When I got to Indonesia, I saw many spies who did not hide out, which was the same in Hong Kong at the latter half of 2012 when I was back there, though it was not the case until I left there in early that year when they did not show up apparently. I sometimes saw some Americans, highly likely assumed to be CIA field agents, but it was not often that they basically run their operation covertly.
There was a possibility to employ Chinese descendants for the spy operation out there. If that is the case, it became much harder to spot who they were.
On the other hand, Hong Kong is a part of China, hence the Western spies cannot run their operation freely, even though it is less restricted than in the main land. They showed up openly when I was back to Hong Kong in late 2012, which was a result of the revelation that the spy community conducted a joint operation from the scratch including the Chinese intelligence.
When in Indonesia, the spy did not hide out originally. It might be because I avoided going to the capital as the spy had an existing network definitely, and then, decided to stay at a local city to smaller islands where they should conduct an operation by their own.
This situation is the same in other Asian countries that the spy can run their mission relatively free. In the Southeast Asia, there are some differences that their operation should be harder to go through in Vietnam than in Philippine or Thailand, though it can be much easier than in Hong Kong.
That was one of the reasons why I left the Southeast Asia, as the spy could have conducted their mission at free hand in some of those countries.
This environment has been not different in Japan that the spy can run their operation relatively free. The biggest difference is a capability of speaking English that Japanese are relatively bad at its command.
Even in the Southeast Asia, there are divergences that more population can handle English better in Philippine and not in some of the other countries. Although, the local elite and foreign expat can command it well there, which is quite critical, as they are the main target of the spy operation.
There are some local elites who make careers in the domestic field, such as military or judicial, but the majority can speak English normally. In almost all the countries, the advanced higher education was taught in English, which was another reason why they had a better command of it.
On the other hand, there is a sizable elite population who is not good at speaking English in Japan. There are actually enough information written in Japanese and even the most advanced education can be taught in Japanese, hence the higher education can be delivered to more people.
As a result, there is a difference in the spy operation between Japan and the Southeast Asia. The foreign intelligences are required to command the Japanese language, which was a higher bar to go over. They should hire Japanese assets who go through this obstacle.
The spy operation itself is not different, but they can run it by English speaker in the Southeast Asia and they should hire Japanese speaker in Japan. That might be one of the reasons why so many ordinary Japanese have been hired as their assets. There is no other option than to hire Japanese, which is eventually expanded with a self-determination.
In any way, this language barrier is a marker to find out who is a spy. When I came back to Japan, I went to smaller islands where the spy was so apparent, as they could not hide out if they were foreigners. I just needed to figure out how they were categorized, an officer, asset or other. It actually held true to the Japanese asset, as it was quite easy to find out who is a traveler. All I should do is to discern a spy from others. In this course, I got a good opportunity to understand a real figure of the spy.