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Obama apologizes to Japan’s Abe over spying: Spokesman

26 August 2015 10:06


A Japanese government spokesman says US President Barack Obama made an apology to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over Washington’s spying on Tokyo.

“President Obama said he was very sorry… as the case caused a big debate in Japan,” Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday.

The spokesman added that the two leaders talked the issue on the phone on Wednesday morning.

Suga said Abe told Obama that “if the Japanese people concerned were subject to these activities, it would risk jeopardizing trusting relations between allies.”

It was revealed last month that the National Security Agency (NSA) was snooping on Japanese officials and companies.

The whistleblowers at WikiLeaks revealed a systematic mass surveillance program that the NSA has been conducting against top Japanese politicians.

Abe is the most high profile official among the 35 top secret targets mentioned in the documents.

The documents note that the spy agency monitored Abe for at least one year during his first term in office. The revelation has strained relations between Tokyo and Washington.

Other documents also showed earlier that the US spy agency has conducted espionage on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The German weekly Der Spiegel said in a report in October 2013 that the magazine had seen secret documents from the NSA which show that Merkel’s mobile phone had been listed by the agency’s Special Collection Service since 2002.

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