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TM-E 30-480: Handbook on Japanese Military Forces
Technical Manual, U.S. War Department, October 1, 1944
[DISCLAIMER: The following text and illustrations are taken from a WWII U.S. War Department Technical Manual. As with all wartime manuals, the text may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the contents of the original technical manual. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]

Chapter III: Field Organization

Section IV: Military Intelligence

1. GENERAL. Military intelligence is a function of the 2nd Bureau, Army General Staff, headed by a major general. Intelligence of a more general nature flows to the High Command through a complex organization, at the top of which is the Intelligence Department of the Imperial General Headquarters. In a subordinate position, there is also the Central Commission for Intelligence, a coordinating body which maintains contact with all government departments and disseminates information. Intelligence received from armed forces in the field is routed through the usual military channels to the 2nd bureau of the General Staff. This purely military function resembles the system employed by other armies.

2. COMBAT INTELLIGENCE. Intelligence officers are assigned to army, division, and regimental staffs. While they appear to have no permanently organized units for collecting combat intelligence, geographic areas are assigned to various regular units which are made responsible for the usual items of information sought in combat intelligence. It is noteworthy that the Japanese recently have been stressing the amount of military information that can be gathered from prisoners of war and from captured documents.

3. THE TOKUMU KIKAN (SPECIAL SERVICE AGENCY). This agency is believed to be directly under orders of the Imperial General Headquarters and organized into units which are assigned only to armies or geographic areas. Espionage, counterespionage, propaganda, and fifth column activities, together with a measure of undercover supervision over occupied territories, appear to be principal duties of personnel of this agency. A major general was declared to be in command of the Tokumu Kikan organization at Canton in 1942. Close cooperation between the Tokumu Kikan and military police apparently can be effected when required, inasmuch as counterespionage is included among the duties of the latter. (For details of the Japanese military police service, see chapter 6.)


GENERAL.—Many indications show that the Japanese Army is in the process of reorganizing and modernizing various units. Some of this modernization program has been accomplished and it must be expected that there will be continued progress. On the other hand there are definite limitations to the speed with which equipment can be obtained and distributed, and personnel indoctrinated and trained. It is believed, therefore, that while there will be a gradual increase in the number of the stronger and more modern units the bulk of the army will continue to be composed, as it is at present, largely of average organizations such as have been described.

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