If the reports of the United States spying on Japan will prove to be true, the relations between the two countries could be affected, Japan Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said.
The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has spied on Japan, according to the New York Times. The NSA used it spying techniques in order to obtain economic advantage on Japan, Brazil and some other countries.
Two days after the New York Times released the information, Onodera voiced serious concern about reports stating that the U.S. has illegally been collecting important data on Japan, according to the international press.
“So far these are only press reports,” the minister said, adding, “But I do not think such actions are desirable as they are eroding trust between friendly states, including allies.”
According to an anonymous U.S. source, Tokyo was spied on through the American Embassy. The Japanese Embassy in Washington has been spied on as well.
Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee, leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about NSA espionage activities targeting friendly countries.