Japan has refused to spy on Internet traffic for the NSA, offering the amazing excuse that it would be unconstitutional for them to do so.
According to Snowden-sourced documents passed to The Guardian, the NSA tried to get Japan to help it tap all transpacific traffic passing though Japanese tubes with the hopes of seeing what the sneaky Chinese were up to.
Unlike their spineless UK lapdogs, the USA’s demands that Japan assist its indiscriminate spying operations by tapping undersea data cables were apparently rejected, on the astonishing and by American standards rather quaint grounds that it would be a violation of the Japanese constitution to do so.
The scale of the proposed operation was also apparently so large that Japan’s comparatively sensibly sized spy agencies would be unable to manage it without private sector assistance, further discouraging them.
Whatever the actual reason – some have also suggested fears about letting a rampant US spy agency hand over choice Japanese trade secrets to US companies might have had something to do with it – the news has surprised many who thought Japan to be amongst the most supine of the US “allies.”