Tanaka is the youthful, charismatic chief of the Japanese secret service who rarely makes public appearances. Tiger forged a strong relationship with Bond while he was in Japan. His headquarters are inside an underground train that constantly travels around the Tokyo subway for his protection. He also operates a ninja training school in a castle in a remote area of Japan where he trains Bond in the art of Ninjitsu and teaches him to become a Japanese, marrying him to Kissy Suzuki.
Later, after being alerted of Bond's discovery of the Volcano lair by Kissy Suzuki, Tanaka aids Bond in raiding and defeating Ernst Stavro Blofeld, head of SPECTRE, using a team of ninja agents to invade the villain's lair in an inactive volcano.
Tetsuro Tamba was criticized in the media for being too young to portray Tiger Tanaka. By the late 1990's he was seen as a significant religious figure in Japan.