Japan gets unofficial invite to join AUKUS – media — Analysis

Tokyo denied being asked to join an alliance to counter China

The Sankei Shimbun newspaper reports that Japan is receiving unofficial offers from the AUKUS military bloc. It was established last year by Australia and the UK.

According to unnamed Japanese government officials, Tokyo was approached by the alliance’s three other members regarding this possibility.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno denied the report on Wednesday, saying that “there is no fact”The Sankei Shimbun article. Tokyo “not asked to participate in AUKUS,”He stated.

The AUKUS pact, which is largely seen as a strategy to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific, was announced by the leaders of Australia, the UK and the US in September 2021.

Initial goals were to supply Canberra with nuclear-powered but conventionally armed submarines. The trio decided to collaborate on hypersonic technology development last week, and Japan supported the move.

Western military alliance to work on hypersonic weapons

Sankei Shimbun says that the AUKUS proposal was motivated by Tokyo being involved in hypersonic missile development.

Two years ago, Japan announced plans to create two types of hypersonic weapons – hypersonic cruise missiles (HCMs) and hyper-velocity gliding projectiles (HVGPs) – saying that they could be fielded sometime between 2024 and 2028.

A special railgun is being developed by the country that could also be used to destroy incoming hypersonic missiles. It would fire shells at very high speeds and use electromagnetic force.

Canberra, London and Washington are also interested in the country’s capabilities in cyberwarfare, AI and quantum technologies, the paper said.

Sankei Shimbun argued that generally, the Japanese government does not have a “positive opinion”AUKUS to join, which would enhance the ability to deter China.

Australia to build nuclear submarine base

Tokyo plans to examine the proposal. Officials remain skeptical of AUKUS and suggest that Japan should focus its attention on the bilateral military cooperation agreements with Australia, Britain, and the US. They also point out that Japan wouldn’t be able to participate in all areas covered by AUKUS, Sankei Shimbun reported.

For example, nuclear-powered submarines would be off limits for Tokyo as the country’s laws stipulate that nuclear energy can only be used for peaceful purposes.

AUKUS, which is the abbreviation for the acronym, is composed of the initial letters of three of its member countries. If Japan decided to join, it could be re-branded into ‘JAUKUS,’ according to the paper.

China was angered at the creation of AUKUS and has called it an “anabolic dictatorship”. “Asia-Pacific version of NATO,”Which was “doomed to fail.”Beijing claimed the agreement would lead to an arms race in this region. Beijing added that Australia had already given its nuclear submarine tech in violation of international agreements against nuclear proliferation.

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