chapter  9
13 Pages

The Meiji Élite and Western Culture

Diplomat Terasaki Hidenari belongs to the staff of the Japanese Embassy in Washington in the months preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Embassy was instructed to establish an intelligence organization which maintains liaison with private and semi-official intelligence organs. The focus of their investigations was to determine the total strength of the US. On 24 April, the Japanese Foreign Ministry demanded a report from its Washington embassy on the progress of setting up the intelligence organization. Terasaki is responsible for Japan's spy activities in the USA during the months immediately before the outbreak of the Pacific War. The GHQ documents of the occupation period in Japan, declassified in 1982, contain even a proposal to ban Terasaki from public service. In Japan, all documents relating to intelligence activities were destroyed at the end of the war, either as the result of American bombing or they were burned intentionally.