Canada and Japan launch military intelligence-sharing talks to counter China and Russia – National


Canada and Japan have launched talks aimed at sharing military intelligence, as the two countries try to counter growing threats from China and Russia.

“Through intelligence sharing, we can better counter threats at home and work alongside partners to create greater stability in the region,” Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly tweeted on Tuesday.

She met her Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi in Tokyo, adopting an action plan to strengthen cooperation in defense and economic security.

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This plan included the launch of formal talks on the intelligence-sharing pact, dubbed the General Agreement on Information Security.

The two sides aim to reach an agreement “as soon as possible” to facilitate information sharing and further strengthen cooperation between their armies, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

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Japan has similar intelligence-sharing agreements with NATO and with eight individual countries, including the United States, Australia, Britain, India and South Korea.

For its part, Canada is part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which includes Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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Japan has deepened defense cooperation beyond its key ally, the United States, in recent years in the face of China’s growing assertiveness in the region, as well as growing fears that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia could further embolden Beijing.

On Tuesday, Japan and Canada also agreed to expand and deepen their military ties by holding joint exercises between the countries as well as with the United States.

They stressed the importance of working together to secure the rules-based international order and pledged to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision, which Japan has promoted with the United States and others. democracies that share concerns about China’s growing influence in the region.

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Joly said Canada’s Indo-Pacific development strategy “will aim to complement efforts by like-minded partners, including Japan’s vision.”

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The Liberals have been under pressure for months to release their Indo-Pacific strategy, which industry groups hope will define which countries Ottawa plans to move closer to and which the government considers risky.

Joly promised the strategy would come before the end of the year, some time after the Chinese government held a major summit next week on its goals for the coming years.

Japan, a country with scarce resources, is also seeking to cooperate more with Canada to guarantee the supply of liquefied natural gas.

And Japan and Canada have agreed to boost technical exchanges on nuclear technology, including those regarding small modular reactors that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has ordered a government group to consider as a possible option for future development.

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Energy supply shortages and rising utility costs, along with pressure to achieve a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, prompted Kishida’s government to place greater emphasis on atomic energy years after the closure of many Japanese nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

—With files from The Associated Press

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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