TRIBUTE TO THE LATE LT. COL. RICHARD SAKAKIDA; Congressional Record Vol. 142, No. 12
(Senate - January 30, 1996)

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[Pages S548-S553]
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             TRIBUTE TO THE LATE LT. COL. RICHARD SAKAKIDA

  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I want to take the floor of the U.S. Senate 
to tell my colleagues and the people of Hawaii and the country about a 
Hawaii-born unsung hero of World War II. His extraordinary story has 
never been fully told.
  In a description of Colonel Sakakida's wartime activities, it is 
written that today Richard Sakakida is alive and well and living in 
California.
  I was deeply saddened by the death last week of Lt. Col. Richard 
Sakakida near his home in Fremont, CA, after a lengthy illness. Colonel 
Sakakida, one of America's genuine war heroes, faced death with the 
same stoicism and dignity as he displayed in facing the dangers of war 
and the constant pain of his war injuries.
  Colonel Sakakida will be mourned by the many who knew him personally 
or by reputation, including the thousands of Japanese-Americans who 
followed his footsteps to serve in their country during the Second 
World War.
  He is survived by his beloved wife of many years, Cherry, to whom I 
offer my deepest condolences.
  Colonel Sakakida was a true hero, one whose contributions, 
tragically, have never fully been recognized by his own Government. His 
was one of the most amazing stories to come out of World War II.
  As a United States Army undercover agent and prisoner of war of the 
Japanese in the Philippines 50 years ago, he endured isolation, 
privation, disease, shrapnel wounds, the constant threat of discovery, 
and unspeakable physical torture in carrying out daring intelligence 
missions for his country. His sacrifices not only resulted in the 
advancement of the Allied cause during the Second World War, they 
reflected a great sense of duty and personal courage rarely seen even 
in that great conflict.
  As one of the very first Nisei recruited to the United States 
military service, Colonel Sakakida also helped to pave the way for the 
thousands of other Japanese-Americans who would make their own 
contributions to the war effort as members of the famed 100th/442d 
Regimental Combat Team and the lesser known Military Intelligence 
Service. Later, though he modestly would have denied this, Colonel 
Sakakida's achievements opened doors of opportunity in the military and 
society at large for subsequent generations of Japanese-Americans and 
other minorities.
  In death, as they never were in life, Colonel Sakakida's 
accomplishments deserve to be remembered and honored. To this end, I 
hope that Members of Congress will actively support efforts to ensure 
that his military valor is one day recognized by his Government.
  For the benefit of those who do not know this remarkable solder's 
story, I ask unanimous consent that a description of Colonel Sakakida's 
wartime activities as excerpted from ``America's Secret Army: The 
Untold Story of the Counter Intelligence Corps'' be printed in the 
Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

  America's Secret Army: The Untold Story of the Counter Intelligence 
                                 Corps

                   (By Ian Sayer and Douglas Botting)


                                sakakida

       Of all the unsung heroes of World War Two, Richard Sakakida 
     must rank as one of the most remarkable. For courage, 
     fortitude and loyalty to his adopted homeland there were few 
     to rival him. Yet outside a small circle of veteran CIC 
     agents Sakakida's name is almost unknown, and his 
     extraordinary story has never been fully told.
       Richard Sakakida was a native of Hawaii, the son of 
     Japanese parents who had emigrated there from Hiroshima at 
     the beginning of the century. Most Americans would have 
     described him as a Japanese-American, but the Japanese had a 
     special word for such expatriates--Nisei, meaning the 
     firstborn away from the homeland. Educated at a American high 
     school in Honolulu and brought up as an American citizen in a 
     Japanese family, Sakakida was a man of two cultures and two 
     languages. The outbreak of war between America and Japan 
     might easily have led to a hopeless confusion of loyalties in 
     a person of his dual background, but it did not. Like the 
     great majority of Nisei, many of whom were later to 
     distinguish themselves in action against the Germans in 
     Europe, Sakakida firmly considered himself to be an American 
     first and last. In March 1941, nine months before the 
     Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, this resolute, soft-voiced, 
     earnest-mannered young man was invited to put his unusual 
     linguistic and cultural qualifications to practical use by 
     joining the specialist branch of the U.S. Army best able to 
     take advantage of them--the CIC. Along with another young 
     Nisei, Arthur Komori, he was sworn in as a CIC agent in 
     Hawaii with the rank of sergeant. These were the first 
     Japanese-Americans ever to be recruited into the CIC, and 
     they were to be among the handful of their detachment to 
     survive the war against Japan.
     
[[Page S549]]

       After an intensive training course in the use of codes and 
     ciphers and the recognition of prime targets, Sakakida and 
     Komori were told to prepare to embark on a secret mission, 
     the nature of which would be revealed to them later. They 
     were told that their destination was Manila, the capital city 
     of the Philippines, an American possession on the point of 
     independence, where the United States still maintained a 
     substantial military presence. They were warned that their 
     assignment would certainly be a source of inconvenience 
     and probably of danger. They were to say nothing except to 
     their immediate family--in Sakakida's case his widowed 
     mother.
       Less than a month later the two agents set sail for Manila 
     on board a U.S. Army transport, traveling as deck hands in 
     order to conceal their identity as members of the armed 
     forces. In Manila, a city of tropical languor and almost 
     colonial ease, they were met by the Commanding Officer of the 
     CIC Detachment in the Philippines and briefed for the first 
     time about the nature of their mission. The magnitude of 
     their task took their breath away. It involved nothing less 
     than the counter intelligence investigation of the entire 
     Japanese community in Manila, into which they were required 
     to infiltrate themselves as undercover miles in order to 
     target those individuals who had connections with the 
     Japanese military and posed a threat to the security of the 
     United States Army. As a cover story they were to claim that 
     they were crew members of a freighter and had jumped ship 
     after tiring of life at sea--a story Komori enhanced by 
     adding that he was also a draft dodger, a state of affairs 
     which he reported later ``was favourably received by the pro-
     Emperor sons of Japan.''
       Sakakida was instructed to register at a small hotel called 
     the Nishikawa, while Komori checked in at the Toyo Hotel. 
     From these two bases the tyro agents were to start looking 
     around for roles in keeping with their assumed identities. 
     Their case officers, Major Raymond and Agent Grenfell D. 
