About 200 people gathered in a subterranean auditorium on the University of Tokyo's Hongo campus earlier this month to hear from one of the world's most well-known fugitives.

Edward Snowden spoke via video linkup from Russia, where he was granted asylum after revealing the U.S. National Security Agency's controversial mass surveillance programs three years ago.

"You're kidding yourself if you don't think China is doing this, if you don't think Russia is doing this, if you don't think France and Germany are doing this," the former NSA contractor said at a symposium on government surveillance and civil rights. "The question you should be asking yourself is, what are the policies in Japan?"