Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Monday said the Japanese government will ask the U.S. government for an explanation of the alleged spying after WikiLeaks published documents last Friday that it said shows the U.S. government spied on Japanese officials and companies.
Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo on Monday, Suga said Japan is a U.S. ally and that if the Wikileaks claims were true, it would be extremely regrettable, Fuji TV reported.
Suga said the government has asked James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, to verify the claims.
The documents include what appear to be five U.S. National Security Agency reports, four of which are marked top-secret, that provide intelligence on Japanese positions on international trade and climate change. They date from 2007 to 2009.
WikiLeaks also posted what it says is an NSA list of 35 Japanese targets for telephone intercepts including the Japanese Cabinet office, Bank of Japan officials, Finance and Trade Ministry numbers, the natural gas division at Mitsubishi and the petroleum division at Mitsui.
U.S. spying on its allies became an issue in 2013, when Germany's government reacted angrily to German media reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone had been monitored by the NSA. Although the reports didn't explicitly cite documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, they came amid a flurry of similar claims about alleged U.S. surveillance in Germany that were linked to him.© Japan Today/AP