Japanese PM asks Obama to probe US spying allegations
Obama offers apology as Shinzo Abe says that if WikiLeaks claims are true, ‘it could shake our relationship of trust’

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has requested that U.S. President Barack Obama investigate allegations that Washington spied on Japanese officials and companies, following WikiLeaks’ release of a list of alleged targets.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that Abe told Obama over the telephone Wednesday that if the claims were true, "it could shake our relationship of trust."

Kyodo News also cited Suga as saying that Obama offered an apology over the problem, which began late last month when the anti-secrecy website posted alleged National Security Agency (NSA) reports and a list of 35 Japanese targets for telephone intercepts.

Suga said Abe and Obama had agreed to continue discussing the matter, while the Japanese premier called on Obama to respond by taking the appropriate action.

Among the 35 alleged targets are the Japanese Cabinet Office, Bank of Japan, finance and trade ministries, and major trading houses. According to WikiLeaks, the topics targeted by the telephone intercepts mainly involved internal Japanese discussions on international trade and climate change policy, and spanned to the inauguration of Abe's first government in 2006.

Earlier this month, Abe had asked for an explanation on the issue from U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in a 30-minute telephone conversation requested by Washington.

At the time, Kyodo had reported Suga as saying that Biden had offered an apology for causing trouble for Abe and Tokyo amid the debates the allegations prompted in the country.

The phone conservation had come a day after Abe told a committee in the House of Councillors that if the alleged spying were true, "Japan, as an ally [of the U.S.], would find it extremely regrettable.”

"We will not respond immediately to a release by a private entity,” he had added, referring to the WikiLeaks posts. "It is important that we first check the true intentions of the United States, our ally."

Last Modified: 2015-08-26 06:55:06
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