one’s own forces and discourage the enemy’s desire to fight), “psychological warfare” (using propaganda, intimidation, deception, and detachment to break down the enemy’s will to resist), and “legal warfare” (ensuring the legality of one’s own military operations, thereby putting the enemy in a passive position and assisting military operations). In other words, if China were to use uprisings, it would be a war of attrition.
In other words, when the Chinese uprising occurs, Japan’s domestic situation will have been devoured by the lion’s denizens.
Espionage against the Self-Defense Forces
China has been conducting intelligence operations since 1992, when it distributed the “CCP Central No. 7 Documents” to all provinces and armed forces across the country in an effort to actively collect foreign information. The information that China particularly wants to obtain from Japan is in the areas of “politics,” “defense,” “mass media,” “electronic equipment,” “communications equipment,” and “movements of anti-Chinese groups.
China believes that technology transfer from Japan is essential for its national defense, and it has been lobbying people involved in advanced technology and defense-related companies for technology transfer.
In the past, there have been cases such as the 1976 “Wang Yao-lian case” (Wang Yao-lian, who ran a trading company in Hong Kong, was instructed by Chinese intelligence to collect information on military and industrial technology in Japan in return for continued trade with China, and conducted intelligence activities while using several Japanese collaborators) and the 1987 “Yokota Air Base Sino-Soviet Spy Case” (Wang Yao-lian, who ran a trading company in Hong Kong, was instructed by Chinese intelligence to collect information on military and industrial technology in Japan in return for continued trade with China). The Yokota Air Base Sino-Soviet espionage case in 1987 (in which Chinese nationals and pro-China group leaders who had been trained at the former Soviet Embassy in Japan, together with Yokota Air Base employees and military critics, sold U.S. Air Force materials in Japan to the former Soviet Union and China over an eight-year period) is well known.
Recently, in 2004, a consulate employee at the Japanese Consulate General in Shanghai was caught in a honey trap at a karaoke bar, and was accused of telling the government the home office of every member of the consulate, and committed suicide for fear of being demanded to disclose the information system.
In 2006, a Self-Defense Force officer from the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Kami-Tsushima Security Office who fell for a honey trap at the same karaoke bar as this consulate employee was interrogated for taking internal information without permission and repeatedly traveling to China without permission, and one of them committed suicide.
In 2007, structural drawings of the Aegis system fell into the hands of the Chinese (when the Chinese wife of a 2nd class petty officer was investigated for violating the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, information on the Aegis was discovered on a hard disk seized by the Kanagawa Prefectural Police. (The Chinese wife was deported, but went back into hiding in Japan.) The then Chief of the Maritime Staff resigned, but there have been many other cases of Chinese spies operating on the Self-Defense Forces, including “suspicions” such as the “suspicion of leaking information from the Defense Intelligence Headquarters” (2013) and the “suspicion of spying on students at the National Defense Academy” (2014). In the Great East Japan Earthquake, Chinese spies were dispatched from China.
In the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, while only 15 rescue workers were dispatched from China, more than 200 journalists visited the country. It is correct to assume that these journalists were dispatched to scout the movements of the Self-Defense Forces.
The spies sent to Japan target Chinese businessmen and celebrities, members of organizations that claim to promote friendship between Japan and China, Japanese people doing business with Japan, and the mass media.
In addition, when a member of the Chinese Communist Party leaves China, he or she is required by the Ministry of State Security to submit regular reports on matters that have occurred in the country he or she is visiting. Considering that as many as 50,000 CCP members are currently staying in Japan, as I will explain later, this information network is nothing but a threat.
I actually interviewed Chinese students who are members of the Communist Party about the contents of the report, and they all said, “I didn’t write much. They all laughed and said, “I don’t write much, I always write randomly. However, even the information that the students themselves think is nothing important can be changed if it is gathered together. Even a simple complaint or boast can expose the inner workings of an organization and give the Chinese an opening to take advantage of you.
Since most of the talented people who enter top companies and universities are members of the Chinese Communist Party, even if they are just end employees, the vast amount of fragmentary information they report is put together like a jigsaw puzzle and clarified as new facts. Although extremely inefficient, the fact that the information is being collected is hardly recognized by us or by the providers themselves.
If it were truly meaningless, this type of intelligence would be abolished, but the fact that it continues to this day shows the effectiveness of this method.
The Mobilizing Power of Chinese Residents in Japan
Another point that should not be overlooked is China’s efforts to organize Chinese residents in Japan and former Chinese who have become naturalized citizens. In June 2010, the Japan-China Friendship Association was formed, laying the groundwork for organizing them.
When Chinese activists landed on the Senkaku Islands in 2004, it was revealed that Chinese residents in Japan and foreign students in Okinawa investigated the movements of the Coast Guard patrol boats and provided behind-the-scenes guidance.
