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Crossing Empire's EdgeForeign Ministry Police and Japanese Expansionism in Northeast Asia$

Erik Esselstrom

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832315

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832315.001.0001

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Opposition, Escalation, and Integration

Opposition, Escalation, and Integration

(p.92) 4 Opposition, Escalation, and Integration
Crossing Empire's Edge

Erik Esselstrom

University of Hawai'i Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how the Japanese consular police intensified their commitment to deal with the problem of Korean resistance. More specifically, it considers the Gaimushō police's adoption of unilateral solutions to the security crises posed by the Korean independence movement in China and its connections to domestic Japanese left-wing politics. The chapter first provides an overview of Japan's campaign to conquer Manchuria in September 1931 and the collapse of Sino-Japanese cooperation before turning to the Jiandao Uprising of May 30, 1930. It then discusses the transnational “terrorist” bombings carried out by Korean resistance fighters, along with the Gaimushō's series of initiatives aimed at lowering the public profie of the consular police in China and Manchuria. The chapter concludes by focusing on the Gaimushō's attempt to link the activities of communists in Japan to those of communists abroad.

Keywords:   consular police, Gaimushō, Korean independence movement, China, left-wing politics, Japan, Manchuria, Jiandao Uprising, terrorist bombings, communists

On May 8, 2002, a small group of tired and desperate North Korean refugees rushed the gates of Japanese Consulate-General office in Shenyang, China, seeking political asylum. An armed contingent of local Chinese police quickly stormed after them and dragged the ragged travelers kicking and screaming from the consulate grounds. In the aftermath of this relatively insignificant local fracas, as dramatic videotape of the incident appeared on news broadcasts in Japan for weeks on end, many Japanese politicians and media outlets used the episode to criticize the Chinese government for its blatant disregard for Japanese jurisdictional authority within the confines of its own consular compound.1 Obviously, the early twenty-first century geopolitical context of this clash was vastly different from the local environment of the 1920s within which Chinese and Japanese authorities fought doggedly with much more at stake over the contentious issue of which side possessed legitimate jurisdictional prerogatives over the Korean resident population in China’s northeastern provinces. Even so, the 2002 incident was nonetheless a dramatic reminder of an earlier era characterized by considerable ambiguity in the geographical, cultural, and political borders of northeast Asian society. Perhaps it is no small irony either that Shenyang, known in the 1930s as Mukden, was also the site of the opening salvo of Japan’s campaign to conquer Manchuria in September 1931—a conquest often justified at the time as necessary to protect the rights of Korean subjects of the Japanese empire.

It is the nature of that conquest to which the discussion must now turn. As illustrated in Chapter 3, the year 1925 marked a significant point in the evolution of consular police strategy regarding the problem of Korean resistance in exile in two major ways. In Manchuria, a mutually satisfactory Sino-Japanese collaborative relationship had been achieved for the moment through the Mitsuya Agreement. In Shanghai, while truly effective cooperation with French concession authorities had still not been realized, the Japanese consular police there escalated the intensity of their commitment to deal with the Korean problem by creating a distinct tokkō section within their office. It thus seemed as if an effective framework for dealing with the problem of Korean resistance in (p.93) exile, and its equally important relationship to the Japanese socialist underground, had finally been achieved.

However, a combination of circumstances in 1927–1928 led Foreign Minister Shidehara to initiate a series of initiatives aimed at lowering the public profile of Japan’s consular police in China and Manchuria. In short, Chinese nationalism was making Sino-Japanese police collaboration increasingly difficult in urban areas and the mere presence of Japanese consular police increasingly controversial. Shidehara’s attempts to appease Chinese sentiment, however, proved to be in vain. Political security conditions in Manchuria took a turn for the worse in 1930, and the consular police responded to those developments with vigor. While Shidehara tried to contain the situation and stay on course with plans to relinquish more security duties to Chinese police authorities, his efforts were undermined by the Foreign Ministry’s own police leadership in the field. When the Kwantung Army made its move on Fengtian in September 1931 the crisis escalated, and by the spring of 1932 consular police forces were fighting side by side with Kwantung Army units in local campaigns to suppress resistance to the Japanese conquest of Manchuria. By also linking this story to related “terrorist” attacks and police operations in Shanghai and Tokyo in 1929 and 1932, this chapter will reveal a portrait of the Gaimushō’s role in the invasion of Manchuria that differs remarkably from most orthodox interpretations. Far from standing in stark opposition to the expansionist impulses of the Kwantung Army, the Foreign Ministry’s commitment to policing radical politics beyond the boundaries of the formal empire placed it at the forefront of Japanese encroachments upon Chinese sovereignty.2

The Collapse of Sino-Japanese Cooperation

As noted earlier, the consequences of the Mitsuya Agreement were immediate and impressive. Despite the early successes, however, Suematsu Kichiji, the police chief at the Jiandao consulate, had some serious reservations about both the utility and the propriety of the Mitsuya Agreement. As such, he made a number of suggestions regarding the best course for Japanese action in dealing with the Korean problem in mid-1926. As early as 1921, Suematsu had warned the Foreign Ministry about the dangers of Communist infiltration among Manchurian Korean communities, and this concern grew only greater over the years. First among his recommendations was an expanded budget for intelligence-gathering operations focused specifically on communist activities. He also argued that Japan should maintain close links with local schools and media outlets to guide Korean residents away from “harmful thought,” as well as set up private schools run by the Japanese to accomplish the same goals. More police (p.94) personnel with skills in translating local communist propaganda were also crucial according to Suematsu, and while he agreed that cooperation with local Chinese security forces was desirable to the greatest extent possible, he had little faith in the efficacy of that strategy. In his view, Japan needed to develop a deeper understanding of the local conditions faced by Koreans in order to deal effectively with their problems.3

Gaimushō police in Jiandao thus expressed serious doubts regarding the framework of Sino-Japanese cooperation based on the Mitsuya Agreement. But the Korea Government-General’s position came under attack from another direction in September 1927, when the Chinese government initiated a systematic policy of persecuting Manchurian Koreans. Chinese actions included preventing the sale of land to Koreans, blocking Korean settlement farther into the Manchurian interior, closing Korean schools, and harassing pro-Japanese organizations of local Korean residents. This hostility can be explained by several factors, each with deep roots. First, since the annexation of Korea and the beginnings of Japanese extraterritoriality extending over Koreans, Korean residents seemed, to the Chinese side, to represent a local vanguard of Japan’s invasion of Manchuria and Mongolia. Second, the presence of radical Korean resistance groups, especially Communists, was both a disruptive social force and a source of Sino-Japanese diplomatic friction, which in turn gave Japanese authorities excuses to violate Chinese sovereignty and to pressure domestic Chinese political figures. Third, by not allowing Koreans to naturalize as Chinese and then pressing for the right of these “Japanese” Koreans to buy and own land, Japan was blatantly violating Chinese law.4 In short, many of the concerns related to resident Koreans that had often facilitated Chinese collaboration with Japanese authorities during the early 1920s were now making that collaboration more and more unsustainable.5

While Chinese nationalism was beginning to chip away at the framework of collaboration between Japanese colonial police in Korea and Zhang Zuolin’s regime in Fengtian, the Foreign Ministry itself also grew increasingly more concerned with the potential threat posed by the rising tide of Chinese nationalism to its own position in the Jiandao region. Demonstrations in Shanghai following the May 30 incident of 1925 had already awakened Gaimushō leaders to the power of popular anti-Japanese demonstrations in China. But when the Foreign Ministry attempted to set up a sub-office of the Andong consulate in 1927, they met face to face with an intensity of Chinese resistance they had not previously confronted in the northeastern provinces.6

Much like the situation faced by Gaimushō police in Jiandao, consular leaders in Andong were consumed with problems associated with their local Korean populations. However, unlike Jiandao, which had possessed a sizeable police force since 1909, the Japanese consulate at Andong (p.95) was understaffed. As such, the Andong consul had asked as early as 1923 for a new subconsulate to be opened in Maoershan. The Korea Government-General, which also had an interest in strengthening the apparatus of control over Koreans near Andong, had also pressured the Gaimushō in 1924 to open a new facility in Maoershan; so in June 1924 Shidehara instructed minister Yoshizawa Kenkichi in Beijing to ask the Chinese for official permission to do so. The Chinese, however, refused on the grounds that Maoershan was not an “open settlement” (kaihōchi). The Foreign Ministry raised the issue again in 1926, asking the Korea Government-General for assistance in persuading the Chinese to acquiesce. After 1925, however, colonial authorities in Korea were of a different opinion on the matter. The Mitsuya Agreement, of course, was by that time acting as the framework for security cooperation between colonial authorities in Korea and local Chinese officials. Therefore, the Government-General would have been in violation of the agreement had it helped the Gaimushō set up new offices along the Sino-Korean border.7

Undaunted, the Foreign Ministry continued its drive to expand the jurisdictional grip of the Andong consulate by opening a subconsulate at Maoershan.8 In early 1927, a police chief from the Hunchun consulate was assigned to be the new chief at the Maoershan office, and four patrolmen accompanied him in March on his first visit to the future site of the office to survey the area and make preparations for construction. Rumors soon spread through the local Chinese community that the office was meant to be a new step toward the Japanese invasion of sovereign Chinese territory, and by April anti-Japanese pamphlets began to circulate in greater volume. Local Chinese residents even formed protest associations that filed formal petitions of opposition to the new subconsulate, taking their case to Chinese and Japanese officials in Fengtian. By May, the protest movement had spread beyond Andong to other parts of South Manchuria, with petitions being filed with greater regularity and formal opposition groups continuing to build support.9

Throughout the spring and summer of 1927, the colonial regime in Korea refused to aid the Gaimushō in pressing its case for the necessity and legitimacy of a subconsulate office in Maoershan. The Foreign Ministry was thus left to push the issue with Chinese authorities on its own. In March 1927, Shidehara told Yoshizawa in Beijing to give the Chinese two main reasons for setting up the new office. First, because the volume of trade had increased so much in the area during recent years, additional consular staff and offices were necessary to manage the local economy. Second, the jurisdictional authority of the Andong consulate was simply stretched too thin. Significantly, Shidehara stressed the economic imperatives that were driving the expansion, not concerns about matters of political security. The Chinese side, however, continued to resist, as the pressure (p.96) from local opposition groups often headed by community leaders in business and education proved to be an influential force.10

