In the face of the rise of China’s military power, Japan and Australia signed a historic defense pact

Australia and Japan signed a defense pact on Saturday (22 October) to counter China’s growing military might. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, on a visit to Australia, met with his counterpart Anthony Albanese in Perth, Western Australia, to replace a 15-year-old deal to replace the 15-year-old deal, where jihadist attacks and proliferation were the main concerns of both sides. .

“This historic statement sends a strong signal to the region about our strategic alignment.”, welcomed the agreement signed between the two countries. Without directly citing China or North Korea, the Japanese prime minister described the deal as a response “Increasingly austere strategic environment”.

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Australia has not received a visit from a Japanese prime minister since 2018. The two Pacific nations are expected to focus on sharing geospatial signals and intelligence received from Wiretap (or SIGINT) satellites. No country currently has such extensive foreign intelligence networks as the US CIA or France’s DGSE.

Military and energy cooperation

The deal is seen as a further step towards Japan joining the so-called powerful alliance. « Five Eyes on Intelligence between Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and the United States”. However, there are obstacles. In the past, close cooperation has been hampered by lingering concerns about Tokyo’s ability to handle sensitive classified documents and transmit them securely.

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The Japanese and Australian prime ministers also pledged to strengthen their military and energy cooperation. Japan is the biggest buyer of Australian gas and is betting heavily on hydrogen power produced in Australia.

The original defense pact between Tokyo and Canberra was signed in 2007, when Beijing was much weaker militarily and less assertive in its relations with the world. Since Xi Jinping came to power, Beijing’s military has become much stronger and its posture more aggressive. Mr. During Xi’s decade-long rule, China built its military into one of the world’s strongest and amassed nuclear and ballistic weapons.

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