- In a 40-minute phone call Wednesday morning Japanese time, Obama expressed regret to Abe (pictured above) over the allegations.
"President Obama said he was very sorry... as the case caused a big debate in Japan," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said without confirming the spying claims.
Suga added that Abe told Obama that if the allegations were true, "it could shake our relationship of trust."
In July, WikiLeaks posted online what appeared to be five U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) reports on Japanese positions on international trade and climate change.
Here is the press release from wikileaks about the Japan cables:
- The list indicates that NSA spying on Japanese conglomerates, government officials, ministries and senior advisers extends back at least as far as the first administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which lasted from September 2006 until September 2007. The telephone interception target list includes the switchboard for the Japanese Cabinet Office; the executive secretary to the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga; a line described as "Government VIP Line"; numerous officials within the Japanese Central Bank, including Governor Haruhiko Kuroda; the home phone number of at least one Central Bank official; numerous numbers within the Japanese Finance Ministry; the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa; the Natural Gas Division of Mitsubishi; and the Petroleum Division of Mitsui.
I always find it funny when the US complains about Chinese industrial espionage and yet here, not to mention many other instances, the US is happy to engage in industrial espionage just the same, with a tool kit that exceeds China's no doubt. Like they say, there is only one rule: there are no rules.
With all the revelations about spying on Germany, France, Brazil, and Japan, I do find it interesting that there is not a peep that I've heard about the US spying within the five eyes group. Somehow I doubt that they would refrain from doing so out of some moral boundary, could it be that those are the only allies the US trusts, or perhaps they know that the release of such espionage would be more damaging to US foreign policy so they're just more careful about doing so?