The Foreign Ministry did eventually open the subconsulate at Maoershan despite the vociferous opposition to it. That opposition, however, did not subside; in fact, it intensified. Consequently, the Maoershan subconsulate was compelled to close its doors for good in the summer of 1929, and its staff returned to the main office at Andong.11 The protests at Maoershan, however, are significant for a number of reasons, most of which are related to the Mitsuya Agreement of 1925. To the Chinese, the agreement provided a clear framework for Sino-Japanese cooperation in the management of local Koreans. The Foreign Ministry’s insistence on opening a new office along the Chinese side of the Korean border could thus only be interpreted as a move of aggression by the Japanese. However, the episode may be more important for what it reveals about the relations between different appendages of the Japanese colonial presence in northeast Asia. Why did the Foreign Ministry insist on pressing its case in the face of ardent Chinese opposition and without the support of the Korea Government-General? It must be remembered that the Mitsuya Agreement was struck between Korea Government-General police and Chinese security forces in Fengtian. With the agreement, the Korea Government-General had in a sense sacrificed Gaimushō claims of Japanese authority over resident Koreans in Manchuria. Therefore, Foreign Ministry persistence about opening the Maoershan office can be viewed as a struggle to exercise the power it had been stripped of by the 1925 accord and thereby protect the integrity of its jurisdictional authority in Manchuria.12

Years after Japan’s surrender, former Government-General official Kamio Kazuharu made an insightful, if a bit snide and condescending, remark on this matter of consular police determination to defend their position in the northeastern provinces. Whenever Government-General police crossed the border into Jiandao, Kamio noted, the consular police would demand that they pull out, citing the fact that only the Gaimushō held authority there. However, as soon as some kind of large disturbance broke out, something that was beyond consular police capacity to quell, Kamio claimed, they were quick to beg for help from the Korean Government-General police.13 Putting aside his contemptuous tone, Kamio’s comments nonetheless reveal a great deal about the institutional rivalry that surely fueled Foreign Ministry persistence in this case.

By 1928, then, the collaborative strategy embodied by the Mitsuya Agreement was being significantly undermined by two forces. First, the rising tide of Chinese national consciousness made cooperation with the Japanese increasingly difficult. Even though Chinese officials saw Korean radicalism as a disruptive force that needed to be extinguished, the Japanese presence in Manchuria was also viewed as more and more (p.97) onerous. Second, jurisdictional rivalry among Japan’s own colonial institutions weakened the potential efficacy of the Mitsuya accord. Significantly, the Jiandao consular police and the Kwantung Army shared the belief that the agreement had gone too far in relinquishing Japanese jurisdictional prerogatives to the Chinese, and such shared views between the consular police and the army would come to facilitate greater cooperation between them during the early 1930s.

Upon his return to the position of Foreign Minister in 1929, Shidehara quickly recognized the need to address the first of those problems by moving to appease rising anti-Japanese sentiments in China. One step in particular, closely linked with plans eventually to abrogate extraterritoriality in China, was to scale back the physical presence of Japanese consular police forces. To achieve this goal, the Asia Bureau of the Foreign Ministry issued a plan for the “improvement” of Japan’s consular police forces in China and Manchuria in August 1929. The plan focused first on the matter of nomenclature. Citing the fact that Chinese authorities had never officially recognized the legitimacy of police forces attached to Japanese consular facilities, the 1929 directive declared that such police stations would no longer be referred to as “police” stations. Instead, all signs, stationery, name cards, and so on. would simply identify the occupants as consular employees. Similarly, the custom of having consular police wear distinctive military-like uniforms, making them largely indistinguishable from Kwantung Army police, was also a source of conflict with the Chinese. So, consular police in many offices were directed to perform their duties in civilian attire.14 Aside from lowering the visual profile of the consular police, steps were also taken to improve the professionalism of the police officers themselves and further hone their skills in local languages.15

While Chinese resentment and suspicion of Japan’s consular police in urban centers like Tianjin, Shanghai, and Canton had certainly motivated Shidehara’s reform mission, it was Chinese opposition to Japanese police in Manchuria that continued to dominate the concerns of Kasumigaseki. In September 1929, Shidehara expressed to Jiandao Consul Okada Kanekazu his hope that a further deterioration of Sino-Japanese relations because of the police problem could be avoided. Citing the recent proliferation of Chinese petitions, especially in Jiandao, Shidehara pointed out that not only did the Chinese want to put an end to the opening of additional Japanese police stations, they wanted currently operating facilities shut down. Violent clashes between Chinese and Japanese police in Manchuria, which were becoming increasingly common, only added more fuel to the fire. Thus, Shidehara suggested, Japanese consular police should allow local Chinese security forces to handle daily criminal affairs as much as possible.16

More formally, the Foreign Ministry issued a general directive to all (p.98) consular police in Jiandao in May 1930. The report began by describing a string of recent violent incidents rooted in anti-Japanese orientation of many Chinese officials and the rising tide of the rights recovery movement. While the security crisis might lead one to argue that more Japanese police were needed, personnel increases only further stoked the fires of Chinese hostility. Improving cooperation and communication with local Chinese police was the only alternative. To achieve that goal, four issues were of critical importance: (1) Japanese police must be sure they had sufficient evidence when making an arrest; (2) better cooperation was needed to prevent unnecessary harassment of Korean civilians by Chinese military police; (3) intelligence needed to be shared with the Chinese side; (4) intelligence gathering and analysis had to be improved. In short, better intelligence could prevent altercations with the Chinese before they occurred.17

While Shidehara pursued an agenda based on appeasing the rising tide of anti-Japanese nationalism in China by lowering the profile of Japanese consular police forces there, other elements within the Gaimushō were pushing for an expansion of consular police numbers and facilities in Manchuria. In his correspondences with Fengtian Consul Hayashi Kyūjirō in August 1928, for example, Arita Hachirō of the Foreign Ministry’s Asia Bureau detailed plans for the aggrandizement of consular police forces in Manchuria to “protect” Japanese resident communities there. His plan was to expand consular police power at the expense of the Kwantung Leased Territory Government by cutting the budget for their police forces operating within South Manchurian consulates. The Kantō-chō, not surprisingly, opposed the plan, and this dispute was placed at the center of negotiations then under way with the Home Ministry over police budgets for the coming year.18

By April of 1929, the Asia Bureau had a more detailed plan for the expansion of consular police forces in Manchuria. The report focused on four main topics: (1) the enrichment of consular police to protect residents and “increase profits” in Manchuria; (2) the integration of Japanese police forces in Manchuria, largely under the direction of Gaimushō police forces; (3) the investigation and control of the communist movement in China, including Chinese, Korean, Soviet, and Japanese activists; and (4) the reform of consular prisons in Manchuria.19 The Asia Bureau, however, was not unaware of the problems that Shidehara was trying to solve with his plans to reform the consular police and hopefully make them a less onerous presence in the eyes of local Chinese. In fact, the Asia Bureau had its own plan for reforming the consular police in August 1929. It was based on recognition that the rising tide of the Chinese rights recovery movement often targeted the injustices of extraterritoriality. Chinese attacks on the consular police as an infringement on Chinese national sovereignty were thus becoming more and more common. To counter this (p.99) problem and to avoid direct clashes with Chinese security forces in Manchuria, the Japanese consular police needed to be a well-trained and well-disciplined institution.20 While this was still just a proposal, local circumstances would soon provide those advocating escalation with an effective impetus to execute those plans.

The May 30 Jiandao Uprising

Despite Shidehara’s attempts to reverse the course of consular police expansion, circumstances that developed in the field during 1929 and 1930 made such a backward move difficult, if not impossible. More significant, however, is the fact that consular police leadership on the ground in Manchuria, especially in Jiandao, took conscious steps to undermine Shidehara’s policy of accommodation. Nowhere was this more evident than during the policy discussions and deal making that followed a large Communist disturbance in late May 1930 near the Jiandao consulate-general at Longjincun. In fact, the May 30 uprising was in many ways a more crucial turning point for the consular police in Jiandao and elsewhere than the Manchurian Incident of September 18, 1931.21

Before describing the events of May 30, however, it is important to note several developments in the relations between the Comintern, the Chinese Communist Party, and the Korean Communist movement in Manchuria. Factionalism had plagued the Korean Communists for years, and Japanese consular police action against them in Manchuria, resulting in mass arrests and forfeited intelligence, had severely weakened the movement as a whole. In an effort to reinvigorate the Korean Communists and put an end to their internal strife, the Comintern ordered in late 1929 that the Korean Communist movement in Manchuria be placed under the immediate supervision of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Thus it was under the influence of more aggressively anti-Japanese leaders in the CCP, namely Li Li-san, that the plan for the Jiandao uprising took shape in early 1930.22

That plan materialized on May 30, when a mounted band of Chinese and Korean Communist guerrillas, numbering between six and seven hundred strong, attacked the concession areas of Hunchun, Longjincun, and Toudaogou. They cut telephone lines, tossed grenades and Molotov cocktails into homes and administrative offices, and stole weapons and other property. During the course of the attack, “the Japanese Consulate was invaded and the Japanese consulate police massacred: the Communists set fire to various Japanese clubs and houses of wealthy Chinese and Korean collaborators, killing any and all Japanese they encountered.”23 Indeed, those targeted in the attacks were not randomly selected. In fact, the Communist rioters went out of their way to burn the houses of either (p.100) well-known or merely suspected Korean collaborators, and even those residents simply thought to be friendly with Japanese authorities.24

Shidehara’s initial response to the uprising was to urge caution and restraint on the part of local residents and consular police forces. Aware of Chinese sensitivity to Japanese police action on Chinese territory, he ordered local consuls to discuss matters with local authorities and leave retaliatory security measures to Chinese police. Nonetheless, Shidehara was not entirely ignorant of the need for more manpower on the ground. He thus agreed to arrange for an additional twenty officers to be stationed at the Longjincun consulate-general.25 However, the Jiandao consul-general, Okada Kanekazu, held a much different view. Okada argued that an immediate increase in police personnel was necessary to meet the threat of Communist “bandit” activity, and he thus requested that at least two hundred additional police officers be dispatched to the Jiandao region as soon as possible.26 Shidehara refused Okada’s request on the grounds that such a dramatic increase in personnel would surely be unacceptable to the Chinese. Unwilling to risk delicate negotiations over the abolition of extraterritoriality in China then under way, Shidehara reiterated his instruction that Japanese consular police forces should cooperate with local Chinese police and do everything possible to avoid arousing greater anti-Japanese sentiment in the area.

