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Japan and Canada may join Pacific defense alliance - Politico

Japan and Canada may join Pacific defense alliance - Politico Photo: US President Joe Biden (getty images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The UK, the United States, and Australia are rushing to expand their trilateral defense partnership, AUKUS, to other allies ahead of potentially tumultuous elections in all three countries over the next 14 months, Politico reports.

A senior diplomat involved in the negotiations told the agency that Japan and Canada intend to join the so-called second paragraph of the AUKUS agreement, according to which the participants will sign a broad cooperation in the field of military technology by the end of 2024 or early 2025.

This comes amid fears in Washington, London, and Canberra that Donald Trump could cancel the AUKUS agreement if he wins the US presidential election in November.

The AUKUS security agreement was first announced in September 2021. Its first part, paragraph 1, provides for US and UK assistance to Australia in the construction of nuclear submarines.

Paragraph 2 of the agreement allows the three countries to agree on agreements to develop advanced military technologies in areas such as artificial intelligence, hypersonic missiles, and quantum technologies.

It was always envisioned that paragraph 2 could be expanded to include other US allies, including Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and South Korea.

A second diplomat involved in the talks said that US President Joe Biden's administration is now pushing very hard to get some things done on AUKUS paragraph 2 now, before the US elections in November.

In March 2023, Prime Ministers Anthony Albanese of Australia and Rishi Sunak of the UK, as well as US President Joseph Biden, announced an agreement between the AUKUS alliance states to provide the Australian Navy with nuclear submarines.

Japanese media reported that the AUKUS countries are interested in using Japanese technology, including for the development of hypersonic weapons and enhanced electronic warfare capabilities.