     Drisko, were the only members of the CIC Detachment who knew 
     that they were Nisei agents. In order to stay in contact they 
     were given keys to a mailbox at the Central Post Office in 
     Manila under the name of Sixto Borja and told to check the 
     box twice daily for instructions about rendezvous places. 
     Major Raymond or Agent Drisko would then pick them up at a 
     prearranged spot and drive them by a roundabout route to the 
     Military Intelligence section in Forth Santiago, where they 
     could submit their report in safety and receive new 
     briefings. For Major Raymond, a long-time Agent, Sakakida and 
     Komori developed tremendous admiration and affection. ``He 
     gradually instilled in us the techniques of subtle 
     investigations and subterfuges in the best traditions of the 
     CIC,'' Komori recalled later. To him they owed everything 
     they knew about working as undercover agents amongst the 
     impendingly hostile Japanese.
       And so, in the months preceding the outbreak of war, the 
     two young and apprehensive Nisei began the delicate task of 
     burrowing into the warren of the main Japanese community in 
     the Philippines, numbering more than 2,000 in all. 
     Sakakida posed as a sales representative of Sears, 
     Roebuck, whose sales brochures he had learnt by heart, and 
     spent most of his evenings in the Japanese Club, where he 
     assiduously ingratiated himself with the Japanese 
     businessmen who frequented this hotbed of Nippon 
     orthodoxy. Meanwhile Komori obtained a post as a teacher 
     of English at the Japanese Cultural Hall in Manila and 
     made use of this respectable position to win the 
     confidence and even the friendship of some of the leading 
     Japanese residents of the city--the Japanese Consul 
     General, the Chief of the Japanese News Agency, the Chief 
     of the Japanese Tourist Bureau, the Chief of the Japanese 
     Cultural Hall and many others. With few exceptions he 
     found the Japanese ``arrogant and expansionist-minded,'' 
     openly sympathetic to the militaristic ambitions of the 
     Japanese Army generals and increasingly dismissive of the 
     more peaceable and compromising civil government in Tokyo. 
     War fever had developed to such an extent, Komori 
     reported, that one of his students in his English class, a 
     journalist who wrote for a newspaper in Osaka, even 
     reported the likely route of advance of the Japanese 
     forces once they had launched their attack against the 
     British in Singapore.
       Komori had to go along with all this, of course, in order 
     to keep up his cover. He even had to seem to join in the 
     jinjoistic euphoria when Japanese planes bombed the American 
     fleet at Pearl Harbor on 7 December and drink toasts to the 
     Emperor when America declared war on Japan the following day. 
     The outbreak of war now put him in grave danger, for it meant 
     that henceforth he would be spying on an enemy people, and 
     would have to face the consequences if he put a foot wrong. 
     The war was only a few hours old when the complexities of 
     Komori's new situation were brutally brought home to him. He 
     was in the Japanese News Agency in Manila, downing yet 
     another sake in yet another toast to the Emperor, when the 
     door burst open and he found himself ringed by a group of 
     Filipino Constabulary with bayonets fixed. To the Filipinos 
     he was just another Japanese. Along with officials of the 
     News Agency, Komori was herded down the stairs and into a 
     waiting bus. He was then driven to the stinking old Bilibid 
     Prison--``the hell hole'' as he recalled, ``of Manila''--and 
     here he languished, an American agent amidst a gaggle of 
     enemy subjects, completely confident that Major Raymond would 
     eventually learn his whereabouts and rescue him.
       Meanwhile, in the wake of the rising tide of anti-Japanese 
     feeling in the Philippines that followed the outbreak of 
     hostilities, Sakakida too had been thrown into the Bilibid 
     Prison, though via a much more circuitous chain of events. In 
     the preceding months he had found employment as a clerk in 
     the Nishikawa Hotel in return for his room and board, a 
     job which had given him an ideal opportunity to inspect 
     the passports and other credentials of Japanese visitors 
     to Manila. With the coming of the war Sakakida's 
     information-gathering operation gained much greater 
     momentum. The United States now required all Japanese 
     nationals to file declarations of their bank accounts and 
     assets, and many of them came to Sakakida to seek his help 
     in filling out all the various forms. In this way he was 
     able to interview a considerable portion of the Japanese 
     community in the Philippine capital and obtain a large 
     volume of information which did not go on the forms, 
     particularly about the military background of the people 
     concerned, all of which he passed on to U.S. Military 
     Intelligence.
       Sakakida did not, of course, reveal to anyone that he was 
     an American citizen. Since to all outward appearances he was 
     completely Japanese, he was treated as such by the hostile 
     Filipinos, and before long he found himself in such physical 
     danger that he was forced to look to his own survival. When 
     the Manila radio station announced that all aliens should 
     report to their local police station for internment, Sakakida 
     was happy to oblige. Along with three other Japanese he was 
     flung in the back of an open police truck and driven off 
     through the narrow streets of Manila, where crowds of angry, 
     anti-Japanese Filipinos aimed blows and missiles at them, so 
     that they were bruised, bloody and exhausted by the time they 
     reached the sanctuary of the Japanese Club, now an internment 
     centre for Japanese, German and Italian aliens. A few days 
     later he was sent into Manila city to obtain food for the 
     children in the centre, and while he was there he took the 
     opportunity to return to his hotel to pick up his belongings. 
     But he had barely begun to pack his bags when he was seized 
     by three Filipino Secret Service agents on suspicion of being 
     a spy and thrown into Bilibid Prison, where like his fellow 
     agent Komori he languished in hope of rescue by his CIC 
     commander, Major Raymond.
       By now the situation on the war front had begun to 
     deteriorate catastrophically. In the first phase of their 
     plans for the military conquest of the Far East, the Japanese 
     had launched an almost simultaneous assault on Hong Kong, 
     Malaya and the Philippines. On the same day as the attack on 
     Pearl Harbor, over half the bomber of the American air force 
     in the Far Eastern Theatre and one-third of the fighters were 
     destroyed in Japanese air attacks on the American air base at 
     Clark Field in the Philippines, and the naval base in Manila 
     Bay was effectively devastated. Without naval support or 
     command in the air, the commander of the Filipino and 
     American forces in the Philippines, General Douglas 
     MacArthur (Commanding General of the U.S. Army Forces, Far 
     East), had no real prospect of holding Manila when the 
     Japanese began landing ground forces in strength on the 
     island of Luzon on 20 December, and he ordered a 
     withdrawal southward to the natural stronghold of the 
     Bataan Peninsula and the island fortress of Corregidor, 
     where he would hold out as best he could till relief 
     arrived from Hawaii, perhaps in six months' time.
