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Reports of U.S. spying in Japan 'eroding trust'

November 05, 2013, 12:53 UTC+3
Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera: I do not think such actions are desirable
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AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

TOKYO, November 5 (Itar-Tass) - Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has voiced concern at reports the U.S. has been collecting important data in Japan through illegal interception.

“So far these are only press reports,” he told journalists in Tokyo. “But I do not think such actions are desirable as they are eroding trust between friendly states, including allies.”

Today's New York Times reported that former CIA contractor Edward Snowden’s files said Japan was on the list of countries where the National Security Agency (NSA) had been conducting electronic interception. Notably, the U.S. was interested in economic and technological secrets as well as data on Japanese foreign policy, it said.

In an earlier interview with Japan's NHK TV channel, an unnamed U.S. source confirmed that interception took place, adding that electronic espionage in Japan had been conducted through American embassy premises in Tokyo and U.S. military bases in Japan.

U.S. special services were also said to have been bugging Japan’s embassy in Washington.

 

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