14 April 2017, 10:10 GMT
TOKYO (Sputnik) — According to The Intercept outlet, Japan began sharing intelligence with the NSA in September 2012 and in response the NSA helped train Japanese agents and gave the Japanese Directorate for Signals Intelligence (SIGNIT) access to XKEYSCORE, a program that can be used to collect data from computer networks.
The outlet noted that the Japanese Defense Ministry declined to comment on the matter.
The outlet said it was using the data provided by Edward Snowden, a former NSA employee turned whistleblower.
In 2013, Snowden leaked classified documents on mass surveillance practices carried out by US authorities around the globe. Snowden fled to Hong Kong, then to Russia, which granted him asylum. In 2014, Snowden was given a temporary residence permit for three years, which this year was renewed until 2020.