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Japan’s PM says alleged US spying likely to alter bilateral state relations

August 05, 2015, 8:32 UTC+3 TOKYO
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga urged US Washington on Monday to clarify WikiLeaks reports on alleged American spying into Japanese state affairs
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Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

© AP Photo/Koji Sasahara

TOKYO, August 5. /TASS/. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believes that his country’s bilateral relations with the United States could be stained if the US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on his country’s administration, Kyodo news agency reported.

"If it really turns out to be true, it cannot but sway the trust-based relations between the allies and we will be forced to express our most serious concern," Abe was quoted as saying by Kyodo.

A statement from the White House said in return that Vice President Joe Biden confirmed the partnership course between the United States and Japan and thanked PM Abe for keeping the path of cooperation.

"The vice president reaffirmed the United States' commitment made by [US] President [Barack] Obama in a 2014 presidential directive to focus our intelligence collection on national security interests," a statement from the White House said.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga urged US Washington on Monday to clarify WikiLeaks reports on alleged American spying into Japanese state affairs.

"If this really took place, it is extremely regrettable, because we are allies," the official said.

Asked whether the government of Japan was considering a stronger response to the interception of classified information, Suga told reporters: "We are taking every precaution when dealing with classified documents, and I don’t think there’s a leakage of information."

WikiLeaks said in a statement on July 31 that the NSA had kept tabs on the prime minister of Japan and some major Japanese corporations.

According to WikiLeaks, the NSA was spying for Japanese companies, public officials and employees of government agencies during Shinzo Abe’s service in the post of the prime minister between 2006 and 2007.

Kyodo news agency earlier reported citing an informed source that the Japanese government was going to file a note of protest to the American side, if the information published by WikiLeaks was confirmed.

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