Three Army officers arrested in Japan's biggest spy scandal since World War II may have passed intelligence on Japanese, American and Chinese troop movements in Asia to Soviet spymasters during the past seven years, officials said.
Arrested and undergoing interrogation were now retired Army Gen. Yukihisa Miyanaga and two of his former subordinates, Lt. Eiichi Tsunetoshi Oshima. The three were arrested Friday.
Police searched the offices of Kashii and Oshima after the men reportedly told investigators that they gave classified information to a superior who in turn passed it along to Soviet agents on at least 50 occasions since 1973.
The Reuter news agency quoted informed sources as saying the spy ring was uncovered in the United States through the interrogation of Stanislav Levitchenko, a Soviet journalist who had worked in Japan and who was granted political asylum in the United States in October.
The three men allegedly passed military secrets to Soviet military attache Yuri Koslov and his predecessor, Maj. Gen. Pyotr I. Rybalkin.
Authorities said the information the men gave the Soviets may have included top-secret data on the location of Japanese defense units, American troops in South Korea and Japanese and American intelligence reports on the deployment of Chinese troops in China.
They said both Kashii and Oshima told investigators that they knew the information they gave to Miyanaga was being passed along to the Soviets, but the two men contended that they could not refuse Miyanaga's requests for information because he was their superior officer, police said.