Japan poised to be part of AUKUS security pact  

  • Japan could soon join the AUKUS military technology-sharing pact alongside Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
  • Japan’s participation will be limited to the Pillar 2 aspect of the agreement, which covers military technologies such as hypersonic missiles, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, underwater drones, and electronic warfare.

The Trilateral Security Partnership Alliance, comprising Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (AUKUS), is discussing whether Japan should be allowed to join the alliance.

Two stages of Aukus

The first pillar of AUKUS was launched in September 2021 with the aim of the three countries collaborating on the capacity to support a free and open Indo-Pacific region. These include a conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability for the U.K. and Australia.

Japan’s involvement will be limited to the so-called Pillar two aspects of the pact, which covers military technology such as hypersonic missiles, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, undersea drones, and electronic warfare. Japan will not participate in the Pillar I nuclear-powered submarines that underpin the agreement.

However, Defence Minister Richard Marles told the Kyodo News service in February it would take some years before Pillar two had sufficiently matured before expanding its membership. “I think there is an opportunity at that point to look at how we can co-operate with Japan about that,” he said.

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Significance of Aukus

“In a more dangerous world, relationships and partnerships like AUKUS are more important than ever. We have always said we would engage additional nations in our Pillar Two work as it progresses, and collaborating with like-minded countries will strengthen the partnership further,” said U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps.


Jennifer Yu

Jennifer Yu is an intern reporter at BTW Media covering artificial intelligence and products. She graduated from The University of Hong Kong. Send tips to j.yu@btw.media.

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