Springtime for Tojo

CIA recruited Japanese war criminals
By JOSEPH COLEMAN, Associated Press Writer Sat Feb
24,11:29 AM ET

Col. Masanobu Tsuji was a fanatical Japanese militarist
and brutal warrior, hunted after World War II for
massacres of Chinese civilians and complicity in the
Bataan Death March. And then he became a U.S. spy.
Newly declassified CIA records, released by the U.S.
National Archives and examined by The Associated Press,
document more fully than ever how Tsuji and other
suspected Japanese war criminals were recruited by U.S.
intelligence in the early days of the Cold War. The
documents also show how ineffective the effort was, in
the CIA’s view.

The records, declassified in 2005 and 2006 under an act
of Congress in tandem with Nazi war crime-related
files, fill in many of the blanks in the previously
spotty documentation of the occupation authority’s
intelligence arm and its involvement with Japanese
ultra-nationalists and war criminals, historians say.

In addition to Tsuji, who escaped Allied prosecution
and was elected to parliament in the 1950s, conspicuous
figures in U.S.-funded operations included mob boss and
war profiteer Yoshio Kodama, and Takushiro Hattori,
former private secretary to Hideki Tojo, the wartime
prime minister hanged as a war criminal in 1948.

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