Chinese activists who illegally landed on Uotsuri Island in the Senkaku Islands on March 24, 2004 (photo by Nobuo Serizawa from Sankei Shimbun aircraft)
In addition to this, China enacted the National Defense Mobilization Law in July of the same year. In addition, in July of the same year, China enacted the National Defense Mobilization Law, which stipulates that in the event of an emergency in China, mobilization will be issued for “Chinese nationals (including naturalized citizens) living outside China. It is easy to understand the true meaning of this law if we compare it with the timing of the establishment of the Association of Chinese Nationals in Japan.
As for the mobilizing power of Chinese residents in Japan, we can recall the Nagano Olympics.
At the Nagano Olympics, the police predicted that the Gakuyukai, an organization of Chinese students in Japan, would mobilize about 2,000 students, but with the organized support of the Chinese embassy in Japan, including money, goods, and the distribution of manuals, 4,000 more people than expected actually gathered, assaulted people protesting China’s suppression of Tibet, and caused confusion in security.
The mobilization, violence, and chaos caused by China exceeded the expectations of us Japanese.
As of June 2015, there were about 800,000 Chinese living in Japan in the public and private sectors. If all of them were to rise up at once, there is no doubt that it would have a serious impact on public safety in Japan.
Also, considering that the Chinese population is about 1.4 billion and the number of Chinese Communist Party members is said to be about 88 million (as of the end of 2014), and that about one out of every 16 people is a member of the Communist Party, a simple calculation suggests that 50,000 Chinese Communist Party members have entered Japan.
People’s Liberation Army soldiers march through Beijing’s Tiananmen Square during a military parade marking the 60th anniversary of China’s founding (Kyodo).
In 2013, the Chinese embassy in Japan issued a notice on its official website asking Chinese residents in Japan to register their contact information in case of an emergency, indicating that China is steadily preparing for emergencies.
It is believed that Koreans living in Japan who have conducted nuclear-related research at the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Nagoya University, Osaka University, and other universities have passed on technology that can be converted into weapons of mass destruction, and it has been decided to ban the re-entry of Koreans who travel to North Korea (including a current associate professor at Kyoto University).
Considering the current situation in which technology created with Japanese people, goods, and money is being diverted to hostile nations and threatens the security of our country, the ban on re-entry should be applied to all Koreans living in Japan. In addition, the act of taking nuclear and missile technologies to hostile countries cannot be arrested under the current law. Legislation should be enacted immediately to deal with such cases, which will result in severe penalties, and it is only natural that this should be applied to China as well.
Counterintelligence is more urgent than the MI6 concept
Since May 2015, there has been a series of arrests and prosecutions of Japanese nationals living in China on espionage charges.
The detained individuals range from a man who was collecting information on the situation in North Korea while conducting private trade in the Sino-North Korean border region, a man who runs a temporary staffing business in Zhejiang Province (since temporary staffing deals with people, goods, and money, it is easy to obtain information), and a man who has had a 35-year relationship with China, attracting Chinese tourists and providing technical guidance (he was acting like a pro-China person, but was a double agent for Japan).
In any case, the fact that such a large number of intelligence collaborators were arrested at the same time suggests that there is a high possibility that information from the Japanese side has been leaked to China. Of course, there have been cases in the past where people have been caught in China, but it has been done behind the scenes by deporting the Japanese concerned.
What this incident reminds me of is the North Korean detention of a reporter from the Nikkei newspaper.
In 1999, Cen Sugishima, then a reporter for the Nikkei Shimbun, was detained in North Korea on suspicion of espionage.
Upon his return to Japan, Mr. Sugishima severely criticized the fact that all the materials he had provided in cooperation with the Public Security Intelligence Agency (hereinafter referred to as “Public Security”) had ended up in the hands of the North Korean authorities (the possibility that there was a North Korean double agent in Public Security), and that the government tried to get away with it by saying “I don’t know, I don’t care” like a lizard’s tail when civilians who had cooperated with Japan were detained.
In Japan, various agencies such as the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office, the Public Security Bureau, the National Police Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Defense obtain information on their own, but since the Japanese arrested in China this time are all believed to be collaborators of the Public Security Bureau, the same thing that happened to Sugishima in the past may be happening.
In 2013, Zhu Jianrong, a professor at Toyo Gakuen University, was arrested in China on suspicion of double espionage with Japan, and at that time, he was severely investigated for his contacts with Japan’s intelligence agencies, including the Public Security Bureau. It is highly possible that our country’s movements are being tipped off by this move.
If the cause of the information leak is not investigated and those responsible are not punished as soon as possible, it is unlikely that anyone will feel threatened and be willing to provide information for the sake of Japan.
Currently, a Japanese version of MI6 is being proposed under the Abe cabinet. However, what is more urgent is counterintelligence, the development of laws and systems to eliminate domestic spies and double agents, and the creation of a system to safely protect those who provide information to the Japanese government in the event that a situation is discovered.