Add Japan to the list of countries that the National Security Agency purportedly spied on. New documents published by WikiLeaks alleges that the NSA kept tabs on Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, his cabinet and companies like Mitsubishi since 2006. In particular, the US paid close attention to Japan's policies around climate change. That includes details about Abe's plan to reduce the country's carbon emissions by half by 2050, which Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) was considering not telling the US about, as well as its confidential G8 summit proposals on climate change. Additionally, the US knew ahead of time that Japan intended to double down on a "sectoral approach" for managing carbon emissions, which focuses on specific carbon goals for sectors like "industry," "residential" and "transportation."
None of this is exactly smoking gun material, but just like the NSA's reported spying efforts on Germany and France, it shows the extent of the US's surveillance on its allies. Even worse, the documents show that the US shared information it acquired from Japan with the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Needless to say, we bet the next meeting between Japan and these allied countries is going to be a bit awkward.
"The lesson for Japan is this: do not expect a global surveillance superpower to act with honour or respect," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a statement. "There is only one rule: there are no rules."