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US seeks Japan’s participation in AUKUS: report

The alliance may collaborate with Japan on select projects, excluding nuclear submarine technology.

The United States is considering cooperating with Japan in defense technology within the framework of the Australia-U.K.-U.S. security alliance, known as AUKUS, to counter China, according to a Japanese media report.

The Nikkei cited U.S. government officials as saying that Washington is currently in talks with London and Canberra with aims to reach an agreement by April 10, when Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pays a state visit to the U.S.

AUKUS, signed in 2021, is intended to strengthen the ability of each government to support security and defense interests. The USC Global Policy Institute said in 2022 that the alliance will serve as a geopolitical tool to be leveraged in the face of confrontation, a deterrence to China’s aggressive maritime decision making.

AUKUS will select specific areas and projects for cooperation with Japan, but exclude nuclear submarine technology, and there are no plans to invite Japan to become a full member, the Japanese daily reported Saturday. 

It is not the first time for AUKUS to seek expanding its cooperation with non-member states. 

In February, Australia’s Defense Minister Richard Marles said while expanding the alliance would be a long-term commitment, he planned to send a team to New Zealand in the near future to brief the new government on the AUKUS defense agreement.

Marles’ remarks came after New Zealand’s new prime minister, Christopher Luxon, said in December last year that he would look into the benefits of joining a part of the AUKUS defense pact that focuses on shared military technology amid a “more challenging” world order.

Edited by Mike Firn and Elaine Chan.


This content originally appeared on Radio Free Asia and was authored by By RFA Staff.


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