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It has been revealed that information related to Japan's national security was included in the confidential documents disclosed by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
In 2013, Snowden disclosed that the NSA had been secretly collecting a massive amount of data through leading communications and Internet firms. The data included personal phone calls and emails. Snowden later sought asylum in Russia.
The US Internet media publication The Intercept, which controls the leaked information, began releasing 13 files related to Japan on Monday.
A 2004 document shows that Japan shouldered almost all the construction costs of a communications equipment manufacturing facility at the US Yokota Air Force base in Tokyo.
It says the equipment produced at the facility was used by the United States to gather information around the world. The document says it is note-worthy that the surveillance antennas were used to support strikes on the Al-Qaeda terrorist group in Afghanistan.
Another document referred to the 1983 downing of a South Korean passenger plane off Sakhalin.
The document says the US wanted copies of audio tapes intercepted by Japan's Self Defense Forces from Soviet military aircraft. The US wanted to pursue the responsibility of the Soviet Union. The document also explains how the audio data was brought to the United Nations.
The 2013 document also shows that the NSA provided Japan with a mass surveillance system called 'XKEYSCORE'. The system is said to be capable of collecting and searching on-line emails and other communications data.
Japanese Defense Ministry officials say they have not read the files, and that they have no further comment.
New Snowden Leaks Reveal Secret Deals Between Japan and NSA