While Okada’s opposition to Shidehara’s plan posed a major obstacle to its success, it was the consular police chief in Jiandao, Aiba Kiyoshi, who took even greater steps to undermine Shidehara’s control over the Foreign Ministry’s response to the May 30 crisis. Frustrated by Shidehara’s timidity, Aiba contacted the Korean colonial governor-general, Saitō Makoto, and asked him about the possibility of support for the Jiandao consular police in the form of a dispatch of several hundred police officers from northern Korea across the border into Jiandao.27 Recognizing an opportunity to extend the direct influence of the Korea Government-General over the Korean problem in Jiandao, Saitō immediately contacted Shidehara with a detailed plan involving the dispatch of several hundred support police from the Government-General police force.28 However, Shidehara declined Saitō’s offer, thus countering Aiba’s scheme, arguing that such an expedition was not necessary and would likely only cause more problems.29

A second outbreak of local Communist-led violence erupted, however, in Jilin on August 1, and this gave additional evidence in support of those who had recommended an immediate increase in Japanese police personnel.30 In early September, Shidehara sought once again to put an end to the debate by issuing an official Foreign Ministry statement on the status and function of Japanese consular police forces in Jiandao. However, just as Shidehara took his stand on the issue, Saitō Makoto issued a plan of his own to the minister of colonial affairs, Matsuda Genji. Saitō’s plan called (p.101) for the eventual incorporation of all Gaimushō police in Jiandao into the police bureau of the Korea Government-General. To Saitō, the management of the Korean problem in Jiandao was far too important to be left to the Chinese side, and the actions of Gaimushō police were too circumscribed to be effective. Only by making Jiandao a formal part of colonial Korea could the crisis be resolved.31 The feasibility of Shidehara’s plan to keep police authority in Chinese hands was further complicated in September by numerous reports of Chinese police summarily executing Korean suspects rounded up in the anti-bandit campaign. However, in October, the murder of several Japanese consular police officers by Chinese soldiers dealt an even more severe blow to Shidehara’s plans. In fact, these deaths provided the cause for a long desired expedition of extra police officers from the colonial regime in Korea into Jiandao. In the weeks that followed, Shidehara pressed for a quick withdrawal of these police, but Saitō and Okada both warned against it.32

While Shidehara continually pressed for greater unity between Chinese and Japanese police forces, the prospect of improving cooperation with Japanese police authorities in Jiandao put the Manchurian warlord Zhang Xueliang in a difficult position. On the one hand, it was clearly in his best interests to eliminate the problem of banditry, communist or otherwise. Public peace and security would help in stabilizing his rule in Manchuria as a whole. Furthermore, all Chinese authorities, including Zhang, knew quite well what had happened in 1920 when “bandit” attacks in Hunchun prompted a severe response by the Japanese military during the Jiandao Expedition. No one wanted a repeat of that disaster, which was a real possibility in summer of 1930. However, Zhang was also more committed to the cause of Chinese nationalism than his father, Zhang Zuolin, had been. As a result, cooperating with Japanese police on any level was politically unpopular. In addition, coordinating Chinese security campaigns with those of the Japanese consular police would implicitly suggest recognition of the legitimacy of the consular police in Jiandao.33 This, of course, was something that Chinese authorities had been rejecting for almost twenty years.

In early November, Shidehara was finally successful in negotiating the withdrawal of the Government-General police expeditionary forces, but he also recognized that total reliance on the Chinese side was problematic to say the least. Despite his reluctance to approve an official police personnel increase in Jiandao, Shidehara was not a fool. He fully understood the magnitude of the security crisis, but he also desired stable relations with the Chinese. What options, then, did the foreign minister have? Shidehara and Jiandao consul Okada explored one possibility in late 1930 and early 1931. Their strategy was to secretly recruit “police employees” (keisatsu yōnin), who for forty yen per month would provide intelligence on (p.102) local communist guerrilla activity as well as provide proper guidance and protection for local Korean communities. Those who performed exceptionally well could even be hired on eventually as consular patrolmen.34 The obvious purpose of this program was to circumvent Chinese opposition to official police personnel increases by secretly bolstering local police offices with these “adjunct” security forces.

Despite these efforts, by the spring of 1931 it was cooperation between Jiandao consular police forces and the Korea Government-General, not improved relations with the Chinese, that brought about a severe decline in communist guerrilla activity in the region. While the 1925 Mitsuya Agreement had driven a wedge of sorts between police forces of the Jiandao consulates and those of the colonial regime in Korea, the May 30 riots had brought them back together, as demonstrated by the scheming of Aiba, Okada, and Saitō. In the meantime, however, the voices of those Chinese who saw Japanese police on the continent as blatant violations of Chinese sovereignty continued to grow louder and more vociferous in early 1931. This was the case not only in Jiandao but across China as a whole, from Xiamen to Qingdao to Harbin.35

In response to the Chinese outcry, by late March the Foreign Ministry had begun complicated negotiations with the Chinese government over the question of when and how to abolish Japanese extraterritoriality. Because the Japanese side still had grave concerns over the ability of Chinese police forces to provide for adequate public security in Jiandao, however, the idea of relinquishing Japan’s extraterritorial rights there did not sit well even with Shidehara himself. Therefore, the foreign minister directed Japan’s representatives in the negotiations to treat Jiandao as a special area, not to be included in general discussions of the abolition issue. This exception was to be based on the 1909 Jiandao treaty, which indicated that Koreans living in Jiandao were legally distinct from Koreans living in other areas of China. Furthermore, because the Jiandao region had been developed by Koreans under Japanese direction, Shidehara argued, Japan had special concerns there that deserved separate consideration. The underlying reason for this equivocation was, of course, that Japan would have no legal ability to respond to security threats in the region if extraterritoriality was abolished there.36

In the summer of 1931, Foreign Ministry leadership in Tokyo made a more direct move to reestablish their authority over the direction of police action in Jiandao. Aiba and Okada had been disregarding Shidehara’s instructions for over a year, giving the Korea Government-General and the Colonial Ministry a stronger hand in the region while weakening the influence of Kasumigaseki. To put a stop to these trends, Aiba Kiyoshi was replaced by Suematsu Kichiji as the Jiandao consular police chief in June 1931.37 Initially, Suematsu was sent to the Jiandao consulate (p.103) merely to advise Aiba and Okada on police matters. Aiba and Suematsu, however, had very different notions of what the most effective security policy would be. In Aiba’s view, Chinese police forces were entirely incapable or unwilling to crack down on anti-Japanese guerrilla movements and common bandit gangs, and this conviction had led to his direct clash with Foreign Minister Shidehara. Suematsu, on the other hand, brought an entirely different set of ideas to the table. With more field experience in the Jiandao region than anyone else involved in the debate, Suematsu had a deeper understanding of the root causes behind social instability in the area. He argued that resident Koreans should be allowed to live as naturalized Chinese and that Japanese authorities had been too overbearing in their efforts to control every aspect of local Korean life. He further suggested that more support should be given to local Korean community organizations and that the education of Korean residents beyond legally recognized settlement areas should be left to Chinese educational institutions. Finally, Suematsu argued that Japanese should be prohibited from forcefully seizing land from local Chinese and Korean residents.38 To Suematsu, the problem was much deeper than the issue of legitimate police authority. Political unrest in Jiandao was the result of the poor social conditions of the local Korean resident community. Only by improving those conditions could the threat of Communist rebellion be eliminated.

So, in the months immediately preceding the Manchurian Incident, three competing sets of ideas were jockeying for position over the question of Japanese consular police forces in Jiandao. Foreign Minister Shidehara maintained that local Chinese police forces should be left in charge of security matters in the region because any increase in Japanese police personnel would risk upsetting the delicate negotiations then under way concerning the abolition of extraterritoriality in China. In contrast, Consul Okada, Aiba Kiyoshi, and Saitō Makoto advanced the view that Chinese police were useless, and that the only way to effectively crush the communist insurgency was to increase drastically the number of Japanese police in the area and give them a free hand to carry out operations aimed at suppressing political subversives. Suematsu’s view was an alternative to both positions. He rejected the strong-arm methods of Aiba, Okada, and Saitō, because harsh retaliation by Japanese authorities only fueled the fire of anti-Japanese sentiment. However, Suematsu also feared that if a social solution to the crisis could not be found, the prerogative of public security might eventually demand the colonial conquest of the region along the lines of what had brought about the annexation of Korea in 1910.

Unfortunately, a series of events in the summer and fall of 1931 turned Suematsu’s fear into reality when Ishiwara Kanji and his coconspirators in the Kwantung Army sensed the time was ripe to take Japan’s (p.104)

Opposition, Escalation, and Integration

Police personnel from a sub-station of the Jiandao consulate at Longjincun on a “bandit suppression” mission, 1930s.

(Photo courtesy of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomatic archives, Tokyo)

China policy into their own hands. It should be clear, however, that the Japanese consular police in Jiandao had already “retaliated with vigor” to the May 30 riots, arresting over thirteen thousand people by the late spring of 1931.39 The manner in which local Gaimushō police reacted to the Kwantung Army’s invasion of Manchuria in September must be considered with that fact in mind.

