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US Legislation Calls for Coordination of Japan’s AUKUS Role with UK, Australia

US Legislation Calls for Coordination of Japan's AUKUS Role
Japan signals interest in AUKUS defence partnership - Asia & Pacific - The Jakarta Post Japan signals interest in AUKUS defence partnership - Asia & Pacific - The Jakarta Post
US Legislation Calls for Coordination of Japan's AUKUS Role
Japan signals interest in AUKUS defence partnership - Asia & Pacific - The Jakarta Post Japan signals interest in AUKUS defence partnership - Asia & Pacific - The Jakarta Post

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US Legislation Calls for Coordination of Japan’s AUKUS Role with UK, Australia

A bipartisan group of senior U.S. senators introduced legislation on Wednesday aimed at fostering deeper collaboration within the AUKUS defense project involving Britain, Australia, and potentially Japan. The bill, introduced by Republicans Mitt Romney, Bill Hagerty, and Jim Risch, along with Democrat Tim Kaine, seeks to mandate engagement with Japan to explore its potential inclusion in advanced technology projects under AUKUS’s second pillar.

AUKUS, established in 2021 as a response to China’s escalating influence, initially focused on providing Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. However, discussions have arisen about expanding the project to include other countries and develop additional high-tech weaponry. The recent announcement indicated a willingness to explore collaboration with Japan, prompting the introduction of the Coordinating AUKUS Engagement with Japan Act.

In a statement, Senator Romney emphasized the importance of coalition-building to counter China’s aggressive actions. The proposed legislation would task AUKUS coordinators from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense with engaging Japan and consulting counterparts in the UK and Australia to discuss the potential scope of Japan’s involvement in AUKUS technology initiatives.

Senator Kaine underscored the significance of AUKUS in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region, expressing hope that the bill would pave the way for Japan’s integration into AUKUS and facilitate expanded defense industrial cooperation among allied nations.

Senator Risch, as the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, highlighted the bill’s provisions requiring the Biden administration to engage with Japan on its interest in joining AUKUS. Additionally, it mandates an assessment of Japan’s technological capabilities and the alignment of its export-control system with existing partners. Crucially, the legislation ensures consultation with the UK and Australia before any expansion of AUKUS.

Despite the potential benefits of Japanese involvement, challenges remain, including strict U.S. technology-sharing restrictions and concerns about Japan’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, the proposed legislation signals a concerted effort to strengthen strategic partnerships and enhance collective defense capabilities in the face of evolving geopolitical challenges. By fostering closer collaboration with Japan, AUKUS aims to bolster regional security and deterrence against common adversaries.


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