Master Spy on a Mission: The Untold Story of Onodera Makoto and Swedish Intelligence 1941–1945
Neutral Sweden’s importance for Japanese intelligence grew during the World War II. As Japan’s military attaché posted in Sweden, Makoto Onodera was second to none in taking advantage of the opportunities offered in Stockholm, the North European hotspot for intelligence activities, spies and agents. His reports to Tokyo were based on two agent networks and extensive collaboration with agents and officials of Nazi Germany. But he also became a legend for his work in open-source intelligence as well as procured strategic commodities and provided Tokyo with Swedish-made cipher machines. What he did not know, however, was that the office he inherited from his predecessor had already been penetrated when he arrived. Swedish military intelligence lured him into an exchange that was used not only to counteract his intelligence work but also to feed him with bogus information.
Bert Edström is the first to shed light on Onodera’s intelligence work based on an extensive use of declassified documents long hidden away in Swedish archives. He reveals not only the surprising scope of Onodera’s secret activities but also the ingenuity of the security agencies of his host country, whose duty it was to monitor his activities.
Bert Edström is Non-resident Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP), Stockholm.
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