The Impact of the Manchurian Incident

In the immediate aftermath of the Kwantung Army’s invasion of September 18, 1931, Okada and Shidehara exchanged numerous messages detailing the course of events in Manchuria and the response of the local Japanese and Korean communities there. Their primary concern at first was to keep a lid on the loud cries for military intervention coming from local residents’ associations. To that end, Suematsu Kichiji met with several local Chinese police officials on September 19 and the group decided on several measures aimed at containing the crisis. No public meetings or assemblies would be allowed, for example, and steps would be taken to control inflammatory rhetoric of local residents. An 11:00 p.m. blackout order was also given in order to keep people in their homes during the (p.105) late evening and early morning hours. Finally, both sides agreed that in the event some kind of disturbance should erupt, Sino-Japanese police cooperation was of the utmost importance in quelling public disorder.40

Despite these efforts, the foreign minister was concerned about the spread of violence in the area, so less than a week after the Kwantung Army launched their operations near Fengtian, Shidehara made a stark reversal in the policies he had pursued after the May 30 crisis of 1930. At that time, he had fiercely refused to accommodate demands from Okada, Aiba, and the Korea Government-General to dispatch several hundred additional police officers to supplement Jiandao consular forces. This time, however, Shidehara initiated an offer of additional police on September 23. In a cable to Okada, the foreign minister explained that, should the consul desire additional police forces in order to contain the emerging crisis, such forces could and would be provided immediately. His concern was that the local chaos caused by the Kwantung Army’s movements might ignite a much larger breakdown of public order. In addition to the offer made to Okada in Jiandao, Shidehara also sent a preparatory communication to the Japanese police authorities in Korea to be sure that those emergency forces would be ready to move if and when called upon.41

Okada’s reaction to Shidehara’s offer is equally intriguing. Okada explained that, despite the complaints of local residents, there was no immediate need for reinforcements. However, he took Shidehara’s offer of additional police officers as a chance to remind the foreign minister of their conflict over the question of personnel increases in the summer and fall of 1930. Okada explained that, although the present situation was under control, the Jiandao consular police force was still drastically understaffed, just as it had been a year earlier. Therefore, an increase was necessary, not because of present circumstances, according to the Jiandao consul, but rather because Shidehara had failed to take the appropriate measures after the May 30 uprising. Nonetheless, Okada was not about to let an opportunity for expansion pass by, so he told Shidehara that an increase of fifty officers would suffice for the moment.42

Throughout October, Shidehara and Okada further discussed the specific steps to be taken in escalating the consular police presence in Jiandao. Based largely on the demands made in petitions by local Korean residents’ associations, Okada developed a plan including the opening of two new police substations. The initial plan was for fifteen officers to be stationed at each new station. Okada and Shidehara spent most of November working out the details of staffing the new facilities and coming up with a satisfactory budget for their operation. As was often the case, the foreign minister’s major concern was finding the money to fund new police facilities. The two new offices opened in early December, and the overall personnel increase in Jiandao turned out to be close to ninety officers (p.106) in total. By the end of 1931, then, the Jiandao consular police force had expanded to just over five hundred men.43 These forces went to work against the “bandits” and Communists of Jiandao in early 1932, and throughout the year they engaged in paramilitary operations alongside elements of the Kwantung Army and its military police units.

By the beginning of 1932, Shidehara had lost his job and the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo was beginning to take on a new character. However, consular police leadership in the field had remained constant throughout the early months of the Manchurian crisis, as Jiandao consul Okada was still at his post when Yoshizawa Kenkichi became the new foreign minister. The two men soon began developing plans to expand consular police activity in Jiandao and Manchuria as a whole. The first step was to bolster consular police forces in northern Manchuria, an area that had been lightly staffed before 1931, so in February Yoshizawa instructed Okada to transfer a large number of Jiandao consular police officers to Harbin and Jilin. Later on, those who had been transferred would be replaced, in most cases by recently recruited and trained Korean patrolmen. The immediate need was to increase the consular police presence beyond Jiandao, where it was already strong.44 More concrete plans for expansion then emerged in March. In a report on the conditions of the local Communist insurgency in Jiandao, Okada claimed that significant progress had been made in suppressing communist activity during late 1930 and throughout 1931, but, ironically enough, the Manchurian Incident had actually disrupted those trends. Chinese anger over the Kwantung Army’s invasion of Manchuria had made effective cooperation with local Chinese police institutions close to impossible, and the lack of effective police action on the Chinese side had given the local communist movement a chance to regroup and mobilize. Therefore, according to Okada, Japanese police forces needed to engage the communist insurgency with a more direct and vigorous campaign.45

After several periodic personnel increases throughout the summer of 1932, the consular police force in the Jiandao region reached a total of 665 men by the end of September. A summary of consular police actions during the year indicated that the police engaged in 332 distinct encounters with communist and rebel forces throughout the year. Total casualties on the police side were nine killed and twelve wounded, while the rebels sustained over twenty-seven hundred killed and wounded.46 How reliable these statistics are is certainly debatable. Nonetheless, they do clearly indicate that the consular police in Jiandao participated fully in military efforts to crush resistance to the conquest of Manchuria. Data concerning arrests of Korean suspects and confiscation of politically sensitive documents also illustrate well the impact of the May 30 uprisings on the militarization of consular police forces in Jiandao before the Manchurian (p.107) Incident. The number of arrests of “rebellious Koreans,” for example, jumped from 39 in 1929 to 1,274 in 1930. That figure then reached 2,485 in 1932, but the greatest increase percentage-wise clearly took place in the wake of the May 30 riots.47 Furthermore, it must be stressed that those arrests were made possible by closer ties between Foreign Ministry police in Jiandao and colonial police authorities in Korea.

Not by coincidence, the number of police officers added to Jiandao forces after September 1931 corresponds almost exactly to the two hundred-man increase that Okada and Aiba had requested in June 1930. Looked at in this light, the expansion of consular police numbers and activities in the wake of the Manchurian Incident seem more like a logical outcome of pressure initiated in the summer of 1930 rather than an unprecedented response to the crisis conditions forced upon Japan’s consular offices by the unilateral actions of the military in Manchuria during the late summer of 1931. Certainly one could argue that “restraints on consular police forces in all of China ceased in the wake of the Manchurian Incident,” but this gives the impression that Kwantung Army action made it possible for Gaimushō police to operate more freely.48 It is clear, however, that the Jiandao consular police applied equal pressure to abandon a path of conciliation; the Kwantung Army’s invasion simply gave more muscle to their demands.49 As Gaimushō veteran Aiba Kiyoshi himself put it when describing the Jiandao consular

Opposition, Escalation, and Integration

Officers from the Erdaogou sub-station of the Jiandao consulate at Longjincun celebrating with weapons captured in counterinsurgency operations, early 1930s.

(Photo courtesy of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomatic archives, Tokyo)

(p.108) police in 1930, “They were altogether much more like soldiers than they were police [keisatsu to iu yori mo, mattaku guntai desu ne].”50 What opposition they may have had toward the Kwantung Army adventurism was not rooted in a fundamental rejection of unilateral action. Rather, they desired consular leadership over that unilateralism.

That the problem of resistance in exile to Japan’s colonial rule of Korea is inextricably bound to the Manchurian Incident of September 1931 is not an entirely new idea.51 However, previous scholarship has emphasized plans by militant leaders in the Korean Government-General to stage a “Jiandao incident” of sorts in the summer of 1931. Their aim was to provide a pretext for a border incursion by the Japanese Army in Korea that would solve the problem of Korean resistance in Jiandao once and for all. Once they had occupied the region, the plan was to abolish the consular police and make Jiandao a part of formal Korean colonial territory.52 It is clearly necessary, however, to insert the Foreign Ministry into the equation by recognizing the agency of the Jiandao consular police in energizing their own escalation of hostilities without the initiative of Japanese armies in Korea or Manchuria.

Metropolitan Connections

With the initial wave of resistance to the Japanese conquest of Manchuria for the most part snuffed out by the middle of 1932, the Gaimushō quickly moved to reorganize the administrative framework of its consular police network in the region. Two significant changes stand out in particular: a sizeable and region-wide personnel increase and the abandonment of the Mitsuya protocol of 1925. On the first point, consular police in northern Manchuria lagged far behind in overall numbers when compared to those in Jiandao, or even in South Manchuria. To correct this discrepancy, a new police station (keisatsubu) was established in Harbin in August 1932. On the second point, whereas the conclusion of the Mitsuya Agreement in 1925 had marked a new stage in Sino-Japanese collaboration to crush radical Korean resistance in Manchuria, by late 1932 such collaboration had become impossible. Fengtian was by that time, of course, completely under Japanese control. Thus, the Mitsuya Agreement was formally abrogated on December 12, 1932.53

It is critical to remember, however, that events in Manchuria during the late 1920s and early 1930s did not play out in a vacuum. In fact, while Shidehara was busily trying to lower the profile of Japanese consular police in treaty port China to make their presence less odious to the Chinese government and ordinary residents, police officers in the field, especially in Shanghai, continued with their business as usual. Two high-profile arrests, in particular, illustrate well the continuity in consular police operations (p.109) regardless of high-level Kasumigaseki diplomacy. And this continuity suggests that events in Manchuria, Shanghai, and Tokyo during 1932 were all interrelated when examined through the lens of political police work.

As noted earlier, many Japanese leftists in Shanghai had a keen interest in the development of the Chinese communist movement, which made them targets of consular police surveillance.54 During the late 1920s, for example, Japanese Communist Party member Nishizato Tatsuo was writing for the Japanese-language newspaper Shanghai Nippō. In his memoirs he describes feeling inspired by the heroic struggles of workers and farmers in the Jiangxi Soviet and writing detailed reports about the movement in his paper. Finding his reports to be “sympathetic to communist revolution,” however, the Shanghai consular police censored Nishizato’s articles. Nishizato also translated numerous works of leftist Chinese intellectuals and published them in the Shanghai Nippō, for which he was constantly harangued by the consular police. “I often went back and forth with those guys,” Nishizato later recalled.55

Similarly, just as consular police forces targeted leftist Japanese writers in China as potential subversives, so those writers in turn often targeted the consular police as prime examples of the insidious injustice that characterized Japan’s imperial presence in China. Proletarian author Kuroshima Denji’s Militarized Streets, a devastating semifictional critique of Japanese actions in North China around 1930, for example, highlights the shameless corruption of consular police officers routinely shaking down local Chinese residents for bribes and “protection” money. Especially powerful, however, is Kuroshima’s harrowing indictment of consular jurisdiction through a depiction of three Chinese arms smugglers being publicly executed for their crimes. “When people deal timidly in small quantities of guns or drugs, they atone for it with their blood,” Kuroshima wrote. Referring then to the ease with which Japanese citizens involved in illicit trade could avoid punishment by way of their extraterritorial privilege, he continued: “But those who operate on a truly grand scale grab up all they can and make their underlings pay the price. … This was why the Chinese people cried out for the abolition of consular trials and immunity from local law.”56

In their pursuit of such sympathetic Japanese voices, the Shanghai consular police made a major arrest in 1929—that of Sano Manabu. Sano had come to Shanghai to participate in meetings organized to coordinate cooperation between the Chinese and Japanese Communist parties and the Comintern, and the circumstances of his arrest are worth describing in detail.57 While the Shanghai consular police took great pride in their role in capturing Sano, it was a local Chinese police officer and a paid Chinese informant who actually apprehended the Japanese Communist leader on the afternoon of June 16. After lengthy discussions between (p.110) local Japanese consular authorities and the Chinese police over how and when to turn Sano over to the Japanese police, he came under Japanese custody on June 21. That Chinese police had made this important arrest without direct involvement of Japanese officers had a larger public relations value that was not lost on Japanese consul Kamimura. He was quick to tout the success of this operation as clear evidence that Sino-Japanese security cooperation could indeed work smoothly even within an environment of high anti-Japanese sentiment throughout Chinese treaty ports and strong demands by many Chinese for the removal of Japanese police forces from sovereign Chinese territory.58

The Shanghai consular police had targeted Sano, of course, because he was the most internationally recognizable representative of the Japanese Communist Party in Shanghai. His close ties with members of the CCP and the KCP made his capture a high priority, as the anticipated intelligence yield from his interrogation would be quite high. While Sano’s highly publicized tenkō (“conversion”) in which he denounced his affiliation with the Communist movement did not come until 1933, he almost immediately turned over a significant amount of information about the inner workings of the CCP and its relationship with the Comintern. Among the many topics covered in his lengthy handwritten report on the current state of the CCP, Sano acknowledged that he was not aware of any specific Comintern documents that spoke directly to the relationship between the CCP and the JCP. He did, however, offer his own view on that matter to his Japanese interrogators.