       Inevitably Sakakida and Komori were swept up in the turmoil 
     of the last few desperate days before the Japanese entry into 
     Manila. Events moved swiftly. First they were snatched from 
     prison by Agent Drisko; then on Christmas Eve, with bombs 
     falling on manila and the sky over the city a lurid red from 
     the fires of burning buildings and oil tanks, they were 
     bundled on to a tiny steamer bound for Bataan, along with the 
     entire staff of the CIC Detachment and Military Intelligence 
     section and all their documents. Sakakida and Komori were 
     seconded to Corregidor, the tiny overgrown island fortress 
     off the tip of Bataan, popularly known as The Rock, where 
     General MacArthur had established his headquarters after the 
     retreat from Manila. Here Sakakida was assigned as General 
     MacArthur's personal interpreter and translator. So desperate 
     was the general need for Japanese linguists, however, that 
     both Sakakida and Komori were sent to work near the front 
     lines in Bataan in alternating three-day shifts, so that 
     while one was on The Rock the other would be in Bataan until 
     they changed places. In Bataan they operated from makeshift 
     headquarters of bamboo sticks and banana leaves in a clearing 
     in the jungle, where amid the screeching birds and clacking 
     palms they plunged into a frenzy of activity. They went on 
     patrols and scouting expeditions through the lines, 
     interrogated prisoners-of-war, interned collaborators, 
     collected enemy documents and translated them, amassed 
     information of all kinds about Japanese movements and 
     intentions.
       On occasion Sakakida traveled to the front to collect 
     personal papers from the bodies of the Japanese dead, for 
     Japanese soldiers kept highly detailed diaries which provided 
     not only useful tactical information but illuminating 
     insights into the morale and outlook of the Japanese 
     soldiery. Once he was 

[[Page S550]]
     summoned from army headquarters to broadcast a surrender appeal in 
     Japanese to diehard Japanese troops fighting a last-ditch 
     battle in the cliff caves at Longoskawayan Point, where the 
     Japanese Army had been trying to build up a pocket to 
     outflank the American defences at the Bataan front. The 
     Japanese responded to Sakakida's appeal with a fusillade of 
     fire and had to be wiped out to a man by pointblank 
     gunnery. Sakakida was not very popular with American and 
     Filipino front-line troops, because wherever he went he 
     drew a lot of fire from the enraged Japanese. Sitting in 
     his fox hole with his microphone and loudspeaker and an 
     escort of Filipino Scouts, he would broadcast his 
     surrender message across to the Japanese front line, and 
     the Japanese would listen in silence with exquisite 
     politeness until he had finished, and then blast the area 
     to bits with mortars and grenades and anything else they 
     could lay their hands on. At one time Sakakida tried 
     firing little messages at them with a home-made catapult. 
     The messages, which were rolled up in 2-inch lengths of 
     piping, read: ``It is cherry blossom time back in your 
     homeland, and the military have sent you here to the 
     jungles of Bataan. You ought to be at home with your 
     families and loved ones enjoying the cherry blossom. So 
     why continue this futile battle? Come and surrender with 
     this leaflet and your shipment back home will be 
     guaranteed.''
       After this bombardment of the Japanese positions with this 
     touching homily, a voice with a strong Japanese accent called 
     out in English from the jungle: ``What the hell are you 
     firing now, Americans? Are you out of ammunition?''
       By now many agents found themselves in the thick of 
     intensive and desperate fighting. When Special Agent Lorenzo 
     Alvarado's unit lost all its officers, Alvarado assumed 
     command during a fire fight with the enemy, and for his 
     courage and initiative was subsequently decorated with a 
     gallantry award. Early in March one of Sakakida's colleagues, 
     Special Agent Harry Glass, made history by becoming the first 
     CIC agent to be wounded in World War Two. He was struck in 
     the neck by a .25 calibre rifle bullet fired by a Japanese 
     sniper hidden in a tree along a jungle trail. By a miracle, 
     the bullet entered one side of his neck and exited the other 
     side without piercing the oesophagus or severing any blood 
     vessels, and Glass was back on duty in a couple of days, with 
     only two small plasters, one on each side of his neck, to 
     mark the historic spots.
       Back on Corregidor they found The Rock was not a nice place 
     to be. It was now raked daily from dawn to dusk by Japanese 
     air and artillery bombardment, so that the garrison was 
     forced to seek permanent shelter in the tunnel system bored 
     deep inside the hills, where they eked out an acutely 
     uncomfortable troglodytic existence on half rations. Under 
     the hail of Japanese high explosives the two Nisei on 
     Corregidor worked 16 to 20 hours a day helping to decipher 
     Japanese signal codes and monitoring Japanese air force 
     communications, which were broadcast in clear, thus enabling 
     the Americans to warn target areas on the island that a raid 
     was coming. Later they were joined by another Hawaiian-born 
     Nisei, Clarence Yamagata, a civilian who had practised law in 
     Manila and acted as part-time legal advisor to the 
     Japanese Consulate until the American withdrawal from the 
     city.
       As time passed the American position became more and more 
     hopeless and untenable, even on fortress Corregidor. By the 
     beginning of April it was clear that the end was near for the 
     hard-pressed soldiers on Bataan. After three months of bitter 
     and intensive combat, malnutrition and disease the men were 
     exhausted. By now the average daily food intake was down to 
     800 calories per man; and 90 per cent of the Filipino Army 
     had no shoes. Hope of relief had faded and most were resigned 
     to the prospect of imminent surrender to an overwhelming 
     enemy. Few could now escape the tragic fate that was about to 
     overtake them.
       On 9 April Bataan fell in the greatest capitulation in 
     American history and some 76,000 shattered American and 
     Filipino survivors were led north into captivity on a 
     notorious death march that killed over half their number. 
     Many of Sakakida's CIC comrades took part in this march. 
     Others were transported to the prison camps in crowded, 
     insufferably hot freight cars, without water or food. Most 
     were to die at the hands of the Japanese, succumbing to the 
     privation and brutality of the camps, or drowning in 
     torpedoed prison ships, or simply disappearing without trace. 
