The question is no longer which countries has the U.S. been spying on, but which few nations are we not spying on and why not.. The list of countries where the U.S. NSA has been actively involved in spying on government officials, agencies or private businesses is now up to more than a dozen with the revelation by WikiLeaks on Friday that American intelligence has been running a large-scale data-gathering operation in Japan for a number of years.
Statement from WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief, commented on Friday’s document release: “In these documents we see the Japanese government worrying in private about how much or how little to tell the United States, in order to prevent undermining of its climate change proposal or its diplomatic relationship. And yet we now know that the United States heard everything and read everything, and was passing around the deliberations of Japanese leadership to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The lesson for Japan is this: do not expect a global surveillance superpower to act with honor or respect. There is only one rule: there are no rules.”
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More on U.S. spying on Japan
The new WIkiLeaks documents provide a smoking gun showing the U.S. was spying on Japanese companies, government officials, ministries and senior advisers at least as far back as 2006. The published elephone interception list includes the switchboard for the Japanese Cabinet Office; the executive secretary to the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga; a “Government VIP Line”; several execs within the Japanese Central Bank, including Governor Haruhiko Kuroda; multiple numbers in the Japanese Finance Ministry; the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa; the Natural Gas Division of Mitsubishi and the Petroleum Division of Mitsui.
Friday’s WikiLeaks publication includes four reports that are classified TOP SECRET. One of the reports was marked for release to the United States’ “Five Eyes” intelligence partners: Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand.
The new documents make it clear that extensive U.S. surveillance of the Japanese government had been going on for some time, and intelligence was clearly being gathered from several Japanese government ministries and individuals. The NSA garnered detailed knowledge of internal Japanese deliberations on topics including agricultural imports and trade disputes; negotiating positions in the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization; technical development plans, climate change policy, nuclear and energy policy and carbon emissions schemes.
U.S. intelligence apparently even had access to Japanese correspondence with international bodies such as the International Energy Agency, strategy planning and other documents concerning diplomatic relations with the United States and the EU, and details on a confidential briefing that occurred at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official residence.