Hitori Kumagai

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Hitori Kumagai (熊谷 独, Kumagai Hitori, born June 10, 1936), born Kazuo Kumagai (熊谷 一男, Kumagai Kazuo), is a Japanese author. He was the whistleblower who revealed the Toshiba-Kongsberg scandal.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Kumagai was born in Onomichi, Hiroshima. In 1963, he graduated from the Department of Russian at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Fuchu, Tokyo.

Toshiba-Kongsberg scandal[edit]

Upon graduation, Kumagai began working with a trading company, Wako Koeki Co., Ltd. (和光交易株式会社),[3] which specialized in working with communist countries.


The KGB told an executive of Wako in Moscow in October, 1980, that it was looking for "a robot which builds the screw for large-sized vessels."[4] Wako created a connection to Toshiba Machine Corp. (東芝機械株式会社),[5] which specialized in working with communist countries and was a subsidiary of Toshiba. The company began talks with the KGB in late December 1980. The spy agency requested four sets of machine tools of nine axes and four sets of machine tools of five axes. This request violated CoCom regulations on certain machine tools. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) served as the adviser on the violation.[6] When this problem was solved, Itochu would work together with Wako and Toshiba Machine, with which it had forged a long relationship. Itochu had moved responsibility for the violation to Wako and Toshiba Machine. The agreement was signed on April 24, 1981.


Shinto Jitsugyo Co., Ltd. (株式会社進展実業) specialized in working with communist countries and was a subsidiary of Itochu and Shinko Seiki Co., Ldt. (神港精機株式会社)[7] It violated CoCom regulations and exported a set of germanium transistor production facilities to the Soviet Union. Another Itochu subsidiary, Ataka & Co., Ltd. (安宅産業株式会社), also worked with communist countries to export a set of three-axis machine tools.

Cargo time[edit]
Year Kongsberg company The type of the NC device Machine manufacturers Machine Number At the carrying destination Usage Contract
September, 1964 - Shinko Seiki Germanium transistor production facility 1 Industrial technical import public corporation Germanium transistor April, 1963
December, 1964 - Shinko Seiki Germanium transistor production facility Industrial technical import public corporation Germanium transistor
September 25, 1979 NC2000 Toshiba Machine Machine tools of three axes 1 Volgodonsk Atomic energy machinery ?


The Numerical Control machine tool was the product of Kongsberg Gruppen in Norway. They obtained export permission for the machine tool by claiming it as a machine tool of two axes and delivered it to Japan, where it was re-exported to the Soviet Union. The software later followed the same path.

Cargo time[edit]

Year Kongsberg company The type of the NC device Machine tool manufacturers The number of the spindles of the simultaneous control Unit Number At the carrying destination Usage Contract
1982/12 NC2000 Toshiba Machine 9 1 Baltic shipyard Screw April 24, 1981
1983/2 NC2000 Toshiba Machine 9 2 Baltic shipyard Screw
1983/5 NC2000 Toshiba Machine 9 3 Baltic shipyard Screw
1983/6 NC2000 Toshiba Machine 9 4 Baltic shipyard Screw
1984/4 NC2000 Toshiba Machine 5 5 Baltic shipyard Screw April 1, 1983
1984/5 NC2000 Toshiba Machine 5 7 Baltic shipyard Screw


Measurement MBP110
The number of the spindles of the simultaneous control 9 axes
Height 10 m (33 ft)
Width 22 m (72 ft)
Weight 10 t
The maximum diameter of the propeller which can be processed 11 m (36 ft)
The maximum weight of the propeller which can be processed 130 t
The number of sheets of the most feather of the propeller which can be processed 11


The Soviet ship carrying the first piece of contraband departed from Tokyo Bay, passed through the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, and arrived in Leningrad via the Arctic Ocean in the spring of 1983. The other items were landed in the Illichivsk port of the Black Sea coast and arrived in Leningrad by rail. Kumagai charged to install two machines in the propeller factory of the Baltic shipyard. The two remaining sets joined them later. He finished equipment and delivered two sets that he was in charge of in the end of December, 1983. He installed two machine tools of five axes in December, 1984.


Wako refused to promote Kumagai in accordance with the standard procedure, leading him to resign in 1985. He told Wako about the illegal exports and had worked with communist countries for 22 years, residing in Moscow for ten of those. Soviet officials contacted him several times, inviting him to become a business partner. Wako and Toshiba Machine eventually proposed that he revealed his knowledge of the illegal exports. However, he refused both offers. In fact, the CIA already knew about the illegal exports, but did not grasp the scope of the violation. Furthermore, Stanislav Levchenko, who had been a KGB major, defected to the United States in October 1979 and supplied the names of around 200 Japanese agents who had been used by the KGB.