     One agent did manage to escape after the surrender on Bataan. 
     This was Grenfell D. Drisko, who had been one of the first 
     CIC contacts that Sakakida and Komori had made on their 
     arrival in the Philippines. Fleeing to the hills, Drisko had 
     joined up with a guerrilla group, but unconfirmed reports 
     indicate that shortly before the Americans recaptured the 
     Philippines, Drisko's location had been betrayed to the 
     Japanese in return for a bounty and he was subsequently 
     captured and killed.
       By the time of the Bataan surrender General MacArthur had 
     already removed himself and his headquarters to the security 
     of distant Australia, leaving his deputy, General Wainwright, 
     to hold the fort--in a completely literal sense--on doomed 
     Corregidor. Both generals expressed deep concern over Komori 
     and Sakakida. Since the Japanese refused to recognize the 
     right of anyone of Japanese blood to bear loyalty to another 
     country, they would doubtless treat the two Nisei with even 
     greater harshness in captivity than they would their 
     Caucasian comrades--especially if they discovered that the 
     Nisei in question had been undercover agents of American 
     military intelligence. General MacArthur therefore ordered 
     Komori and Sakakida to leave the Philippines on the makeshift 
     evacuation flotilla known as the ``bamboo feet.'' This 
     presented Sakakida with the most difficult and momentous 
     decision in his life and marked his transition from an agent 
     of ability to a man of heroic stature--and a master spy.
       Sakakida contended that the evacuation plans as they stood 
     entailed leaving Yamagata behind to face his fate as a 
     prisoner of the Japanese. In his view this was unthinkable. 
     Yamagata had openly occupied a position of trust among the 
     Japanese and then voluntarily come over to the American side. 
     Clearly he would be marked out for special treatment by his 
     captors--a fate too dreadful to contemplate. Sakakida was 
     also aware that Yamagata's wife and children were then living 
     in Japan, a situation which made Yamagata even more 
     vulnerable to any pressure the Japanese chose to put on him. 
     Sakakida himself was not in such a vulnerable position. He 
     had never worked openly for the Japanese, he had no wife or 
     family. It was therefore only right and just, he felt, that 
     Yamagata should take his place on the ride to freedom. He put 
     this proposal to his commanding officer, who in turn put it 
     to General Wainwright, who put it to General MacArthur, who 
     agreed. Sakakida would have to survive the Japanese 
     occupation as best he could.
       So, early on the morning of 13 April 1942, Sakakida bade 
     Yamagata and fellow agent Komori farewell as they set off on 
     their breakout bid from the beleaguered island of Corregidor. 
     They went not by sea but by air, taking off from the island's 
     tiny airstrip on what was considered a ``50-50 attempt'' to 
     get out in an army training plane that had been patched up 
     after a previous crash landing, with an American newsman and 
     an emissary from the Chinese leader, Chiang Kai-shek, also on 
     board. The plane flew through the Japanese blockade without 
     incident and landed on the more southerly Philippine island 
     of Panay. Here they were rescued by a B-25 bomber flown, in 
     Komori's recollection, by a legendary pilot by the name of 
     Captain Paul I. (``Pappy'') Gunn, an expert in dare-devil 
     low-level flying, who flew them out, Komori later recalled, 
     ``in a flight in broad daylight through enemy territory in a 
     hedge-hopping, canyon-shooting, wave-skipping trip, during 
     which the pilot kept telling us that enemy planes could not 
     see us as we were flying only a few feet above our own 
     shadow.'' The B-25 landed on Mindanao, the most southerly of 
     the main Philippine islands, where it took on a maximum fuel 
     load and then took off again on an historic flight of 17 
     hours to Australia, the longest flight ever made by an 
     aircraft of that type. Komori was later to state that in his 
     view this flight had been a ``test hop'' which proved that a 
     B-25 could be flown much farther than had hitherto been 
     believed, and that it set a precedent for the bombing raid on 
     Japan made a few days later by B-25's from the aircraft 
     carrier Hornet.
       Komori's first task in Australia was to write what turned 
     out to be the definitive American guideline for the handling 
     and interrogation of Japanese POWs, based on the experience 
     that he and Sakakida had had in Bataan. The two CIC Nisei had 
     found that if a Japanese captive was given a drink of water, 
     an American cigarette and immediate medical care if needed, 
     his fear of summary execution evaporated and he was happy to 
     disclose everything he knew or was asked. This ``kindness and 
     understanding'' approach was to pay off in huge tactical and 
     strategical intelligence gains throughout the rest of the war 
     in the Pacific area.
       Because of his language capability, Komori was next 
     assigned to the newly formed Allied Translation and 
     Interrogation Section under Colonel Sidney Mashbir. ATIS 
     performed an increasingly valuable task in translating 
     captured enemy documents and interrogating captured Japanese 
     soldiers. But Komori was a CIC agent and was in due course 
     assigned to the chief of counter intelligence in MacArthur's 
     South West Pacific command, General Elliott Thorpe. When the 
     tilt of war clearly swung against the Japanese, Komori 
     rejoined the CIC in the field as the agent, first in the 
     Philippines during the American re-conquest, then in Japan, 
     where he was one of the first CIC agents to set foot after 
     the surrender. Komori was to make a career in the CIC after 
     the war, retiring as a colonel to practise law in his native 
     Hawaii.
       Sakakida's experience was to prove very different. There 
     was little for him to do except wait. He jointed up with the 
     other members of the CIC detachment on Corregidor preparing 
     for the inevitable surrender and helped them destroy 
     intelligence files and other records. He was then instructed 
     to revert to his former role as an undercover agent and 
     officially listed as a civilian by the American command. It 
     was understood that if the opportunity ever arose he would 
     try to enter the Japanese forces with the object of 
     channelling intelligence material to the guerrilla formations 
     that were already gathering in the hills.
       On 6 May the ravaged defenders of Corregidor were 
     overwhelmed by the greatly superior Japanese forces that had 
     fought their way ashore. After sustaining heavy U.S. losses, 
     General Wainright and several of his aides, carrying a while 
     flag, went out of the tunnels in the direction of the enemy 
     lines in order to arrange a surrender. Some four 

[[Page S551]]
     hours later Wainright had not returned--and the Japanese had not ceased 
     their onslaught. Fearing the worst for Wainright's fate, his 
     deputy, General Beebe, decided to take a small leaking 
     harbour craft and try and reach Bataan to contact some higher 
     ranking Japanese. Sakakida went with Beebe to 
     interpret; Special Agent James Rubard and several others 
     of the headquarters staff volunteered to man the boat for 
     the voyage across.
