Joseph Yoshio Kiyonaga, 59, who served as chief of station for the Central Intelligence Agency in El Salvador, Panama and Brazil died Tuesday at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

A native of Maui, Hawaii, Mr. Kiyonaga lived in Chevy Chase. He was a direct descendant of the 18th-century Japanses woodcut artist of the same name.

During World War II, Mr. Kiyonaga served in Italy and France with the 442d Regimental Combat Team, composed of Japanese-American volunteers from Hawaii and detention camps of the West Coast who petitioned President Roosevelt to form their own detachment.

Mr. Kiyonaga was decorated for valor and received a field commission in the group, which became the most decorated American unit of the war.

Mr. Kiyonaga graduated from the University of Hawaii and received a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. In 1949, he began a career with the CIA, and held posts in Japan, El Salvador, Panama and Brazil.

Mr. Kiyonaga is survived by his wife, the former Bina Cady, of the home; three sons, David, a lawyer in the Canal Zone, John, a student at Columbia University Law School, and Paul, a student at the Hill School; two daughters, Ann, a student at the University of California at Berkely, and Mary DiGiacomo of Bronxville, N.Y., and his mother, Mrs. Joseph Swerts of Molokai, Hawaii.