The Chinese revolution, Sano explained, was destined to have a tremendous impact on the global socialist fight against imperialism. Japanese imperialism, however, was clearly the CCP’s greatest mortal enemy. If the Japanese empire could be brought down, the Chinese revolution would rapidly gain strength, Sano went on, and its success would inspire socialist movements worldwide. The socialist movement in Japan would in turn thus be aided by the success of the CCP’s struggle on the mainland.59 This logic reveals in a dramatic way just why the Japanese consular police were so intent on crushing Korean, Chinese, and Japanese communism on the frontiers of the empire. In effect, the consular police understood themselves as the first line of defense against the communist revolutionary tide that was perceived as a threat not just to the colonial empire but to the metropolitan homeland itself.

Indeed, Sano’s arrest in Shanghai was directly linked to contemporary developments in the police war on communism on the home islands. The Justice Ministry had organized a massive sweep of suspected JCP members in the spring of 1928, and on the morning of March 15, the nationwide crackdown began, ultimately netting roughly 1,600 suspects and thousands of pages of party documents. Prime Minister (p.111) Tanaka Giichi responded to the arrests by urging revisions to the 1925 Peace Preservation Law that would enhance the state’s ability to suppress leftist radicalism by broadening the definition of threats to the kokutai and adopting the death penalty for convicted offenders.60 The mass arrests of March 1928 had netted almost every major leader in the Japanese Communist Party; only those who had been abroad at the time, such as Sano, escaped the dragnet.61 It was the responsibility of the Shanghai consular police, then, to complete the metropolitan-centered security operation that had begun in the spring of 1928.62 Another nationwide dragnet on the home islands in April 1929 “represented the severest blow yet suffered by the [Japanese] communists.”63 Thus, the capture of Sano in the summer of 1929 was the final stage in a series of arrests including those of Nabeyama Sadachika, Ichikawa Shōichi, Mitamura Shirō, and Watanabe Masanosuke.64 Japanese Communists, however, were not the only targets of these transnational police operations.

As noted earlier, the Shanghai consular police had been following the career and movements of Yŏ Un-hyŏng since 1919. Less than a month after Sano’s arrest, but more than ten years since they began keeping tabs on him, the Shanghai consular police scored a second major victory in their battle against the Korea independence movement with the arrest of Yŏ, a well-known Korean communist and former Provisional Government minister. Japanese officers apprehended Yŏ at an athletic field in the international settlement while the unsuspecting man was watching a baseball game there on July 10, and he was subsequently detained under the charge of violating the Peace Preservation Law.65 By the end of the month, Yŏ had been sent to Seoul to be held and interrogated. Yŏ had been a key personality in the movement since its earliest formative days, so the intelligence coffers of the Japanese police benefited greatly from the depth of his revolutionary experience.66 Indeed, Yŏ’s incarceration was clearly a significant victory for the Japanese police network in China. Dae-sook Suh has noted that the arrest of Yŏ and other key leaders among the Korean Communists in Shanghai between 1928 and 1932 all but brought the Communist movement in Shanghai to a halt.67 This was the case, too, of course, in Manchuria, where the escalation of Jiandao consular police operations after the May 30 riots and joint actions with the Kwantung Army after the Manchurian Incident had succeeded in crushing most organized resistance by the end of 1932.

The near simultaneity of the arrests of Yŏ Un-hyŏng and Sano Manabu by the Shanghai consular police in mid-1929 is especially significant in two distinct ways. First, it demonstrates the centrality of anti-communism in Gaimushō police strategy, a characteristic that can be traced back to at least the early 1920s. Korean or Japanese, what made one a target of consular police surveillance and suspicion was “dangerous (p.112) thought,” namely left-wing radicalism of any type. Furthermore, these two arrests reflect continuity in political police operations in the homeland and on the imperial periphery, as socialism posed a terrifying threat to social stability in both locales, and as such it had to be crushed. The second significant meaning of the dual arrests is in the fact that the Shanghai police were clearly still focused upon and committed to their duties in the field, despite the attempts by high-level Gaimushō leadership in Tokyo to lower their profile and appease Chinese nationalist demands. The consular police in Shanghai had a mission to suppress international communism and the Korean independence movement, and they were determined to carry it out, even unilaterally if and when that was necessary.68

To further explain the interrelatedness of metropolitan police work at home and consular police work in China during the late 1920s, one must examine the link between Japanese socialist organizations and Chinese popular nationalism. The case of the Shandong expeditions of 1927–1928, when Prime Minister Tanaka Giichi authorized the deployment of military forces to “protect” Japanese residents in north China from Chiang Kai-shek’s National Revolutionary Army, is a useful case in point. The popular Chinese reaction to these incursions is well known, but left-wing Japanese groups were also quite critical of what they saw as blatant imperial aggression. Not only that, they often explicitly linked military aggression in China with political oppression at home. A 1928 leftist pamphlet, for example, argued that opposition to the Shandong expedition and resistance to the Peace Preservation Law were part of the same struggle.69 A similar, but more elaborate, case was made by the Japan Communist Party in 1929 in a pamphlet arguing that the Shandong incursion and the struggles of the Japanese proletariat were two parts of the same process, the logic being that the same industrial bourgeoisie that was bankrolling Japanese militarism overseas was exploiting workers at home. After making reference to their revolutionary comrades in the CCP, the pamphlet concluded with a rousing call for opposition to the Peace Preservation Law.70

The evolution of tokkō activities among the consular police during the 1920s, then, should be examined in light of similar trends in domestic security networks. The first half of the decade was characterized by tension and rivalry between the Home Ministry and the Justice Ministry, with Home Ministry positions usually emerging as official policy. However, as Richard Mitchell has argued, the gradual strengthening of the Peace Preservation Law after 1925 had the dual effect of enhancing the influence of Justice Ministry procurators and deflating the power of Home Ministry bureaucrats.71 The mass arrests of JCP suspects in March 1928 then sparked more draconian revisions to the Peace Preservation Law. Ultimately, (p.113) the various domestic and foreign crises of the early 1930s brought on a new wave of reforms to metropolitan police networks providing for even more comprehensive tools of social control. A similar process is evident in the development of Foreign Ministry police overseas. Between 1919 and 1925, political surveillance came to the forefront of consular police operations, but the trend both in treaty ports like Shanghai and on the Manchurian frontier was to develop multilateral strategies. The Mitsuya Agreement of 1925 and the concomitant establishment of tokkō sections in the Shanghai consular police station facilitated a more effective campaign against leftist suspects. The numerous raids on Jiandao area Korean Communist Party offices in 1927–1928, as well as the arrests of Yŏ Un-hyŏng and Sano Manabu in Shanghai in 1929, were the result of this stronger police presence. Because the response of the Japanese consular police to the May 30 riots in Jiandao and the Manchurian Incident made Sino-Japanese police cooperation virtually impossible, the door to unilateral escalation and more severe measures against Korean, Chinese, and Japanese leftists alike opened wide during the 1930s.

Transnational “Terrorist” Bombings

The arrests of Sano and Yŏ clearly indicate that the Japanese consular police were escalating their program of suppressing leftist activists (Korean and Japanese alike) long before the Manchurian Incident of 1931. The expansion of Shanghai consular police power during the spring of 1932, then, should not be viewed as an isolated response to new conditions created by the army’s invasion of the northeast. Rather, it must be understood as a logical next step in the pattern of intensification of police actions against communists that began in 1919.

To understand events in Shanghai, however, one must turn first to Tokyo. On January 8, 1932, a young Korean revolutionary named Yi Pong-ch’ang tossed a live grenade at the passing motorcade of the emperor outside the palace gates.72 Later dubbed the Sakuradamon Incident by the Japanese, interrogations of Yi revealed that the plot had been masterminded by the well-known Korean independence activist Kim Ku from his base of operations in the French Concession of Shanghai. Additional police reports reveal that Yi had received the bombs used in the attack from representatives of the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai and that Kim Ku then wired additional funds to him via bank transfer after he arrived in Tokyo to carry out the plot.73 While damage from the attack was minimal, the fact that the struggle of Korean resistance fighters in treaty port China had been unleashed within the very core of the empire’s metropolitan center was a deeply disturbing turn of events in the eyes of Japanese police authorities.74 Indeed, (p.114) the incident inspired the government to order the Home Ministry to begin planning for significant reforms of domestic police aimed at rooting out such “abominable incidents.”75 The Shanghai consular police were determined to find those responsible for the Tokyo bombing, with some sources even suggesting the use of torture on local Koreans to extort information regarding the whereabouts of Kim Ku.76

The full import of what happened in Tokyo in January became clearer when a more effective terrorist attack was carried out in Shanghai several months later. On the afternoon of April 29, about a dozen high-ranking Japanese civil and military officials were presiding over a Japanese community celebration of the emperor’s birthday. Shanghai’s Japanese residents had been encouraged to bring bentō boxes to the festivities, but the twenty-five-year-old Korean Yun Pong-gil’s lunchbox was a cleverly disguised explosive device. Just as the national anthem Kimigayo reached its final few notes, Yun hurled the bomb onto the stage, where it exploded, maiming several Japanese, including Japanese minister plenipotentiary to China, Shigemitsu Mamoru, and the Japanese commander of forces in Shanghai, General Shirakawa Yoshinori. Shigemitsu lost his leg in the attack and Shirakawa later died from injuries sustained that day. Interviews with Yun after his arrest also revealed that Kim Ku was the main planner behind the attack; Yun himself was executed for his role in the bombing on December 19, 1932.77