       As the boat came in to Cabcaben Port on the south-east tip 
     of Bataan, a squad of Japanese soldiers appeared, forced the 
     Americans to stand at attention and then proceeded to remove 
     their dogtags, watches and other valuables. The Japanese NCO 
     in charge then spoke to Sakakida in Japanese, and when 
     Sakakida replied the NCO struck him a number of times, 
     breaking his glasses, cutting his face and knocking him to 
     the ground. ``Hold your temper, Kelly,'' General Beebe 
     admonished Sakakida, deliberately addressing him by a false 
     name in order to conceal his Nisei identity. Rubard feared 
     they were going to kill Sakakida on the spot, but instead 
     they refused to allow him to accompany General Beebe as an 
     interpreter and returned all but General Beebe and his aides 
     by Japanese landing craft to the area of Corregidor where 
     American forces were being held captive.
       For CIC men like Rubard and Sakakida this was a highly 
     volatile and dangerous time, especially when the Japanese 
     began calling members of Wainright's headquarters staff to 
     Malinta Tunnel for interrogation. Along with other members of 
     G-2 staff, Agent Rubard had been engaged in despatching 
     Filipino natives in small boats to Bataan and to the mainland 
     to observe and report on Japanese military dispositions and 
     movements. Being aware of the identity of these Filipinos, he 
     feared that under intense physical abuse and torture he might 
     be compelled to reveal their names. For that reason he 
     intended concealing his identity from his captors, at least 
     until the interrogations had ceased and prisoners had been 
     transferred to other locations.
       But Rubard's plan was foiled, and his life and that of his 
     CIC colleague Sakakida put in jeopardy, by the activities of 
     a certain John David Provoo, a former G-2 clerk from army 
     headquarters in Manila, who as a Japanese linguist had at one 
     time been considered as a potential recruit for the CIC 
     Philippines Detachment. Provoo had never been accepted into 
     CIC because his background investigation revealed that he was 
     a suspected homosexual and Japanese sympathizer who had spent 
     several years in Japan learning the Japanese language and 
     studying to be a Buddhist monk. Immediately after the 
     surrender of Corregidor, Provoo began acting as an 
     interpreter for the Japanese occupiers. He went with Japanese 
     troops to the hospital wing of Malinta Tunnel and relayed 
     their orders that all sick and wounded Americans should be 
     moved out at once so that Japanese wounded could be 
     hospitalized there. When he heard this order Captain Thompson 
     of the Medical Service Corps told Provoo: ``Tell them to go 
     to hell, the men are too sick to be moved.'' When 
     Provoo interpreted this response to the enemy, they 
     immediately dragged Thompson out of the tunnel and 
     executed him on the spot.
       This same John David Provoo now brought a squad of Japanese 
     soldiers down to the prisoner enclosure and pointed out 
     Rubard and several other headquarters staff members. Three 
     grueling, intensive days of ceaseless interrogation then 
     befell the helpless Rubard as his captors demanded 
     information on codes, Filipino agents and much else besides. 
     At each interrogation the Japanese became increasingly angry 
     and abusive. But they were not very skilled in the art of 
     interrogation and were further hampered by their very limited 
     knowledge of English. By the third day of questioning 
     Rubard's interrogators were slapping him about and swinging 
     their swords to demonstrate how they would behead him if he 
     did not co-operate. But he was able to maintain a consistent 
     story throughout his interrogation. He claimed that his only 
     duty had been to keep the G-2 situation map up to date, that 
     codes were kept by the Signal Crops (which was true), and 
     that Filipino agents had been handled by two G-2 officers who 
     had been evacuated to Australia by submarine shortly before 
     the fall of the island. At the end of the third day Rubard 
     was returned to the prisoner compound with his head still 
     intact. The next day he joined the main body of American 
     prisoners leaving Corregidor for a prison camp in Central 
     Luzon. He was never interrogated again. (After his 
     liberation, Rubard learned that Provoo had worked for 
     Japanese propaganda radio in Tokyo during the war. He was 
     never charged as a traitor, however, and his trial in a U.S. 
     court on charges of complicity in the murder of Captain 
     Thompson was dismissed on the grounds that he had been denied 
     a right to a fair and speedy trial. So Provoo went unpunished 
     for his actions against his fellow countrymen, though some 
     years later he was reportedly imprisoned for different 
     criminal offenses.)
       Like the surrendered troops on Bataan, the American 
     defenders of Corregidor were herded into captivity on a death 
     march which left many dead or dying, and some of those who 
     survived this grim ordeal then had to endure an even grimmer 
     one in the hands of the Japanese military police--the dreaded 
     Kempei Tai.
       Sakakida was one of those in whom the Kempei Tai took a 
     special interest. He did not take part in the death march but 
     was kept on Corregidor for six months--the only American left 
     on this tragic rock. He had originally come to the attention 
     of the Japanese military on the very first day of the 
     surrender, when he had accompanied General Wainwright to 
     Bataan to act as interpreter at the surrender conference. 
     From that day his life had followed a steep decline into 
     hell. He told the Japanese that he had been taken by the 
     Americans from internment camp and made to work for them 
     under duress, but the Japanese did not believe this cover 
     story and produced several liberated Japanese prisoners-
     of-war who testified that Sakakida had worked for the 
     United States Army as an interrogator on a completely 
     voluntary basis. He was kept in one of the side tunnels in 
     Corregidor's honeycomb of tunnel installations and 
     interrogated over a period of several months. As Sakakida 
     was not very cooperative the method of interrogation grew 
     daily more severe. Sakakida was tortured, often severely. 
     Sometimes he was burned all over his body with lighted 
     cigarettes, sometimes he was beaten. He was slung with his 
     back over a wooden beam, his feet dangling free of the 
     floor, and he had water pumped into his stomach and was 
     then jumped on by his Japanese guards.
