Uh-oh, looks like the political relationship between the US and Japan may get a little shaky as whistleblower organization WikiLeaks has exposed America’s three-year surveillance of the Japanese government, major industries and banks. Even worse, it looks like the US may have also shared their collected info with other countries.

On July 31 (JST), the WikiLeaks page went live with “Target Tokyo,” a collection of sources detailing information that the US government’s notorious NSA (National Security Agency) collected on Japan between the years of 2006 and 2009.

The data collection started around the time of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s first term, a year-long stint in 2006, and continued through at least the next two prime ministers, Yasuo Fukuda and Taro Aso, who both also only held office for short periods.

Among the documents leaked was a list of 35 phone numbers marked for surveillance, which were connected to the prime minister’s Cabinet, the Japanese central bank, and divisions of both the Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsui & Co., which deal with natural gas and petroleum, respectively.

Also included in the leak were four documents marked “top-secret,” which exposed details of Prime Minister Abe’s key topics for discussion during his 2007 visit to the US, Japan’s climate strategy and emissions targets before the G8 meeting in 2008, and the Japanese agricultural minister’s talking points prior to trade talks with the US in 2009.

Within these documents are reports of what information the Japanese government was considering not revealing to the US during these talks. WikiLeaks representative Julian Assange stated,

“In these documents we see the Japanese government worrying in private about how much or how little to tell the United States, in order to prevent undermining of its climate change proposal or its diplomatic relationship.”

In the end, it didn’t matter, as the US was listening anyway.

On top of all of this, there is evidence that the US not only collected this information, but also possibly shared it within the “Five Eyes,” an intelligence alliance consisting of the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

Assange also commented, “The lesson for Japan is this: Do not expect a global surveillance superpower to act with honor or respect.”

Neither Japan nor the US has responded to the leaked documents yet, and it’s hard to say if the information will change diplomatic relations between the countries. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a professor of international politics at the University of Niigata Prefecture stated,

“If this is true, Japan is going to be asking for an explanation from the US side, but it’s unlikely to have a major impact on the core of Japan-US relations.”

Japan is not the only country the US has been spying on either — WikiLeaks has also recently released similar information about the US listening in on other allies, such as Germany and Brazil. International politics seems to be a pretty dirty game, one which the US is somehow simultaneously winning and losing.

Sources: NHK NewsWeb, The Hill, ABC News, WikiLeaks
Top Image: WikiLeaks