The significance of these two interrelated bombings was made clear by the Foreign Ministry’s Asia Bureau in June 1932. A report drafted by Section Two identified these two attacks as unmistakable signs that the threat posed by the Korean resistance movement in Shanghai had reached an unacceptably dangerous level. Acknowledging that the lack of French cooperation in policing Koreans in the concessions area had prevented the Japanese from solving this problem much earlier, the Asia Bureau recognized that now such cooperation was absolutely vital. To obtain it, then, the Japanese government had to be willing to provide French authorities with intelligence regarding Vietnamese political refugees in Tokyo, something they had been reluctant to do throughout the 1920s. In addition, the Shanghai consular police needed to prepare for a rapid expansion of their resources and information-gathering networks.78

On the matter of French cooperation, it had already begun to improve in the immediate wake of the April 29 bombings. The Shanghai consular police executed a raid of the Korean Provisional Government headquarters in the French Concession of the city the very next day. This was an extraordinary victory for the intelligence-gathering elements of the Shanghai police force. In fact, with the documents seized in April 1932, they were able to write a complete history of the overseas Korean independence movement, so rich in detail that contemporary (p.115) scholars should consider it one of the most valuable primary sources available today.79 Why did the French finally agree to aid the Shanghai consular police in their war against Korean radicalism? On the one hand, French authorities were troubled by the violence brought to their concession by the resident Korean revolutionaries, many of whom had become more militant by the early 1930s. On the other, as the Asia Bureau report suggests, the Japanese came to realize that improving security in Shanghai was more important than protecting their Vietnamese friends in Tokyo. That being the case, Japanese police at home finally provided intelligence to France regarding Vietnamese exiles in Tokyo, such as Prince Cường Ðê. In short, the French and the Japanese came to an understanding on issues of independence activists in exile. In exchange for information on Vietnamese in Tokyo, the French would help bring down the hammer on Koreans in Shanghai.80

Reflecting back upon the events of 1932, a report from the Shanghai consular police department in late 1937 explicitly linked the January Sakuradamon Incident in Tokyo and the March Shanghai park bombing. These events, according to the report, stood out as pivotal moments in the explosion of anti-Japanese “terrorism” after the Manchurian Incident.81 The physical distance between Tokyo and Shanghai and the status of one as a metropolitan center, the other as a hub of the colonial periphery, were both transcended by the danger of political crime evident at both sites. The cities were linked by police priorities, metropolitan and colonial, Home Ministry and Foreign Ministry. The arrests of Sano Manabu and Yŏ Un-hyŏng in 1929, the escalation of consular police action in Jiandao after 1930, and the achievement of Japanese–French security cooperation in 1932 all illustrate how the imperial Japanese state’s commitment to crushing subversive left-wing movements in any and all forms extended to its sphere of influence in treaty port China and Manchuria; and the Japanese consular police played a central role in facilitating that objective.


Japan’s political elites scrambled throughout 1932 to manufacture strategic, economic, and legal justifications in defense of the nation’s thorough conquest of China’s northeastern provinces and the “liberation” of Manzhouguo. Because postwar historians know, of course, that the military occupation of Manchuria ultimately led to the full-scale invasion of China and finally to a cataclysmic war with the United States and Great Britain, attempts by the civilian Japanese government to explain its military actions in 1932 have been largely written off as rhetorical spin designed only to veil the civilian sector’s helplessness in the face of the Kwantung Army’s fait accompli. What the history of consular police actions (p.116) before 1932 make clear, however, is that Japan’s civilian government had itself been locked in an often violent struggle against the forces of subversive political thought on the frontiers of the empire. This struggle played a significant role in the escalation of Japan’s colonial presence on the continent that is still often exclusively ascribed to the unilateralism of right-wing extremists in the military.

A lengthy report issued by the Foreign Ministry in 1932 entitled Relations of Japan with Manchuria and Mongolia sheds further light on this interpretive dilemma. In describing the position of Japan during the 1920s within the turbulent political context of East Asia after the end of the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the Chinese and Korean Nationalist movements, the report explains, “It goes without saying that the safety of a State is imperiled not only by the invasion of its territory by a strong armed force, but also by any disturbance of the stability of its political ideas, social organization, and the like.”82 The most potentially dangerous “disturbance” in official Japanese eyes was, of course, communism, a perceived menace to which Japan was especially vulnerable because of its geographical proximity to the Soviet Union and China. Because “a certain number of Japanese have recently become adherents of communism and have occasionally attempted to cause social unrest by unlawful means,” the report continued, “the Japanese people cannot relax their vigilance against the nefarious activities of these black sheep.”83 Japanese imperial subjects in Manchuria and Mongolia were of special concern, because “among them there are not a few Japanese and Koreans who are engaged, in remote places beyond the control of Japanese authorities, in the concoction of nefarious anti-Japanese plots. This is a matter of grave concern to Japan.” The problem of suppressing these political criminals had been at the center of Sino-Japanese conflict throughout the 1920s, because “to leave their control in the hands of the Chinese authorities is anything but satisfactory, consequently the duty of controlling Japanese conspirators in China falls on the shoulders of Japanese authorities.”84

This problem, however, was much larger than the simple matter of a handful of troublemakers on the empire’s periphery. The report went on: “the Japanese communists in Manchuria, who are mostly of Korean origin, are plotting to undermine the existing political institution of Japan by working in concert with their partizans [sic] in Japan Proper and Korea. It goes without saying that these dangerous elements must be placed under thorough and strict restraint.”85 Regional Japanese authorities had been reasonably successful in keeping the communist movement in check throughout Manchuria since the early 1920s. The end of the decade had, however, seen a series of troubling trends, namely the unification of the Korean Communist Party in Manchuria with the Chinese Communist Party, thus giving the KCP a direct link with the Comintern. Reinvigorated (p.117) after 1929, the Korean communists turned to more violent tactics of resistance. “Finally on May 30, 1930, they started a riot in Chientao and continued their agitation incessantly for several months,” and while that movement was put down by consular police action, “their agitation, however, is still continued in secret and there is little doubt that if opportunity presents itself they will seize it and come again to the front.”86

Speaking of the more moderate adherents of the “so-called ‘Korean Nationalism’” the Gaimushō report paid them little attention: “These organizations are not powerful enough to be formidable, because besides lacking a central organ to unite them, they have frequently been taught a severe lesson by the Japanese authorities.”87 In fact, despite the recognition that Korean Communists and Nationalists “resemble each other in constituting a menace to the safety of Japan, the one scheming to undermine our state foundations, and the other to overthrow our rule in Korea,” the Nationalists “need not at present be taken too seriously, because they have no powerful support behind them. … As for the Communists, it is a different matter altogether.”88

Communism in Manchuria posed a much more serious threat in the eyes of the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Korean Communists, “by maintaining close connections with their friends both in China and Japan … are maturing a sinister design against the state foundations of Japan.” The Japanese government was thus compelled to take action against such elements, “because such measures will at the same time serve as a restraint upon their friends in Japan Proper and cannot but furnish a means of safeguarding the security of our country.”89

The most important theme to emerge here is the clear connection being drawn by the Foreign Ministry between the activities of communists abroad and communists in Japan. The report continued, “Japan is exercising very strict control over communist movements at home, but … she cannot regard with equanimity the ‘bolshevization’ of China, because her policy against communism must necessarily be shaped in accordance with the situation in that country.” The potential “bolshevization” of Manchuria was an especially serious concern, because should that occur, “it would immediately disturb the peace and order of Korea, which in turn would affect the peace and order of Japan Proper. So far as the question of ‘bolshevization’ is concerned, therefore, the purgation of the two regions [Manchuria and Mongolia] from communistic elements is the key to the preservation of peace and order in Japan.”90 Not insignificantly, the Foreign Ministry was quick to point out that its security forces, the consular police, had been instrumental in preventing this dreaded “bolshevization” so far. “Fortunately, up to the present,” the report claims, “the activities of the Third International and the Chinese Communist Party in the two regions has not borne much fruit. This is accounted for partly by the strong, though invisible, (p.118) pressure exercised by Japan in the two regions, which has induced the communist agitators to deem it advisable to turn their attention to other parts of China which would offer less resistance.”91

Certainly, it is easy to dismiss this reasoning as cynical and self-serving hyperbole intended solely to provide justification for the Kwantung Army’s invasion of Manchuria, which the Foreign Ministry had done so little to prevent. The evidence in this chapter demonstrates, however, that this 1932 Foreign Ministry statement is much more than insincere propaganda. It reflects clearly the depth to which the Foreign Ministry was committed to its mission of combating the spread of communism from East Asia into the Japanese homeland. And, most important, this commitment began as early as 1919; it was not a reaction to immediate events of the early 1930s. And, of course, it was through its consular police forces that the Gaimushō was able to participate in this mission. Thus, while it is understandable why one might argue, from the postwar vantage point, that “the steady rise of Japanese militarism … replaced the consulate police with the thought police, high police, military police, gendarmes, and other regulatory agencies,” the problem with this explanation lies in how it relegates the Foreign Ministry police to a role as passive participants in a story line driven by the Japanese military.92 Close examination of the long history of consular police activism in the fight against overseas Korean independence activism and Japanese socialism reveals clearly that the Japanese consular police in Manchuria were not necessarily “replaced” by more militant elements. In fact, their activities in many cases cultivated and encouraged the emergence of that militarism.


(1.) For insightful analysis of this incident and its politicization in recent Sino-Japanese relations, see Ming Wan, Sino-Japanese Relations: Interaction, Logic, and Transformation (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006).

(p.184) (2.) Koike Sei’ichi has written an insightful trio of articles examining the position of the Foreign Ministry at the time of the Manchurian Incident. See his “‘Chigai hōken no teppai’ to ‘chian iji’: Manshū jihen zengo no ‘renzokusei’ ni kan suru ikkōsatsu,” Hiroshima heiwa kagaku 18 (1995): 87–111; “‘Kokka’ to shite no Chūgoku, ‘ba’ to shite to Chūgoku: Manshū jihen mae, gaikōkan no tai Chūgoku ninshiki,” Kokusai seiji 108 (March 1995): 148–160; “‘Yūwa’ no henyō: Manshū jihenki no Gaimushō,” Gunji shigaku 37, nos. 2, 3 (October 2001): 103–121.