       It was never entirely clear whether the torture was meted 
     out as a punishment for being a Nisei, as a means of 
     extracting information, or both. The Kempi Tai not 
     unreasonably believed that any Japanese who had suddenly 
     appeared in their midst at the side of the American C-in-C in 
     the Philippines, as Sakakida had done, ought to have 
     something interesting to divulge to them, though they were 
     not sure what. So every so often they beat him and burned him 
     some more, but he still would not talk. He was taken to the 
     former School of Artillery at Fort Stotsenberg and tortured, 
     and sometimes he was hauled off to the Judge Advocate 
     General's section at Fourteenth Army Headquarters in Manila, 
     where the view and the faces were different but the general 
     ambience much the same as before. Throughout all this 
     unpleasantness Sakakida held out and stuck to his original 
     story. He claimed that he was a victim of circumstances and 
     that the Americans had taken him to Corregidor and Bataan as 
     an interpreter and nothing more. He maintained that he was an 
     American citizen (which was true) and a civilian (which was 
     not). Never once, burnt and bloody though he was, did he so 
     much as breathe a hint that he was an agent of enemy 
     intelligence.
       In December 1942 Sakakida was removed to Bilibid Prison. 
     Here he shared the same cell block as Japanese soldiers 
     serving life sentences for surrendering to the Americans 
     during the battle for Bataan. Some of these soldiers had been 
     interrogated by Sakakida after their surrender and they now 
     relished the opportunity of getting their own back. Sakakida 
     was not informed that he was to stand trial for treason, 
     since anyone of Japanese ancestry was of necessity a Japanese 
     citizen, and it was therefore as a Japanese citizen that he 
     had given his services to his country's enemies, the 
     Americans. If this charge was continued with, Sakakida faced 
     the death sentence. But towards the end of the year 
     Fourteenth Army Headquarters received word from the Japanese 
     Foreign Ministry in Tokyo that, although Sakakida had 
     indeed been registered with the Japanese Consul in Hawaii 
     at birth, his Japanese citizenship had been officially 
     made void in August 1941 by his mother. She had the 
     foresight to take this action after her son had left for 
     the Philippines--an action which even the Japanese 
     recognized made the charge of treason illegal. The charge 
     against Sakakida was therefore reduced to one of 
     disturbing the peace and order of the Japanese Imperial 
     Forces in Japan, and the interrogation continued, and the 
     torture too, though on an appropriately reduced scale. 
     Then this luckless Nisei was put in solitary confinement 
     and left to rot.
       Altogether Sakakida spent nearly a year in the hands of the 
     Kempei Tai. Finally, in February 1943, he was taken from 
     Bilibid Prison to the office of Colonel Nishiharu, Chief 
     Judge Advocate of Fourteenth Army Headquarters, who had 
     evidently reviewed the case and come to the conclusion the 
     story which Sakakida had continued to tell without a single 
     variation was in all probability genuine. The Colonel told 
     Sakakida that he would now be released from custody and taken 
     into his, the Colonel's, employ. He was to work in the office 
     as an English translator, run a mimeograph machine, make tea 
     and help out generally, and in his off-duty time he would 
     serve as a houseboy at the Colonel's home. Sakakida was soon 
     to discover that security was not the Japanese military's 
     strongest virtue. Ofter he found himself alone in the office 
     with countless sensitive documents lying untended in unlocked 
     filing cases. Some of these documents he proceeded to 
     memorize or purloin, though as yet he had no means of 
     communicating their contents to the Allied cause.
       Sakadida's rehabilitation was only probationary, however. 
     At various times and in devious ways the Japanese tried to 
     trap him into an admission that he was a serving member of 
     the United States Army. One day someone threw him a .45 
     pistol to clean, just to see how he handled it. Sakakida 
     realized that to disassemble the weapon properly would 
     demonstrate an embarrassing military expertise on his part, 
     so he merely wiped it with an oily rag and handed it back. On 
     another occasion a Japanese officer, a graduate of Harvard 
     with a disarmingly sympathetic manner, quietly asked him how 
     much the 

[[Page S552]]
     U.S. Army paid him as an interpreter. Sakakida saw through this ruse at 
     once, of course--it was a common method of finding out a 
     prisoner's rank--and replied that he had received no pay at 
     all, only food and accomodation. Once he was alarmed to hear 
     the counterespionage chief at Fourteenth Army suddenly accuse 
     him out of the blue of being a sergeant in the American Army, 
     a charge he denied with sufficient vehemence for the officer 
     to turn to other things. All these ruses he survived, only to 
     be caught dipping into Colonel Nishiharu's precious stock 
     of American cigarettes, an outrage which earned him the 
     sack as houseboy at the Colonel's house (though he was 
     kept on in his job at the Colonel's office).
       As it turned out, this was the best thing that could have 
     happened to him. He was now sent to live in the civilian 
     barracks in the former English Club in Manila city. Even 
     under its new managers, the English Club could hardly be 
     described as a penitentiary. Though the Japanese warrant 
     officer in charge kept strict discipline--roll call at six in 
     the morning and 11:30 at night, bed check at midnight--he 
     overlooked the hours between midnight and the morning roll 
     call. Sakakida thus found that he had several hours of the 
     night at his disposal to resume his role as a CIC agent deep 
     behind enemy lines. During those hours of darkness he had the 
     opportunity to pass on valuable intelligence information 
     gained at Fourteenth Army Headquarters during the day. He 
     knew that by this time the Filipino resistance had built up a 
     well-organized guerrilla movement in the mountains and 
     possibly had established radio contact with General 
     MacArthur's headquarters in Australia. If Sakakida could find 
     a suitable go-between he might be in a position to make an 
     important contribution to the intelligence war against Japan. 
     The risks he ran were appalling, but at no time did he see 
     himself as heroic--it was simply something he felt he had to 
     do, and was glad to do.
       Sakakida's lucky break came not long afterwards, when the 
     wife of an imprisoned guerrilla leader, Ernest Tupas, who was 
     serving a 15-year sentence for anti-Japanese activities, 
     walked into the Judge Advocate General's office to apply for 
     a pass to visit her husband in Muntinglupa prison. Sakakida 
     was required to translate her request into Japanese and 
     during this initial contact he not only revealed his identity 
     as a U.S. Army Nisei to her, but was able to fill out a 
     number of bogus passes for her and other guerrillas' wives, 
     and also hand over several intelligence documents concerning 
     Japanese military plans. In return, Mrs. Tupas was able to 
     arrange meetings between Sakakida and many of her husband's 
     guerrilla comrades who were still at large in the Filipino 
     resistance. In his free hours Sakakida was able to pass on 
     tactical information to them and to hatch a daring plan to 
     spring Tupas and as many as 500 of his fellow guerrillas from 
     prison.
