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U.S. wiretapping ‘regrettable’: envoy

Kyodo

The Japanese ambassador to the United States has said it would be unfortunate if recent reports that American authorities had eavesdropped on the embassy were accurate.

“If it’s true, it will be regrettable. We are asking (the U.S.) what the truth is,” Kenichiro Sasae told reporters, referring to a report that the U.S. National Security Agency wiretapped the embassies of countries including allies such as Japan and EU members.

“We have yet to hear any answer. I think (the U.S. side) is still considering how best to explain (the situation) to its ally,” he said.

American and European Union officials will hold talks on the matter Monday in Washington. But Sasae said there is no plan yet for Japanese and U.S. officials to meet over the issue.

The move came after The Washington Post and British newspaper The Guardian reported that top-secret NSA documents leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden showed that U.S. intelligence services were spying on embassies and diplomatic missions.

  • Paldo

    Regrettable? Just regrettable? Sorry master, just regrettable!

  • 151E

    Gutless reaction. What would Japan’s response be if it were any other country than the US?

    So grave an offence do the big powers consider spying to be that any hapless agent who has been caught is not afforded POW status under international law, and the penalty for espionage is often decades in prison or even death. One might therefore expect the discovery of a program like this (whose only objectives can be to gain economic advantage and political leverage) to evoke a stronger response than for the ambassador to meekly express ‘regret’. Perhaps canceling the annual “sympathy budget” would send a clearer message that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable among allies.