(3.) “Kantō Konshun chihō kyōsanshugi undō ni taisuru sochi,” in Gaimushō bunsho, (Washington, DC: Library of Congress), microfilm reel SP 157.

(4.) Bai Rongxun, “Manshū Chōsenjin no kokuseki mondai to hōteki chii,” Bungaku kenkyū ronshū 16 (February 2002), 103–121. Another useful article dealing with the matter of resident Koreans in Manchuria as a factor in Sino-Japanese tension is Son Chun-il, “Manshū jihen zen no ‘zai Man Chōsenjin’ mondai to sono kukyō,” Higashi Ajia kindaishi 5 (March 2002): 36–52. A contemporary Mantetsu research report on the subject is Minami Manshū tetsudō kabushiki kaisha shomubu chōsaka, Shina gawa no tai Senjin seisaku ni tai shi Nihon no toritaru shochi (Dairen, 1929).

(5.) In reporting to the League of Nations in 1932, C. Walter Young described Chinese “oppression” of resident Manchurian Koreans after 1927 as a significant factor in the Japanese decision to seek unilateral control over the northeast. See his Korean Problems in Manchuria as Factors in the Sino-Japanese Dispute (Geneva: Supplementary Documents to the Report of the Commission of Enquiry, 1932), 24–26. Two fascinating articles that focus on Sino-Japanese competition to cultivate influence over resident Koreans in Jiandao through educational programs are Takenaka Ken’ichi, “Kantō ni okeru minzokushugi soshiki ni yoru Chōsenjin kyōiku,” Higashi Ajia kenkyū 27 (February 2000): 5–17, and Yu Feng-chun, “Chūgoku Chōsenzoku kyōiku o meguru Chū-Nichi ryōgoku no kyōsō: 1905–31 nen no ‘Kantō’ o chūshin ni,” Ajia bunka kenkyū 8 (June 2001): 207–220.

(6.) For a contemporary report on the following events, see “Rinkō ryōji bunkan setsubi hantai undō to sono keii,” Chōsa jippō 7, no. 9 (September 1927), 508–516. For extensive additional documentation, see “Antō ryōjikan Bōjisan bunka setchi mondai,” Nihon gaikō bunsho, Shōwa I, pt. 1, vol. 1, pp. 68–122.

(7.) Tomitsuka Kazuhiko, “Showa 2 nen Bōjisan bunkan setsubi to zai Man Chōsenjin mondai,” Hōsei daigaku daigakuin kiyō 22 (1989): 87–98. For another secondary analysis, see Yoshii Ken’ichi, “Antō ryōjikan bunkan setchi mondai no hamon: Yoshida Shigeru to Tanaka gaikō,” Kan Nihonkai kenkyū nenpō 4 (March 1997): 78–93, and Yoshii, Kan Nihonkai chiiki shakai no henyō, 168–190.

(8.) For additional documents, see JFMA, file no. M.1.3.0–2–1–1, Zai-Shi teikoku kōkan kankei zakken: Bōjisan bunkan kankei.

(9.) “Bōjisan bunkan kaisetsu sochi ni kansuru keika,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 3–5, vol. 10, pp. 5–9.

(p.185) (10.) Ogata Yōichi, “1927 nen no Rinkō Nihon ryōjikan setsubi jiken: Chūgoku ni okeru han-Nichi undō no tenki,” Tōyō gakuhō 60, nos. 1–2 (November 1978): 132–165.

(11.) Ibid., 152–154.

(14.) See JFMA, file no. D.2.1.0 -2, Zai-Shi teikoku keisatsukan no seifuku kiyō seigen mondai ikken. On the topic of discussions concerning the abolition of extraterritoriality during the late 1920s, see Soejima Shōichi, “Chūgoku no fubyōdō jōyaku teppai to ‘Manshū jihen,’” in Nit-Chū sensōshi kenkyū, ed. Furuya Tetsuo (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kobunkan, 1984).

(16.) “Kantō chihō ni okeru waga keisatsuken kōshi ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–5.3, vol. 23, pp. 338–339.

(17.) “Kantō chihō ni okeru waga keisatsuken no kōshi narabi ni keisatsukan jūjistu ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–5.3, vol. 23, pp. 422–427.

(18.) “Manshū chihō keisatsu kikan jūjitsu ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 3–2, vol. 7, pp. 262–263.

(19.) “Showa 4 nen 4 gatsu, Gaimushō Ajia kyoku an,” ibid., 276–286.

(20.) “Gaimushō keisatsu kikan no kaizen ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 2–5, vol. 5, pp. 251–266.

(21.) A very useful collection of documents produced by the Jiandao Consulate-General has been assembled under the title Manshu jihen zen’ya ni okeru zai kantō nihon sōryōjikan bunsho, vol. 1 (Yao: Ōsaka keizai hōka daigaku shuppanbu, 1999). The May 30 riots are also often discussed in general histories of the Korean Communist movement, and sometimes in works dealing with Chinese Communist Party history. See, for example, the work of Robert Scalapino and Chong-sik Lee.

(22.) Robert Scalapino and Chong-sik Lee, Communism in Korea. Part I: The Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), 151–157; see also Yi Song-hwan, Kindai higashi Ajia no seiji rikigaku: 249–254. A particularly insightful summary of the incorporation of Korean communists into the CCP and the failure of the Li Li-san line in the CCP’s Manchurian strategy can be found in Chong-Sik Lee, Revolutionary Struggle in Manchuria (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), 111–126.

(23.) Dae-sok Suh, The Korean Communist Movement, 1918–1948, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967), 232.

(24.) Man-Mō jijō 105 (June 25, 1930). For secondary treatment, see Kanemori Shōsaku, “‘Manshū’ ni okeru Chū-Chō Kyōsantō no gōdō to Kantō 5.30 hōki ni tsuite,” Chōsenshi sō 7 (June 1983): 3–40. The riots and Foreign Minister Shidehara’s reactions to them are described well in Yoshii, (p.186) Kan Nihonkai chiiki shakai no henyō, 223–231, as well as in Yi, Kindai higashi Ajia no seiji rikigaku, 266–284. See also Tsurushima Setsurei, Chūgoku Chōsenzoku no kenkyū (Osaka: Kansai daigaku shuppanbu, 1997), 290–299.

(25.) “Kantō chihō ni okeru waga keisatsukan no kōshi ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–6, vol. 24, pp. 14–28. Nihon gaikō bunsho, Show-aki-I, pt. 1, vol. 4, docs. no. 85, no. 89.

(26.) Gaimushō keisatsushi, ibid., 16–17; Nihon gaikō bunsho, ibid., doc. no. 90.

(27.) “Showa 5 nen Kantō bōdō no genin ni tsuki hōkoku” (Aiba to Saitō, June 27), Saitō Makoto bunsho, Chōsen sōtokufu jidai kankei shiryō, vol. 11 (Seoul: Koma shorin, 1990).

(29.) Ibid., doc. no. 95.

(30.) Ibid., doc. no. 103.

(32.) “Shina rikugun no waga keisatsukan sasshō jiken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–6, vol. 24, pp. 77–108.

(34.) “Keisatsu yōnin rinji saiyō ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 2–5, vol. 5, pp. 189–198.

(35.) “Shina gawa no waga keisatsu kikan tettai kōdō,” ibid., 198–204.

(36.) “Showa 6 nen 3 gatsu 30 nichi Kantō mondai ni kan suru Gaimu, Takumu, Chōsen Sōtokufu kyōgi kaigi jiroku yōshi,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–6, vol. 24, pp. 182–188.

(37.) Aiba himself recounts the circumstances surrounding his replacement in Tanaka et al., “Chōsen tōchi ni okeru ‘zai Man Chōsenjin’ mondai,” 251.

(38.) “Kantō zaijū Chōsenjin ni tsuite,” in JFMA, file no. B.4.0.0–C/X 1–13, Shina chigai hōken teppai mondai ikken; also cited in Yoshii, Kan Nihonkai chiiki shakai, 225–226. For an earlier statement of Suematsu’s ideas concerning the problem of resident Koreans, see his report entitled “Chōsenjin no Kantō Konshun do setsuzoku chihō ijū ni kansuru chōsa” (March 1926), Chōsen tōji shiryō, vol. 10, pp. 333–369.

(39.) Chong-Sik Lee, Revolutionary Struggle in Manchuria: Chinese Communism and Societ Interests, 1922–1945 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965), 120. Lee cites Manshūkoku gunseibu gunji chōsabu, ed., Manshū Kyōsanhi no kenkyū (Tokyo: Kyokutō kenkyūjo shuppankai, 1969), 69, for the figure of 13, 168 arrests.

(40.) “Manshū jihen ni yoru Kantō chihō no jōkyō,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–7.1, vol. 25, pp. 4–13.

(41.) Ibid., 9–10.

(42.) “Keisatsu kikan kakujū hō no ken,” ibid., 14–45.

(43.) “Keisatsu kikan kakujū hō no ken,” ibid., 15–22, 23.

(44.) Yoshizawa to Okada, 18 February 1932, ibid., 87.

(p.187) (45.) “Kantō chihō ni okeru Kyōsantō undō torishimari no ken,” ibid., 98–102.

(46.) “Kantō Konshun chihō chian jōkyō,” ibid., 260.

(47.) “Showa 7 nenjū Kantō (Konshun-ken o fukumu) oyobi setsujōchihō chian jōkyō,” ibid., 242–244.

(48.) Barbara J. Brooks, Japan’s Imperial Diplomacy: Consuls, Treaty Ports, and War in China, 1895–1938 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2000), 99.

(49.) Similarly, Koike Seiichi has recently argued that the Kwantung Army used the crisis over extraterritoriality negotiations and resident Koreans to justify their advance into Manchuria. Again, this may be true, but the Jiandao consular police were making the same case long before September 18, 1931. See Koike Seichi, “Chigai hōken no teppai to chian iji—Manshū jihen zengo no renzokusei ni kansuru ikkōsatsu,” Hiroshima heiwa kagaku 18 (1995): 87–111.

(51.) Nakatsuka Akira, “Chōsen shihai no mujun to ‘Manshū jihen,’” Kikan gendai shi 1 (November 1972): 20–27. Another important early work to identify the significance of resident Koreans to anti-Japanese resistance in Manchuria was Kajimura Hideki’s article “1930 nendai Manshū ni okeru kō-Nichi tōsō ni tai suru Nihon teikokushugi no shosakudō—‘zai Manshū Chōsenjin mondai’ to kanren shite,” Nihonshi kenkyū 94 (November 1967): 25–55.

