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New leaks show NSA targeting Japanese ministers and energy companies

New leaks show NSA targeting Japanese ministers and energy companies

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The NSA has been keeping a close eye on Japan's biggest businesses, according to a new publication from Wikileaks. Dubbed "Target Tokyo," the new files show NSA selector IDs singling out a range of sensitive targets within Japan, including the country's Minister of Economic Trade and Industry, numerous targets within the country's finance ministry, and unspecified targets within Mistubishi's Natural Gas division and Mitsui's petroleum division.

The latest release is similar to previous documents that revealed French government targets as well as the personal surveillance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The source of the documents is unknown, but they are not believed to have come from Edward Snowden, who has traditionally published documents through journalistic outlets like The Guardian, The Intercept, or The Washington Post.

The new release doesn't provide much detail into how that surveillance functions, but it still offers a lot to be concerned about. The NSA has long faced accusations of economic espionage — performing surveillance to further the economic aims of American businesses, rather than to enhance national security — and the targeting of Japanese central banks and energy companies gives new weight to those accusations. "Today's publication shows us that the US government targeted sensitive Japanese industry and climate change policy," said Wikileaks editor Sarah Harrison, in a statement attached the release. "Would the effectiveness of Japan's industry and climate change proposals be different today if its communications had been protected?"