WikiLeaks revelations: US spied on Abe, Mitsubishi, Mitsui

WikiLeaks revelations: US spied on Abe, Mitsubishi, Mitsui
The list of NSA targets show an apparent home phone number of a Japanese official.
PHOTO: Nikkei Asian Review

TOKYO - US intelligence has been spying on key figures in Japan's government and corporate sector for years, according to documents released by WikiLeaks on Friday.

The secrets-busting website revealed 35 classified targets the US National Security Agency has allegedly monitored. The list includes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet, the natural gas division of trading house Mitsubishi Corp. and the petroleum division of trader Mitsui & Co.

Five government documents indicate the US intercepted communications between Japanese officials in the runup to the 2008 G-8 summit in Hokkaido, as well as a 2009 meeting between Japan's agriculture minister and the US Trade Representative. In both cases, the goal was apparently to get a better read on Japan's positions.

Other targets were the switchboard for the Cabinet Office, numerous Bank of Japan officials -- both at the office and at home -- and Ministry of Finance phone numbers.

One of the documents -- regarding Japan's preparations for hosting the G-8 summit in 2008 -- was marked "REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL." This suggests the information was shared with partner agencies in Australia, Canada, the UK and New Zealand.

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