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December 1, 2010 / Richard Smart

Wikileaks and Japan – an idea of what to expect (1985-1995)

As well as revealing the keywords for leaks, Wikileaks has also so far revealed the dates of the documents it has obtained from Tokyo Embassy. With more time, and if in need of doing so, it is possible to cross reference documents against significant events.

A simple example of what is missing from the files: There are no leaks from around the date Sept. 11, 2001.

The leaks become a flood around 2005, with none for a decade before that year. but before that there are only seven leaks, dating between Jan. 8, 1985 and March 20, 1995. Here we will look at the potential contents of some of those leaks.

Jan. 8, 1985 (EFIS, JA, IWC-2): This leak will tackle whaling, two years before a ban . EFIS stands for commercial fishing and fish processing, according to research using the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Handbook. IWC is the International Whaling Commission, and JA is of course Japan. Whaling was not banned for commercial purposes until 1986 (when the 1987 catch was set to take place, see here.)

July 4, 1985 (PTER , PREL): PTER stands for terrorists and terrorism. PREL stands for international relations. Big terrorist events around this date? A Provisional Irish Republican Army bombing campaign had just been foiled, and Japan may have had reason to discuss that. But the date is also six days before the Rainbow Warrior was bombed and sunk in Auckland.

March 2, 1990 (PREL, JA): No idea. Any help appreciated.

Feb. 23, 1991 (MARR, PTER, JA): MARR stands for military and defense arrangements. Possibly related to Japan’s $10 billion financial support for the first Gulf War.

April 1, 1992 (EFIN, JA): EFIN stands for financial and monetary affairs. Possibly relates to Taiyo Kobe Mitsui Bank, which renamed itself on this day, or the bursting of the Japanese bubble as a whole.

June 21, 1993 (PINR, PINS, PROP, MNUC, KN, KS, JA): PINR stands for intelligence; PINS national security, PROP propaganda and psychological operations, MNUC military nuclear operations, KN North Korea and KS Kosovo. As a G-7 summit took place in Tokyo two weeks after this, it likely relates to security for the event. Perhaps a threat assessment.

March 20, 1995 (PREL, ASEAN, APEC, NPT, UNSC, BX, JA): Nuclear negotiations. Most countries extended the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions in May of this year.


Leave a Comment
  1. Tassa / Dec 19 2010 12:43 pm

    I got totally impressed by your quick job! I should have found this blog earlier.
    I’ll link to this site on my blog!

    I have one thing to correct:
    As far as I see, one of the tags in the first cable should be IWC-2 (International Wheat Council), instead of IWC-1.
    It is possible that the one who wrote this cable put the wrong tag, though.

    • Richard Smart / Dec 19 2010 12:46 pm

      Tassa thank you, I’ll change the tag now – that was my typo.

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