Oz spy agencies intensify secret operations with US, Japan to counter China: WikiLeaks

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Melbourne, Jan 22 (ANI): To get sensitive information out of China, North Korea and Iran, Australian spy agencies have intensified secret operations with the US and Japan, according to WikiLeaks cables.

The cables show a major push by the three countries dating back to 2006 to unite in response to China's growing economic and military might.

The cables reveal that the problems of North Korea and Iran, together with the threat of terrorism, prompted moves towards greater intelligence co-operation between Tokyo, Washington and Canberra.

The insight into co-operation between Japanese, US and Australian intelligence agencies has been provided by secret US embassy cables obtained by WikiLeaks and provided exclusively to The Age.

A leaked cable from September 2006 reveals that in discussions with Japanese intelligence officials, a senior US official argued strongly for enhanced intelligence co-operation.

"A deep-rooted intelligence relationship could - and should - become part of the bedrock of the US-Japan alliance, just as it was with our British and Australian allies," said Randall Fort, head of the US State Department Intelligence and Research Bureau.

The leaked US cables show Japanese officials proposed intensifying intelligence exchanges on regional subjects, and Fort agreed to set up meetings to "exchange views on China and where it was headed in the next five years".

In a meeting with senior Japanese Foreign Ministry intelligence officials, Fort urged his counterparts to tap the "under-utilised assets" represented by the global network of Japanese businesses. (ANI)

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