Home Podcasts Japan Station The Japanese Intelligence Community & Espionage (Dr. Richard Samuels) | Japan Station 34

The Japanese Intelligence Community & Espionage (Dr. Richard Samuels) | Japan Station 34

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On This Episode of Japan Station

On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we’re digging into the world of Japanese spycraft and the history of Japan’s intelligence community with one of the world’s leading experts on the subject: Dr Richard Samuels.

About Dr. Richard Samuels

Richard Samuels is Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a highly distinguished scholar whose research has focused on Japanese intelligence and security, Japan’s relationship with the U.S. and China, energy-related policies in Japan, and more. His latest book was published  in 2019 and is title Special Duty: A History of the Japanese Intelligence Community.

Topics Discussed

  • Whether Japan has an equivalent intelligence agency to the CIA
  • The composition of Japan’s intelligence agencies
  • The biggest problem Japan’s intelligence agencies have had to deal with
  • What stovepipring is
  • How people working in intelligence in Japan were sometimes looked down on in the past
  • How spycraft training in Japan has changed from pre-World War II to today
  • How losing to the U.S. impacted Japan’s intelligence capabilities and its focus
  • How 9/11 and Shinzo Abe becoming prime minister in 2012 affected Japan’s intelligence community
  • The States Secrets law of 2013
  • The creation of the National Security Council in 2013
  • The push and pull in Japan’s government between those who want to be closer to China and those who prefer to be closer to the United States
  • Why Japan’s intelligence community became known for information leaks
  • The Musashi Kikan
  • The history and importance of the Nakano School
  • Akashi Motojiro
  • Hirō “Hiroo” Onoda and his connection to the Nakano School
  • The early history of Japanese espionage and the so-called tairiku ronin (continental adverturers)
  • Whether Japan has an equivalent to D.A.R.P.A. (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
  • And much more!

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Links, Videos, Etc.

You can purchase a copy of Special Duty: A History of the Japanese Intelligence Community via the link below. It is an Amazon affiliate link, so using it will support the show and won’t cost you anything extra.

Follow Dr. Richard Samuels on Twitter via the link below

Here are a few of some of Dr. Samuel’s other books in case you are interested. These are also Amazon affiliate links.

If you’re interested in the book about the Nakano School that Dr. Samuels mentions, you can get it via the affiliate link below.

The links below are for the two episodes of the Ichimon Japan podcast that were mentioned during this episode

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi)
To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Images: Courtesy of Richard Samuels

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