2018: Untold Story of Japan’s Spy Agency

Die Verfassung Japans.  Hate Speech
Quelle: The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 16 | Issue 13 | Number 4 | Jul 01, 2018

The Untold Story of Japan’s Secret Spy Agency
Ryan Gallagher

This story is the product of a two-year collaboration between U.S. news website The Intercept and the Japanese broadcaster NHK. The project began in mid-2016, and was initially focused on investigating three U.S. military bases in Misawa, Okinawa, and Yokota. In April 2017, we revealed 
that the bases were an integral part of the global surveillance network controlled by the U.S. National Security Agency. With the help of a batch of leaked U.S. documents, we showed that the Japanese government had spent more than half a billion dollars to fund the facilities, and received in return powerful surveillance equipment for its own spies to use to eavesdrop on emails and phone calls.

After we published that information, sources in Japan came forward and provided us with new details about the inner workings of Japan’s little-known spy agencies. That was an extraordinary development for us, because prying classified information out of the Japanese government is not an easy thing to do. I have reported on the activities of spies in countries across the world, and never before have I encountered a group that is more institutionally secretive than the Japanese. For decades, basic details about the structure, size, operations, and funding of Japan’s intelligence community have been withheld from the public. Even within the Japanese government, only a select few officials at the highest echelons of power are provided with any information about the shadowy people in control of the country’s surveillance systems.

With this story, in an effort to serve the public interest, we chipped away some of the secrecy, and in the process documented that Japan’s spies may be carrying out covert actions that violate the country’s constitution. I hope our disclosures will not be the last, and that they will help to contribute to greater transparency – and more informed debate – about the Japanese government's surveillance powers in the future.

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Peaceboat Japan

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