Japan Investigating Snowden Allegations

Created: 2013-07-01 09:43 EST

Category: World > Asia Pacific

Japan is investigating allegations that the United States conducted surveillance on its embassy in Washington D.C., Japan's top spokesman said on Monday (July 1).

"We still haven't confirmed if there is any truth to the contents of the report. But obviously Japan is interested in this matter and we intend to seek proper confirmation on this (from the United States)," Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, told reporters in Tokyo.

German magazine, Der Spiegel reported on Saturday (June 29) that the National Security Agency (NSA)bugged EU offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks, the latest revelation of alleged U.S. spying that has prompted outrage from EU politicians.

Der Spiegel cited from a September 2010 "top secret" document of the U.S. NSA which it said fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had taken with him and which the weekly's journalists had seen in part.

The Guardian newspaper said in an article late on Sunday (June 30) that the United States had also targeted non-European allies for spying.

Citing a September 2010 NSA document, the British newspaper said that "Along with traditional ideological adversaries and sensitive Middle Eastern countries, the list of targets includes the EU missions and the French, Italian and Greek embassies, as well as a number of other American allies, including Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Turkey."

Revelations about the U.S. surveillance programme, which was made public by Snowden, have raised a furore in the United States and abroad over the balance between privacy rights and national security.

Snowden, 30, has been holed up in a Moscow airport transit area since last weekend. The leftist government of Ecuador is reviewing his request for asylum.

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