Press TV has conducted an interview with Michael Penn, a journalist and political commentator in Tokyo, about the whistleblowers at WikiLeaks publishing a trove of documents that reveal a systematic mass surveillance program which the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been conducting against high-ranking Japanese politicians.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: First of all, what is your opinion regarding these snooping allegations? If proven true, would it affect US-Japanese ties?
Penn: Well there have been some other indications in the past also through the WikiLeaks that there has been this kind of spying so I believe that anyone familiar with the National Security Agency and its methods should not be surprised that even allies are under surveillance by the United Sates government.
So far the Japanese government has not reacted although the story is just coming out now. To be honest my expectation is that the Japanese government is going to try to ignore this development even though it does have some profound implications for their own national security.
Press TV: Well that is interesting that you say that that the Japanese government will probably try to push this under the rug. Doesn’t that show the dynamics of the relationship between the US and Japan where it is the US that dictates much of the way this relationship goes?
Penn: Well that is correct. The Japanese government almost never criticizes US foreign policy. This has been the case ever since World War II and the US military occupation of the country. The Japanese have developed their economy and they worked on building a better standard of life but part of what has gone along with that is very uncritical acceptance of whatever US foreign policy happens to be.