       Sakakida's plan was simple in concept. All that was 
     required was for Sakakida himself and a small group of 
     guerrillas disguised as Japanese officers to overcome the 
     prison guards and release the inmates. In practice, of 
     course, it was a rather more complex business. There were 
     three essential components to Sakakida's plan. The first was 
     that Tupas himself should somehow wangle himself a job in 
     the prison's electrical department, so that at an 
     appropriate moment he would be in a position to short-
     circuit the prison electrical facilities. The second was 
     that the guerrillas should keep a meticulous watch on the 
     prison in order to determine the precise movements and 
     time-keeping of the prison guards. The third was that 
     somehow they should get hold of five or six Japanese 
     officers' uniforms, preferably without knife-holes in the 
     back of the tunics.
       All this was done and by October 1943 everything was 
     arranged. Immediately after the midnight bed check in the 
     barracks at the English Club, Sakakida stole out into the 
     darkened, deserted streets of Manila and made his way to his 
     rendezvous with the guerrilla raiding party. Along with four 
     of the guerrillas he changed into Japanese officer's uniform, 
     complete with medal ribbons and a clanking sword at his side, 
     and spent a few moments rehearsing army salutes and formal 
     Japanese bows. Then, with military precision and a haughty 
     imperial swagger to their stride, the group strutted off down 
     the road to the Muntinglupa prison, backs straight, chests 
     puffed out, faces grim and set, polished boots echoing click 
     clack on the paving stones. Sakakida, as the only ethnic 
     Japanese and linguist in the group, marched at their head as 
     they approached the main gate of the prison. It was he who 
     addressed the soldiers of the guard at the prison entrance, 
     barking at them in harsh, guttural commands which compelled 
     their confidence and respect. Thinking that the guerrillas 
     were officers from the Japanese garrison making their nightly 
     security inspection of the prison--which the guerrillas had 
     already established took place regularly between midnight and 
     2 a.m.--the guards bowed low in respect for their superiors, 
     in accordance with Japanese custom. And as they bowed, eyes 
     firmly fixed on the ground at their feet, Sakakida and his 
     partisan comrades tapped each one on the back of the head 
     with the weighted butt of a .45 revolver.
       With precision timing the lights in the prison were 
     suddenly extinguished--Tupas had done his job well. Sakakida 
     was now joined by a second, much larger guerrilla group of 
     some 25 men, and under cover of the darkness and confusion 
     the reinforced guerrilla force broke into the prison, rapidly 
     overpowered the guards inside and began opening the cell 
     doors. Altogether nearly 500 Filipino prisoners escaped from 
     Japanese captivity that night in one of the biggest gaol-
     breaks of the war. Most of them got clean away, scampering as 
     fast as their legs would carry them out to the city outskirts 
     and the friendlier countryside before dawn could reveal their 
     whereabouts to the enemy. By then Sakakida was safely back in 
     the English Club in time for morning roll call, and later in 
     the morning he had the gratification of witnessing the 
     hysterical Prison Superintendent report to the barely less 
     hysterical Judge Advocate General the inexplicable loss of 
     his entire contingent of prisoners--only to be dismissed 
     on the spot for his pains.
       Among those who get away was the biggest prize of them all, 
     the guerrilla leader Tupas. With the other escapees, Tupas 
     made for the mountains of Rizal, where he set up new partisan 
     headquarters and--most crucially--established radio 
     communications with the Australian headquarters of General 
     MacArthur, who was now C-in-C of United States land and air 
     forces in the Pacific Theatre. At last Sakakida had a means 
     of relaying to the Americans the vast amount of information 
     he had acquired while he was working in Colonel Nishiharu's 
     office at Fourteenth Army Headquarters. In effect, Sakakida 
     had become one of that exotic band of makeshift intelligence 
     agents known as the ``coast watchers of the islands'', a 
     fifth column of traders, telegraphists, anthropologists, 
     civil servants and others who were left behind when the 
     islands were overrrun by the Japanese but managed to evade 
     captivity and to communicate information about Japanese 
     movements and forces by radio to MacArthur's headquarters 
     throughout the course of the war.
       Sakakida's position was almost unique, however, for it was 
     a rare event in the history of World War Two for the Army 
     headquarters of one belligerent nation to have one of their 
     serving soldiers and intelligence agents reporting back from 
     the very heart of the Army headquarters of an enemy 
     belligerent nation. But this was the case with CIC Agent 
     Richard Sakakida. Moreover, much of the information he now 
     transmitted was priceless. Much of it concerned Japanese 
     troop movements and shipping activities, all of which was of 
     vital significance in the day-to-day conduct of the campaigns 
     in the Pacific Theatre. But probably his single most 
     devastating contribution to the American military cause was a 
     portion of the invasion plans of a Japanese Expeditionary 
     Force of the Thirty-Fifth Army which was to be sent to 
     Australia. Just how important these plans were Sakakida was 
     able to glean a few months later from a Japanese officer in 
     the Judge Advocate General's office who had taken part in the 
     ill-fated mission. The officer in question had been on board 
     one of the navy ships that had left the Philippines, 
     ostensibly with plans to land invasion forces at Port Darwin 
     in Northern Australia. The officer returned to the 
     Philippines on the only ship that got back. American 
     submarines had taken care of the rest.\1\
     \1\ Since there is no record of any Japanese invasion of 
     Australia, it must be assumed that what Sakakida had in mind 
     here was the engagement known as the Battle of the Bismarck 
     Sea.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
       With the tide of war now beginning to run against the 
     Japanese, and the dream of imperial conquest cracking and 
     crumbling away, Sakakida's position at Fourteenth Army 
     Headquarters grew steadily more precarious. It was not 
     that he was under any direct suspicion, only that as a 
     Nisei he was viewed with increasing opprobrium by any 
     member of the Japanese military who came into contact with 
     him. Once Japanese headquarters came under direct American 
     attack the mutterings against him deteriorated into 
     outright hostility. In December 1944, because of heavy air 
     raids on Manila, the Japanese commander in the 
     Philippines, General Yamashita, the legendary conqueror of 
     Singapore, was forced to move his headquarters to Baguio 
     in the mountainous north of Luzon, and then even farther 
     into the mountains, to Bontoc, a few months later. The 
     time had come, Sakakida reckoned, to make a break for it 
     and hide out through the final phase of the war in the 
     security of the hills.
