Tokyo: Japan has received unofficial, separate invitations from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States to join the AUKUS alliance amid the member states’ intention to develop hypersonic weapons, Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun reported on Wednesday.
According to the newspaper, the AUKUS member states are interested in close partnership with Japan, as the high technological potential of the country in cyberspace, quantum technologies and artificial intelligence can be used in the development of hypersonic weapons and tools of electronic warfare.
At the same time, opinions in the Japanese government regarding the possibility of joining the AUKUS partnership are reportedly divided.
Some lawmakers support strengthening the alliance involving the United States amid the growing military power of China. Others, on the contrary, doubt the feasibility of the idea, since Japan already cooperates with each of the three countries, Sankei Shimbun reported.
At the same time, Tokyo cannot participate in a number of projects, including those of nuclear submarines. In mid-September, 2021, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom announced the new trilateral defense partnership, which forced Canberra to give up on a $66 billion contract with Paris to develop 12 state-of-the-art conventionally powered Barracuda-class attack submarines, after the alliance promised to enhance Australia’s fleet with nuclear-powered submarines.
The announcement led to a diplomatic spat between France and the alliance members, with Paris accusing Canberra of betraying the mutual trust between the countries and temporarily withdrawing its ambassadors from the US and Australia.
Japan welcomed the creation of the defense alliance and supported the decision of the AUKUS partners to develop hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilities, which was announced in April.