(52.) Nakatsuka, “Chōsen shikai no mujun,” 26–27. Yoshii Ken-ichi describes the Chōsen Army’s scheme to occupy all of Jiandao and incorporate the consular police into its own security forces in Kan Nihonkai chiiki shakai no henyō, 232–237. Yi Song-hwan also mentions these plans in Kindai higashi Ajia no seiji rikigaku, 303–304. Additional relevant primary sources can be found in Gendaishi shiryō, vol. 7, Manshū jihen, 457–466.

(53.) “Mitsuya kyōtei haishi ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 2–1, vol. 4, pp. 78–79.

(54.) The political environment of Shanghai and its draw for Japanese leftists during the late 1920s is well described by Chalmers Johnson in An Instance of Treason: Ozaki Hotsumi and the Sorge Spy Ring (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1964; 1990 rev. ed.), 41–59.

(55.) Nishizato Tatsuo, Kakumei no Shanhai de: Aru Nihonjin Chūgoku kyōsantōin no kiroku (Tokyo: Nit-Chū shuppan, 1977), 81, 85.

(56.) Kuroshima Denji (Zeljko Cipris, trans.), “Militarized Streets,” in A Flock of Swirling Crows and Other Proletarian Writings (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2005), 168–169.

(57.) My understanding of the circumstances surrounding Sano’s arrest has been aided by the unpublished research presentation notes of Professor Ishikawa Yoshihiro, entitled “Sano Manabu no taiho to Shanhai no ryōjikan keisatsu” (February 2003), Kyoto University.

(58.) Uemura to Tanaka, June 22, 1929, “Sano Manabu taiho kankei,” (p.188) Tokkō keisatsu kankei shiryō shūsei, vol. 6, sec. 1–44, p. 373. “Nihon kyōsantō chūō shikkō iin Sano Manabu no taiho,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–20, vol. 47, pp. 97–99.

(59.) “Chūgoku kyōsantō no genjō,” ibid., 100–106. The original document in Sano’s own hand is reproduced in “Sano Manabu taiho kankei,” Tokkō keisatsu kankei shiryō shūsei, vol. 6, sec. 1–44, pp. 387–392.

(60.) Roland H. Mitchell, Thought Control in Prewar Japan, (Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press, 1976), 81–96; Elise K. Tipton, The Japanese Police State: The Tokkō in Interwar Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1990), 69–70.

(61.) Robert Scalapino, The Japanese Communist Movement, 1920–1966 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967), 34.

(62.) See Naimushō keiho kyoku, “Himitsu kessha Nihon kyōsantō jiken no gaiyō” (June 1928), in Ogino Fujio, ed., Tokkō keisatsu kankei shiryō shūsei, vol. 4, sec. 1–19, pp. 323–404.

(63.) George M. Beckmann and Okubo Genji, The Japanese Communist Party, 1922–1945, (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1969), 181.

(64.) Ogino Fujio, Tokkō keisatsu taisei shi (Tokyo: Sekita shobō, 1988), 213.

(65.) Dae-sook Suh suggests that it was British police who arrested Yŏ and then turned him over to the Japanese consular police in Shanghai; see Suh, Korean Communist Movement, 1918–1948, 176. Documents in the Gaimushō keisatsushi, however, do not corroborate this.

(66.) “Kyōsantō kanbu Ro Unkō no taiho,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, section 5–20, vol. 47, pp. 107–108; “Kyōsantō shuryō Ro Unkō kenji ni sōchi no ken,” ibid., volume 47, 108–131. Particularly fascinating among the many documents related to the interrogation of Yŏ Ŭn-hyŏng is a report that recounts Yŏ’s own opinions concerning various East Asian social movements of the day as well as his views on the nature of Japanese colonial rule in Korea. For details, see “Zai Shanhai kyōsantō shuryo Ri unkō torishirabe jōkyō ni kan suru ken,” ibid., 109–132.

(68.) Interdepartmental cooperation between police stations in Shanghai and in metropolitan Japan was not always related to thought crime. In April 1929, for example, Shanghai consular police arrested a Japanese man named H. Fukuda and his Korean associate on charges of illicit arms trafficking. Fukuda had been arrested in 1925 and expelled from Shanghai for a period of three years, only to return and wind up in trouble with the law once again. His arrest came about, however, from intelligence provided by Nagasaki police who had some of Fukuda’s homeland partners in custody. See file no. D154, Shanghai Municipal Police Files, microfilm reel 2.

(69.) Naimushō keihokyoku, Tokubestu kōtō keisatsu shiryō (September 1928), in Shakai mondai shiryō kenkyukai, ed., Tokubestu kōtō keisatsu shiryō, vol. 1 (Kyoto: Tōyō bunkasha, 1973), 146–152.

(p.189) (70.) “Kokoku no dōshi e no tsūshin,” Tokubestu kōtō keisatsu shiryō (January 1929), in Shakai mondai shiryō kenkyukai, ed., Tokubestu kōtō keisatsu shiryō, 3: 49–67. The Shanghai consular police also frequently detained and extradited Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese suspects on charges of violating the Peace Preservation Law after the revisions made to it in 1928 expanding the investigative powers of Japanese police forces. See Ogino Fujio, ed., Chian ijihō kankei shiryōshū, vol. 1 (Tokyo: Shin Nihon shuppansha, 1996), 567–575.

(72.) In late January, the Shanghai Korean News (Shanhai Kanbun) published this brief statement on the life of Yi Pong-ch’ang, the Sakuradamon bomber:

At 11:30 a.m. January 8, Li Bong Chang attacked the Japanese emperor in Tokyo like thunder from a cloudless sky. His heroic action gave the world a big surprise and caused a great shock to all Japanese, making them tremble at the bravery of Koreans. The following is a brief history of Li Bong Chang—He was born in Seoul, Korea, age thirty-two. His home is very poor. He was very much interested in military knowledge in the hope of recovering Korea from Japan. He admires brave men and hates cowards. Being a member of a poor family, he visited Tokyo and Osaka where he secured employment as a daily labourer. Whilst he was leading a labourer’s life his determination to take revenge on the Japanese become very strong whenever he was humiliated by Japanese labourers. He waited for a chance to take his long cherished revenge. As he could not secure the necessary weapons he came to Shanghai last winter and called on the Korean Provisional Government and promised to carry out his plan. He secured a job in a Japanese shop, the Nishokai Company in Hongkew, under the assumed name of Z. Kinoshita (Japanese name) in order to turn away the watchful eyes of the Japanese police. In the middle of December he received two bombs and $400 from the Korean Provisional Government and immediately proceeded to Tokyo to carry out his plan on January 8. (File no. D3087, Shanghai Municipal Police Files, microfilm reel 7)

(74.) “Sakuradamon soto daigyaku jiken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.4, vol. 45, pp. 290–293. “Sakuradamachi ni okeru Ri Hosho (Yi Pong-ch’ang) fukei jiken,” Ogino, ed., Tokkō keisatsu kankei shiryō shūsei, vol. 12, sec. 5–10, pp. 149–159. Chong-Sik Lee, The Politics of Korean Nationalism, (Berkely: University of California Press, 1963), 184.

(75.) Ogino, Tokkō keisatsu taisei shi, 225. The arrest of Yi Pong-ch’ang is also described in great detail in Naimushō keihokyoku hoanka, Tokkō geppō (January 1932), pp. 42–45, 66–67, including extensive information concerning Yi’s family background, education, and early political activities. This (p.190) report also includes translations of the official statements on the incident issued by the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai, the Korean Independence Party, and the Korean Communist Party. Not surprisingly, all depict Yi as a national hero and martyr.

(77.) “Futei Senjin bakudan tōteki jiken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.4, vol. 45, pp. 294–316. “Shanhai ni okeru In Hōkichi (Yun Pong-gil) bakudan jiken,” Tokkō keisatsu kankei shiryō shūsei, vol. 12, sec. 5–11, pp. 163–174. Lee, Politics of Korean Nationalism, 184–185. See also documents 493, 494, and 495 in “Shanhai jihen kankei: tsuki Shanhai Fukoku sokai sōsaku mondai,” Nihon gaikō bunsho, Showa-ki, ser. 2, pt. 1, vol. 1 (Tokyo: Gaimushō, 1996), 504–508.

(78.) “Shanhai Chōsenjin dokuritsu undōsha torishimari taisaku,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.4, vol. 45, pp. 317–320. See also document 498 in “Shanhai jihen kankei,” pp. 515–525. The April park bombing is also noted as a turning point in Japanese consular police escalation in Takatsuna Hirofumi and Chen Zuen, eds., Riben qiao min zai Shanghai, 1870–1945 (Shanghai: Shanghai ci shu chu ban she, 2000).

(79.) “1919–1932 Chōsen minzoku undō nenkan (Shōwa 7 nen 4 gatsu 30 nichi Shanhai Futsu sokai dai Kan kyō mindan jimusho ni oite ōshū no dai Kan minkoku rinji seifu oyobi dō kyō mindan hokan bunken ni yoru),” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.5, vol. 46, pp. 136–303. Chong-sik Lee cites this document as “one of the most valuable sources” on the Korean resistance movement in exile in his Politics of Korean Nationalism, 305.

(80.) Son Ansok, “Shanhai o meguru Nichi-Fu no jōhō kōkan nettowaaku: ‘teikoku’ to ‘shokuminchi’ no jōhō tōsei.” See also documents 496 and 497 in “Shanhai jihen kankei: tsuki Shanhai Fukoku sokai sōsaku mondai,” Nihon gaikō bunsho, Showa-ki, ser. 2, pt. 1, vol. 1, pp. 508–514.

(81.) “Zai Shanhai sōryōjikan ni okeru tokkō keisatsu jimu jōkyō,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–18.2, vol. 43, p. 102.

(82.) Gaimushō, Relations of Japan with Manchuria and Mongolia (Tokyo, 1932), 18. This and the following quotes are from chapter 2, entitled “Bearings of the Confused State of Political Thought and Ideas in the Far East on the State Foundations of Japan.”

(83.) Ibid., 20.

(84.) Ibid., 21.

(86.) Ibid., 23.

(88.) Ibid., 24.

(90.) Ibid., 26.

(91.) Ibid., 27.