       It was not the first time he had considered escape. More 
     than a year previously General MacArthur's headquarters had 
     ordered Anderson's Guerrillas--a guerrilla unit led by an 
     American officer who had escaped from Battaan--to try and 
     extricate Sakakida from the Philippines, but Sakakida had 
     feared a trap, Anderson's messages to headquarters had got 
     garbled, and the whole operation had broken up in confusion. 
     This time he would make no mistake. Early in June 1945 he 
     escaped into the mountains and a week later joined up with a 
     small band of guerrillas in the vicinity of Farmschol. Ten 
     days later they came under heavy Japanese shelling during 
     which Sakakida was so badly wounded that he had to be left 
     behind when the guerrillas made good their escape. He was now 
     on his own and would remain so to the finish, wandering 
     between the lines for weeks and months on end.
       In the remotest reaches of the jungle Sakakida lived more 
     like an animal than a man. Though the jungle was luxuriant it 
     offered little enough to eat beyond grass and wild fruits. 
     With a razor blade he removed shrapnel fragments embedded in 
     his abdomen, but his wounds festered and he was 

[[Page S553]]
     drenched by tropical cloudbursts, for it was into the rainy season, and 
     bitten to within an inch of his life by the hordes of 
     tropical insects. For months he endured semistarvation and 
     the ravages of malaria, dysentery and beriberi. His hair and 
     beard grew long and wild, his skin was covered in sores and 
     scratches, his voice grew cracked and feeble, his eyes burned 
     fever-bright his clothes hung in tatters. He had no means of 
     knowing what was happening in the outside world, no knowledge 
     of the course of the war, of the liberation of the 
     Philippines, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 
     American landings in Japan, the Japanese surrender to General 
     MacArthur on board the battleship Missouri. But he did notice 
     that no more American P-38 fighter-bomber planes were 
     coming over dropping napalm, and that there seemed to be a 
     lot of trigger-happy Filipinos about, whom he was careful 
     to avoid.
       World War Two had been over for weeks when Sakakida decided 
     his condition was so desperate that he ought to attempt to 
     reach help. Finding himself close to the Asing River, he 
     resolved to follow it downstream, hoping to reach the sea, 
     but he was so ill he could only make painfully slow progress, 
     and sometimes he blacked out. Then one day he spotted some 
     movement among the trees ahead, a group of soldiers coming up 
     the hill, and he drew as close to them as he dared. The 
     soldiers carried equipment and wore helmets and uniforms 
     which were strange to him. They were clearly not Japanese, 
     nor obviously American, and his first thought was: ``God! Now 
     they've got Germans out here!'' Not until he was within 
     earshot of the men and could hear snatches of their 
     conversation did he suddenly, ecstatically, realize that they 
     were Americans after all. At first he was afraid to come out 
     of hiding for fear they would take one look at his wild 
     Japanese appearance and shoot first and ask questions later. 
     But eventually euphoria overcame his caution, and madly 
     waving his arms and yelling as loudly as he could, he stepped 
     out of the jungle for the first time in months.
       ``Don't shoot!'' he yelled. ``I'm an American! Can't you 
     see? An American!''
       The soldiers were extremely skeptical. Sakakida hardly 
     looked human, and certainly not American. They took him to 
     their battalion headquarters, an outfit which turned out to 
     be a medical evacuation unit posted in the forward areas to 
     collect stragglers. To the CO of this unit Sakakida 
     identified himself as an intelligence agent captured by the 
     Japanese at the outbreak of the war, and he gave his serial 
     number (10100022) and other pertinent data to back up his 
     claim. The officer was also extremely doubtful about all this 
     but agreed to put through a telephone call to the CIC Field 
     Office, and two hours later two CIC lieutenants drove up in a 
     jeep, leapt out and identified the weary agent as one of the 
     men they had been ordered by General McArthur's headquarters 
     to look for. Then they bundled Richard Sakakida into the jeep 
     and drove him to the Bagadec Field Office of the First CIC 
     Region of the 441st CIC Detachment. He had come home at last. 
     An uproarious welcome engulfed this lone survivor and a 
     festive banquet was laid out in his honour, with fried 
     chicken and beer and white bread and fresh butter and other 
     good things. Having lived for months on nothing but herbs and 
     grasses, such sumptuous fare proved too rich for him and it 
     took him a week to recover from the effects of the most 
     memorable binge in his life.
       Sakakida was hospitalized for a week, then sent to Manila 
     for de-briefing. His story was so extraordinary that he found 
     people needed a lot of convincing he had not been a 
     collaborator with the Japanese. At Christmas 1945 he was at 
     last sent home to Hawaii for two weeks' leave, one of which 
     he spent in hospital with malaria and a high white corpuscle 
     blood count. Then it was back to Manila, where he was 
     assigned to the War Crime Investigation team, locating and 
     identifying guilty parties, aided by the Japanese 
     predilection for keeping records and diaries. He testified in 
     the trial of General Yamashita and later in the trial of the 
     American traitor of Corregidor, Sergeant John David Provoo. 
     Commissioned in 1947, he sought a transfer to the air force 
     and was subsequently posted to Japan, finally retiring in 
     1975 as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. Today 
     Richard Sakakida is alive and well and living in California--
     and happy to avoid the ballyhoo that attends most national 
     heroes.
       Richard Sakakida and Arthur Komori were among the only 
     members of the CIC Detachment in the Philippines--the ``Lost 
     Detachment''.--to survive the war. Others known to have 
     survived included Special Agents Lorenzo Alvardo, John Lynch, 
     Ralph Montgomery, James Rubard and Clyde Teske. Most of the 
     rest died in Japanese hands. Both these brave Nisei were 
     awarded Bronze Stars for their work which, in the words of 
     their commendation, ``they performed with complete disregard 
     to the danger in which they found themselves.'' These two 
     Nisei, the citation continued, ``are a credit to their people 
     and to the United States Army.'' Of Sakakida's exploits over 
     and above the call of duty, his friend Komori had this to 
     say: ``His successful duping of the Japs is the finest story 
     of counter intelligence within enemy lines. His recovery was 
     considered even more important than the capture of General 
     Yamashita, the conqueror of Singapore.''

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