At first, Kumagai reported this to the relevant authorities including the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, but they refused to entertain him. Officials sided with the companies he complained about instead. Therefore, he wrote a letter to CoCom, outlining which products had violated the regulations, plus details of what had been exported or were likely to be exported to the Soviet Union. He attached documents about the machine tools of nine axes and provided his contact information, including his name, address and telephone number. Then he posted the letter written in English to CoCom headquarters in Paris, France in December 1985. Because he worried about possible attempts assassination to him, he recorded in detail the events which he knew regarding the Soviet Union during spring of 1986 and gave his friend a copy for his safekeeping. He told his friend that if anything happened to him, then he should pass the information to the address written on the letter.

CoCom and Japan[edit]

The CoCom agreement corresponded to the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law[8] in Japan. CoCom showed the government of Japan the contents of whistleblowing sent by Kumagai and demanded correspondence from the government of Japan in the end of December, 1985. The ministries and government offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan), the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the Ministry of the Treasury, the National Police Agency (Japan), and the Ministry of Defense (Japan), etc. related to this affair in Japan, held the meeting in January, 1986. However, moreover, they did not make it an incident. After that, the government of Japan, Itochu, Toshiba, and the associated companies refused his whistleblowing as if they became one organization until 1987. He also went to the Embassy of the United States in Tokyo, Japan and blew the whistle by the summer of 1986. The federal government of the United States did the same cross-examination about this affair to the government of Japan 40 times by 1987. But the government of Japan did not tell the federal government of the United States the truth. He was cornered mentally. Therefore, although he answered the telephone call in English in his house several times in December, 1986, he had refused them.


On January 26, 27, 1987 The United States asked Norway and Japan about the 9-axis machine tool. Norway investigated the incident, revealing Japan's crime. Kumagai received no reply from the government of Japan from December, 1985 until they finally did so on April 27, 1987.

News of the 9-axis violation in Japan appeared for the first time on April 30. The news in Japan of the 5-axis violation appeared for the first time on June 18. The statute of limitations on both violations had already expired. Because the government of Japan knew the details by the end of December, 1985, they had apparently the interval lapse intentionally. He conferred with William C. Triplett, a former CIA analyst, in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in July, 1987. Triplett asked him to testify at a United States congressional hearing that he refused it fearing KGB retaliation. Instead, he produced testimony a book on January 30, 1988.[1]

Mosukuwa yo, saraba: Kokomu ihan jiken no haikei[edit]

Mosukuwa yo, saraba: Kokomu ihan jiken no haikei
Author Hitori Kumagai
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher Bungeishunju
Publication date
January 30, 1988
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 226
ISBN 978-4-16-342060-8

Good-bye, Moscow: The background of the Toshiba-Kongsberg scandal

Chapter Comments
1. 事件の発端
The beginning of the incident
Refer to Contract and Illegal exporting.
2. 水の都レニングラード
The capital of the water Leningrad
Refer to Delivery.
3. 和光交易との決別
Parting with Wako Koeki
Refer to Dismissal and Whistleblowing.
4. KGBの役割
The role of the KGB
Because Kumagai feared retaliation, he described only generalities.
Refer to KGB.
A bribe and a written apology are provided. These were the means to threaten foreigners later, and the foreigner was alleged to be the agent of the KGB. An international marriage and the KGB. The establishment of the dummy entities. A prostitute and a foreigner.
5. 対ソ貿易の実態
The actual suituation of the trade for the Soviet Union
Refer to All the Soviet Union trade public corporations.
The corporation could acquire almost all the information from a foreign company. As a result, the Soviet did not need to do espionage. The visa was important for a foreigner in the Soviet Union. This public corporation could release the duties such as the application and the contents change, etc. of the visa. Surveillance to the foreigners.
6. ザ・デイ・アフター
The day after
Refer to Disclosure.
Afterword Final comments of Kumagai.

Illegal exporting[edit]

Illegal exports used eight basic patterns.


