2024-03-06 – Japan expresses interest in AUKUS defense technology partnership

(Allianz News) – Japan is keen to discuss cooperation with the United States, Australia and Britain on advanced military technology, an official said Wednesday, adding that Tokyo may become more involved in the trio's key defense partnership, AUKUS.

An official from Japan's embassy in Australia told AFP the government supports AUKUS' efforts in the Indo-Pacific region and is looking at how to deepen cooperation.

They said Japan was aware of discussions between Australia, the UK and the US on various issues, including artificial intelligence and underwater capabilities.

„Japan is interested in the possibility of technical cooperation in the field of advanced skills and will therefore continue to strengthen cooperation with Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom,” the embassy said in a statement.

„[Japan] It will continue to strengthen cooperation with its key defense and security partners Australia, the US and the UK to realize a 'free and open Indo-Pacific'.”

AUKUS was established in 2021 and has two main operational goals: the so-called Pillar I, which aims to provide Australia with nuclear-powered attack submarines;

Pillar II focuses on developing advanced warfighting capabilities such as AI, undersea drones, and hypersonic and electronic warfare technologies.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will visit Washington next month, where he may announce the country's cooperation in the defense partnership, Japan's Nikkei said on Saturday, citing unnamed US officials.

A UK House of Commons conference prepared last year found New Zealand, Japan and South Korea to be „ideal candidates” for cooperation on Pillar II.

Australian officials briefed their New Zealand counterparts on the plan in February.

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„This was just a background briefing for information and was not intended to resolve the issue of New Zealand's inclusion in Pillar II,” said Anton Youngman, the country's under-secretary for the Ministry of Defence.

By Laura Chung

Source: AFP

Copyright 2024 Alliance News Limited. All rights reserved.

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