On Dec 9th, Australia and Japan held 2+2 talks between their defense and foreign ministers in Tokyo.
Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said Australia would promote Japan as the fourth associate member of the AUKUS security pact and hopes to take the Canberra-Tokyo partnership to an unprecedented level. Marles said China’s massive military expansion is bringing Japan and Australia, two World War II-era adversaries, closer to each other.
Over the past decade, Communist China has sought to shape the world around it like never before. This situation has created challenges for both Australia and Japan.
Consequently, the partnership between the two countries is now reaching unprecedented heights. The Pentagon also released a major report last week saying that the Chinese Communist Party has doubled its nuclear arsenal in two years, while its military has increased its “unsafe” and “unprofessional” military operations, particularly in the Taiwan Strait. Marles emphasized that the AUKUS treaty between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom is a capability and technology partnership.
Next, Australia will take advantage of AUKUS’ advanced work capabilities and the trilateral mechanism of the treaty to better integrate its defense industry with Japan. Both countries will benefit from the U.S. alliance network in Asia-Pacific. Australia is poised to build the Japan-Australia relationship into a formidable force. While Japan will not receive a nuclear-powered submarine after joining the treaty, it may be included as part of AUKUS’ work on undersea capabilities, networking, quantum computing and artificial intelligence.