AUKUS associates contemplate security agreement with Japan

(MENAFN) The AUKUS security partnership, consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, is contemplating the expansion of its membership to include Japan, aiming to bolster collaboration in advanced military technology domains. This potential move would see Japan joining the alliance's Pillar II, focused on sharing cutting-edge capabilities in areas such as cyber warfare, artificial intelligence, quantum technology, undersea drones, and hypersonic capabilities.

Initially established in 2021 primarily to facilitate the transfer of nuclear-powered submarines to Australia under Pillar I, AUKUS has evolved to encompass broader technology-sharing agreements through Pillar II, which could potentially involve additional countries beyond the original trio. Acknowledging Japan's strategic strengths and existing close defense partnerships with all three AUKUS members, the alliance released a joint statement indicating their consideration of cooperation with Japan in advanced capability projects.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese clarified that while discussions are underway to explore collaboration with Japan within Pillar II, AUKUS will officially remain a three-way pact.

He emphasized that any potential engagement with Japan would occur on a project-by-project basis. The forthcoming meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and United States President Joe Biden is expected to provide a platform to discuss the extent of Tokyo's involvement in the pact.

Emphasizing that AUKUS is not a formal military alliance but rather a platform focused solely on technology sharing, the partners reiterated their commitment to ensuring a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. Despite these assertions, China has expressed vehement opposition to the AUKUS initiative, characterizing it as an attempt to create an "Asia-Pacific version of NATO." Beijing has cautioned that such efforts could exacerbate regional tensions and trigger an arms race in the Indo-Pacific. As discussions regarding Japan's potential inclusion in AUKUS progress, the geopolitical landscape in the region continues to evolve, with implications for security dynamics and strategic alignments.



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