Tokyo wants to cooperate with the AUKUS alliance between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom
Australia’s acquisition of nuclear submarines is of critical importance to regional security and Japan stands ready to offer assistance and expertise, Ambassador Shingo Yamagami said Monday at the ‘Advancing AUKUS’ conference. ‘, calling Canberra Tokyo’s most important military ally, besides the United States.
Without directly labeling China a threat, the envoy said Japan was “a frontline state facing difficult circumstances in the dangerous neighborhood of Southeast Asia”, explaining to the audience at the National Press Club in Canberra why “AUKUS means a lot to us.”
In 2021, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom announced the creation of the so-called AUKUS security pact, which envisages supplying Canberra with conventionally armed and nuclear-powered submarines, thus strengthening considerably its naval capabilities.
Last month, Australia signed a separate agreement with Japan to deepen their security cooperation, including joint military training and intelligence sharing. “This makes Australia Japan’s most important defense and security alliance… outside of the United States,” according to the Australian Associated Press.
“In the future, Japan may also welcome Australian nuclear submarines, so measures are already in place to receive them if they come,” the envoy said in comments he later shared on Twitter. “Japan’s cooperation with AUKUS holds great potential…Such submarines will increase regional deterrence.”
China has repeatedly criticized the AUKUS alliance, arguing that its plans pose serious risks to regional stability and nuclear security. This view has to some extent been echoed by Russia. In August, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned that AUKUS could “explode” the entire Asia-Pacific region, since the pact is on the way to becoming “a military-political alliance”.
On Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cited AUKUS as an example of Washington and its allies trying to militarize the Asia-Pacific region. These actions are not only “obviously aimed at containing China” but also “Resisting Russia’s interests in the Asia-Pacific”, said the minister.
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