Title: "Seattle Japs Charged With State Lobbying, 'Spying' On Yarnell," Seattle Times, 2/27/1942, (ddr-densho-56-652)
Densho ID: ddr-densho-56-652

Seattle Japs Charged With State Lobbying, 'Spying' on Yarnell

Thomas S. Masuda, Seattle-born Japanese attorney, today faced federal charges of taking motion pictures of Armistice Day military parade here last fall, and of lobbying for the Japanese government at the 1939 and 1941 sessions of the State Legislature.

Kenji Ito also a Seattle-born Japanese attorney, was charged with having obtained for the Japanese government information regarding a Bremerton meeting addressed by Rear Adm. Harry E. Yarnell of the United States Asiatic Fleet in November, 1940.

Held Under $25,000 Each

The new details were included in indictments returned by the federal grand jury here yesterday, and made public today. The indictments, charging both men with acting as agents for Japan without having registered with the State Department, replace less-detailed indictments returned January 28.

Masuda and Ito, arrested soon after the Pearl Harbor attack, are held in the county jail in lieu of $25,000 bond each.

Ito also is charged with having obtained information for the Japanese government at numerous civic club meetings and political affairs here.

Yarnell Is Quoted

Press dispatches following Admiral Yarnell's speech quoted him as telling an audience of civilians and high-ranking Navy officers:

"The United States now has the finest Navy in the world, but we must prepare for any emergency that may arise. The end of the present war (Sino-Japanese) might create great defense needs."

The indictment against Ito contains three counts. The first count charges he illegally acted as a Japanese agent and the two others charge he illegally possessed certain documents which are pro-Japanese speeches.

In support of the first count, the indictment charges that Ito acted "for and on behalf of and for the benefit of the said Japanese government as follows:

1. By giving a speech in March, 1939, at a meeting of the Court of Public Opinion, Chateau-Thierry Hall, Seattle, "Is the Open Door Policy Outmoded?"

2. By participating in the debate on the Japanese side of the Chinese-Japanese question at the Seattle Repertory Playhouse in April, 1939.

3. By making speeches on the Japanese side of the Chinese question at a meeting of the Men's Club of the Community Church at Yelm, Thurston County, and at a meeting of the Lions' Club in Olympia in June, 1939.

Speeches Arranged

4. By arranging for an unidentified Japanese to make speeches on behalf of the government of Japan from March to August, 1939. The indictment did not say where these speeches were made.

5. By obtaining information of a meeting of the Seattle China Club in January, 1940, at which Dr. T.Z. Koo made an address.

6. By obtaining information in reference to a meeting of the Laurelhurst Community Club, January 15, 1940, at which the Chinese consul made an address.

7. By obtaining information in regard to a public meeting of the Rotary Club in Tacoma, January 18, 1940.

8. By obtaining information in regard to the proceedings of a convention of the Washington Commonwealth Federation at Seattle from February 2 to 5, 1940.

9. By obtaining information in regard to the panel discussion of the Northwest Council, Institute of Pacific Relocations, held in Seattle March 15 and 16, 1940.

10. By obtaining information regarding a speech made by the Chinese consul, before the Crown Hill Community Club in April, 1940.

11. By attempting to obtain information concerning the whereabouts and activities of an unidentified Chinese person in April, 1940.

Information on Demos

12. By obtaining a copy of the speech delivered by the Chinese consul in May, 1940.

13. By attempting to obtain information on proceedings of a Democratic Party meeting held at the Senator Auditorium between June 8 and 11, 1940.

14. By making a speech over Radio Station KOL July 3, 1940.

15. By obtaining information on proceedings of a luncheon meeting of the Young Men's Democratic Club at the Frye Hotel, July 11, 1940.

16. By obtaining information on a luncheon meeting of the Young Men's Republican Club at he Hungerford Hotel, July 29, 1940.

17. By delivering a speech before the Young Men's Republican Club in the Hungerford Hotel, August 12, 1940.

Address at Auditorium

18. By obtaining information on proceedings of a meeting of the Seattle Kiwanis Club, in January, 1941, at which Karl Richards of the United States Treasury Department discussed "The Fall of France."

19. By arranging for the public asking of questions pertinent to Japanese-American relations at the "Town Meeting of the Air," held at the Civic Auditorium in March, 1941. The indictment said Ito attended the meeting and made an address concerning Japanese-American relations.

20. By requesting information regarding a meeting at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce in April, 1941.

21. By delivering a speech at the Church of the People, Seattle, and also at a public forum at Broadway High School, on the subject, "The Attributes of the Second-Generation Japanese in the United States." The first speech was given May 18, 1941, and the second November 17, 1941.

Charges Against Masuda

The indictment against Masuda charges that he acted "for and on behalf of and for the benefit of the Japanese government," in the manner as follows:

1. By representing the Japanese government in regard to legislation pending before the Legislature of the State of Washington in March, 1939. It charges he also arranged for reports on the status of legislation pending before the Legislature.

2. By obtaining information on a meeting held at the Senator Auditorium, March 25, 1939. This meeting was in protest against the shipment of scrap iron to Japan.

3. By obtaining information on a meeting of the Tacoma Committee for Nonparticipation in Japanese Aggression. This meeting was held in Tacoma in April, 1939.

4. By obtaining information in regard to public reaction and opinion to scenes and comments presented in the sound film, "March of Time," entitled "Japan, Master of the Orient," shown at the Orpheum Theatre in April and May, 1939.

5. By obtaining information in regard to proceedings of a meeting

of the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce at the Hotel Winthrop, Tacoma, in January and February, 1940.

6. By making arrangements, in conjunction with the Japanese consul, to interview certain members of the office of the State Liquor Control Board in reference to Japanese aliens. This took place between April 20 and 25, 1940.

7. By again representing the Japanese government in regard to legislation pending before the Washington Legislature in January, 1941.

8. By assisting in the taking of motion pictures of the Armistice Day parade held in Seattle November 11, 1941.

Information on their activities was presented to the federal grand jury by Gerald Shucklin and Gerald Hile, assistants to United States Attorney J. Charles Dennis.

Racial Inequality Noted

In support of the second and third counts against Ito, charging him with the illegal possession of certain documents, the indictment was accompanied by copies of speeches Ito made.

In one f the speeches, in which Ito discussed whether the "open-door policy" was outmoded; he spoke bitterly on lack of recognition of racial equality for Japanese, the indictment charged.

In the other speech, which the indictment said was delivered over radio station KOL July 3, 1940, Ito discussed the Declaration of Independence, calling attention to the anti-British feeling at the time of the Revolution.

Pointing out that American Independence then was threatened only on the Atlantic Coast, Ito asserted it is often overlooked that American independence never has been endangered from the Pacific.

Rise of Japan Told

Ito said, however, that in recent years the Japanese have risen to "a great power, with a navy second to none." ... "No longer can America, or Japan for that matter, maintain peace on the Pacific without the cooperation of the other," the indictment said Ito declared.

The indictment against Masuda contained only two counts, the first being that he illegally acted as a Japanese agent, and the second that he illegally possessed certain documents.

Masuda Feared Communists

In support of the second count, the indictment was accompanied by copies of two speeches in which Masuda contended that the Chinese-Japanese "trouble" was not made by Japan alone, and that the Comintern was endeavoring to take over China.

In one of the speeches accompanying the indictments Masuda said:

"If, through some untoward happenings, Communist forces should overcome Japanese law and order and come to hold sway in East Asia as well as in Russia, one can only fear for the safety of the rest of the world."