Japan officially reacted to claims of U.S. authorities spying on Japanese companies and politicians, calling the alleged action “deeply regrettable.” Japan was among the allies on which WikiLeaks reported the U.S. National Security Agency spied. Others included France and Germany.
Japan's Kyodo News agency reported Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday to open an investigation into the alleged spying. Kyodo, quoting a source, reported Abe talked with Biden by phone, warning if the allegations are true, the relationship between the two allies would suffer. Biden apologized. Kyodo said.
Al Jazeera quoted Japanese spokesperson Yoshihide Suga as calling the alleged action “deeply regrettable.” Suga said Japan had “strongly requested” U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper “confirm the facts.”
Japan is a major U.S. ally in the Asia-Pacific region. Both the nations regularly consult on economic, trade and defense issues. However, Japan disagrees with the United States on opening up its protected agricultural markets.
WikiLeaks said U.S. intercepts displayed "intimate knowledge of internal Japanese deliberations" on Japan's diplomatic relations with the U.S., including nuclear policies and trade issues. "The reports demonstrate the depth of U.S. surveillance of the Japanese government, indicating that intelligence was gathered and processed from numerous Japanese government ministries and offices," WikiLeaks said, according to Al Jazeera.
While various Japanese politicians were allegedly spied on, the Japanese prime minister was not targeted.