  • Back contract and Side letter
Two contracts were prepared, one for legal products and one for prohibited products. Only the legal contract was submitted for approval. The side letter was submitted to the Soviet Union.
  • Masking
The prohibited product was physically disguised to appear as a legal product.
  • Hand carry
The prohibited product was carried as baggage.
  • Delivery to a Soviet representative
The product was delivered directly to the Soviet Trade Representative in Japan.
  • Breakdown
The product was disassembled into components, each of which was not prohibited.
  • Third nation way
The product was shipped first to a third country.
  • Local customs entry
The product was moved through a less-sophisticated customs office, such as that in Niigata.
  • Moscow trade fair display
The product was displayed at a trade fair and then delivered to the Soviet customer. Refer to Foreign technical cooperation public corporation.


The KGB agents recruited foreign agents. The agents in this case were workers at the organization that supplied the prohibited products.

  • Vyacheslav Sedov (Russian: Вячеслав Седов) worked as the representative of the Technical machine import corporation for the Soviet Union Trade Representative in Japan from 1964 to 1966. After that, he became a vice-president there until 1978. He worked as the president in the Soviet Union Trade Representative in East Germany from 1979. He worked as the vice-president of foreign technical cooperation in the Soviet Union from 1981.
  • Anatoliy Maximoff (Russian: Анатолий Максимов) was an assistant to Sedov.
  • Igor Osipov (Russian: Игорь Осипов) worked with the Soviet Union Trade Delegation in West Germany from 1963 to 1966. He became the vice-president of technical machine import public corporation from 1979. He ordered four sets of 9-axis machine tools.
  • Anatoliy Troitsky (Russian: Анатолий Тро́ицкий) worked for the Soviet Union Trade Delegation in the United Kingdom from 1968 to 1971. He was deported for espionage in 1971. He worked at the chemical article import corporation after the homecoming. He worked at the technical machine import corporation from 1978. He became the vice-president of Industrial Machine Import corporation from 1983. He ordered four sets of 5-axis machine tools.
  • Dozmorov (Russian: Дозморов) :First name ?, Middle name ?, Career ?
  • Eduardovich (Russian: Эдуардович) :First name ?, Surname ?, Career ?

Soviet Union trade corporations[edit]

The trade of the Soviet Union was managed by trade corporations. These corporations monopolized trade in specific product categories.

Public corporations[edit]

  • Technical industrial machine.
  • Technical machine - separated from Technical industrial machine later. It traded chemical related apparatus. It imported four sets of machine tools of nine axes from Japan.
  • Industrial machine - separated from Technical machine. It typically handled ordinary industrial machines, in paper manufacture and pulp related facility etc. It imported four sets of machine tools of five axes from Japan.
  • Foreign technical cooperation - handled performance testing, evaluation and regulated products exhibited at Moscow trade fairs. It lent to Soviet research institutes, let a Soviet expert dismantle and analyze regulated products.
  • Machine tool - often traded with Itochu.
  • Apparatus import public corporation.
  • License import public corporation.
  • Chemical article import public corporation.


Year Japanese Title English Title Comments ISBN
1988/1 モスクワよ、さらば―ココム違反事件の背景
Mosukuwa yo, saraba: Kokomu ihan jiken no haikei
Nonfiction, Whistleblowing sentence 9784163420608
1993/11 最後の逃亡者
Saigo no tobosha
Fiction, Hardcover 9784163143606
1995/10 秘境からの脅迫者
Hikyo kara no kyohakusya
Fiction 9784166400409
1997/1 最後の逃亡者
Saigo no tobosha
Fiction, Paperback 9784167303037
1997/7 エルミタージュの鼠
Erumitaju no nezumi
Fiction 9784106027505
2000/8 尾道少年物語
Oomichi syonen monokatari
Fiction 9784163194608
2002/7 ロシア黙示録
Roshia mokushiroku
Fiction 9784163202501

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 熊谷(Kumagai), 独(Hitori) (1988). モスクワよ、さらば: ココム違反事件の背景. 文藝春秋(Bungeishunju). ISBN 978-4-16-342060-8.
  2. ^ New Scientist 17 September 1987
  3. ^ 新和光交易株式会社
  4. ^ Wrubel, Wende A. "The Toshiba-Kongsberg Incident: Shortcomings of Cocom, and Recommendations for Increased Effectiveness of Export Controls to the East Bloc". Washington College of Law.
  6. ^ 春名(Haruna), 幹男(Mikio) (1993). スクリュー音が消えた: 東芝事件と米情報工作の真相. 新潮社(Shinchosha). ISBN 978-4-10-394501-7.
  8. ^ Japanese Law Translation - (Law text) - Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act

External links[edit]