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    Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waits for US President to arrive for a bilateral meeting on the sideline of the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg on September 5, 2013

    US Spying Scandal Might Seriously Undermine Trust In Abe’s Government

    © AFP 2019 / Jewel Samad
    Asia & Pacific
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    Commenting on the recent WikiLeaks revelations concerning US National Security Agency spying on the Japanese government, a Japanese politician told Sputnik that it might seriously undermine trust in the current government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and damage Japanese-American relations; however, another political analyst has a different opinion.

    “During his latest visit to the US, Prime Minister Abe in talks with President Obama has identified new directions for Japanese-American cooperation, including amendments to the defense law and issues concerning the final stage of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which are currently under discussion in the Japanese parliament,” Kazuyuki Hamada, a parliamentarian from the Upper House of Japan's Diet and member of the New Renaissance Party told Sputnik.

    “This scandal, which broke out at such a vital moment for Japanese-American relations, might undermine trust in the government,” he added.

    The politician also added that public opinion is now gradually turning against the administration; at least it does not trust it the way it did before.

    The opposition parties will try to take advantage of the public mood. If the opposition parties are able to unite and jointly address the nation, they will have the opportunity to change the country’s policy.

    The only condition is that a strong opposition leader must emerge, but one has yet to arise.

    However political analyst and University of Niigata Prefecture Professor Shigeki Hakamada is convinced that the recent revelations won’t have much impact on the relations between the two countries.

    Comparing the eavesdropping scandal to that in Germany, he said that the reaction of the mass media in Germany and Japan were quite different.

    In Germany, he noted, the press vowed to protest against the spying, whereas in Japan, the mass media will hardly do anything of the kind. In the event that they do, it won’t damage the relationship between the US and Japan much, in the way that it did not damage ties between the US and Germany.

    Besides, Hakamada said, if a politician of such a rank as Chancellor Merkel is using a mobile phone for any type of conversations, he/she should be expect to be spied on, even though it is inadmissible in terms of relations between the allies.

    Japan became the latest target of US NSA spying to be uncovered by WikiLeaks. The revelation follows recently published documents, which revealed the agency's surveillance of the telephone conversations of high-ranking French, Saudi and German officials.

    In Japan, the NSA's telephone interception target list supposedly included Japanese Cabinet members, the Central Bank, as well as the finance and economic ministries, Mitsubishi’s natural gas division and the Mitsui conglomerate’s petroleum division.


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    spying scandal, bilateral relations, opposition, surveillance, Shigeki Hakamada, Kazuyuki Hamada, Shinzo Abe, Germany, Japan, United States
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