Stopover Tokyo (1957)
In the post-world-war-two years, the United States and Japan make efforts to strengthen their friendship and to become allies against the Communist threat exacerbated by the onset of the Cold War. Famous Japanese sculptor Katsura creates a new sculpture symbolizing the growing friendship between Japan and the United States. The memorial features an eternal flame. The U.S. High Commissioner to Japan is given the honor and he agrees to light the monument’s eternal flame. The Communist spy network in Japan sees an opportunity to sabotage the ceremony and to attempt to assassinate the U.S. High Commissioner. Communist agent George Underwood is entrusted with this task. At the same time, U.S. Intelligence officer Mark Fannon makes a stopover in Tokyo while on a flight to Korea. Due to the fact that he’s lacking the mandatory Letter of Entry in order to enter or transit Japan, Fannon requests and receives the assistance of Tina Llewellyn, an English-speaking assistant travel manager of Japan Airlines. In reality, Fannon is on a secret assignment to Tokyo. He checks into a Tokyo hotel and when the bellboy delivers a golf bag with his other luggage, Fannon secretly places a bundle of magazines into its side pocket. Afterwards, he goes to a golf course where he meets Nobika, a Japanese informer, who reveals to Fannon there may be an assassination attempt on the U.S. High Commissioner’s life soon. Fannon delivers the magazines containing coded messages to Nobika. The two men agree to meet again. Unknown to them, Communist agent George Underwood, disguised as a golfer, is spying on them from a distance. His cover story is that he works as an executive for an American company in Tokyo called the Pacific Coal and Iron Company. Later that night, at the hotel, Fannon bumps into Tina whose date for the evening is a man whom Fannon recognizes to be Tony Barrett, an American counter-intelligence agent stationed in Formosa. The two men are surprised to see one another but act cool and pretend they don’t know each other, despite Tina’s suspicions. Barrett later ditches Tina and goes to meet Fannon in private. They go to a Japanese steam bath where they can discuss in secret. After exchanging information, Barrett leaves first. Fannon remains inside the steam baths. Not far from him, Communist agent Underwood decides to eliminate Fannon and jams-shut the steam bath door. He also turns up the thermostat on Fannon’s steam room. Overcome by the intense heat Fannon collapses. When he regains consciousness he is in his hotel room and a nurse tells him that a steam room attendant found him in the nick of time and saved his life. Tina arrives with the Letter of Entry but Fannon reveals to her that he plans to stay in Japan rather than continue his voyage to Korea. Their discussion is interrupted by a phone call from Japanese informer Nobika, who insists he must pass onto Fannon some very important information concerning the Communist plot to sabotage the US-Japan peace process and to murder the U.S. High Commissioner. Calling from a public phone booth, Nobika is anxious to pass this vital information to the American agent but someone following him shoots him dead in the phone booth before he can rely the information. Tracing Nobika’s phone call to Fannon’s hotel room, Lieutenant Afumi of the Tokyo police department picks up Tina and Fannon as material witnesses. He takes them to the crime scene and there he shows them a note he found in Nobika’s pocket. Released by the police, under certain conditions, Fannon decides to investigate his informer’s death himself. For this purpose, he calls his pal in Formosa, counter-intelligence agent Tony Barrett, who gives Fannon the last known address, in the village of Ogawa, of murdered Japanese informer Nobika. Disregarding Japanese police’s instructions to remain in Tokyo, Fannon plans to travel to the village of Ogawa and retrieve the magazines containing the secret coded messages he previously passed to informer Nobika on the golf course. Fannon hopes to find out what the coded messages said and to find a clue regarding why and who killed Nobika. What will he find in Nobika’s house in Ogawa?