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The government’s top spokesman on Tuesday declined to comment on — but did not deny — a report alleging that Tokyo has secretly and closely cooperated with the U.S. National Security Agency in intelligence-gathering, having been provided with an extremely powerful mass-surveillance tool that can hack and monitor emails and other private communications.

The joint report by The Intercept, an online investigative reporting organization, and NHK is based on top-secret documents provided by whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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