Japan wants Biden to probe reported US spying

2015-08-05 17:23

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Tokyo - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday to investigate allegations by WikiLeaks that Washington spied on the Japanese government and companies, Tokyo said.

In a 30-minute telephone conversation, Abe told Biden that he would have "serious concerns" if the alleged spying is true, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

Biden apologised for "causing trouble" to the premier and the Japanese government, but did not confirm the allegations of spying, Suga said.

WikiLeaks said it had intercepts which suggest the US National Security Agency (NSA) had been spying on Japanese officials and major companies for years.

While Abe agreed to Biden's request to further strengthen the bilateral alliance, the premier also said that in doing so, Washington should take appropriate actions in response to the spying allegations, Suga said.

WikiLeaks published a list of 35 top NSA targets in Japan, including the Cabinet Office, the finance and trade ministries and major Japanese companies.

"The reports demonstrate the depth of US surveillance of the Japanese government, indicating that intelligence was gathered and processed from numerous Japanese government ministries and offices," WikiLeaks said in a statement.

"The documents demonstrate intimate knowledge of internal Japanese deliberations" on trade issues, nuclear and energy policy and Japan's diplomatic relations with the United States and the European Union, it said.

The allegations come at a time when 12 countries, including Japan and the United States, are negotiating the creation of a vast free trade zone, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The delegates failed to secure a final deal after days of intense negotiations in Hawaii last week.

Read more on:    wikileaks  |  joe biden  |  shinzo abe  |  us  |  japan
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