In return, the NSA has provided Japanese spies with state-of-the-art surveillance tools and shared intelligence.
The Intercept notes multiple documents and instances which outline the NSA’s ongoing relationship with the NSA.
However, it also notes that the agency has secretly spied on Japanese officials and institutions while maintaining friendly ties with Tokyo.
Back to the 1950s
According to documents cited by The Intercept, the relationship between the NSA and Tokyo began in the 1950s, when the US continued to maintain a large presence in Japan despite the country’s sovereignty being restored after years of US military occupation following World War II.
A document from 2007 shows that the NSA’s presence in Japan was managed out of a “cover office” in the Minato area of downtown Tokyo for many years, within a US military compound called the Hardy Barracks.
It was from that office that the agency apparently maintained close relations with Japan’s Directorate for Signals Intelligence (SIGINT).
But by 2007, the agency’s low profile had ended, with the NSA determining that “cover operations are no longer required.” It then relocated its main office in Japan to the US embassy in Tokyo.
“NSA’s partnership with Japan continues to grow in importance,” the agency wrote in a classified October 2007 report, adding that it planned to take the country “to the next level as an intelligence partner with the US.”…