Australia and Japan sign ‘landmark’ defence deal in face of China’s rising military might


Alessio Patalano, Professor of East Asian strategy at King’s College London, said the RAA deal supports a wider and more robust cooperation on defence.

“Aukus is very much Australia’s way of getting the UK and US to cooperate with them on science and technology.

“RAA is what [Japan and Australia] need to start training to bring capabilities together to be useful in the future. It’s a practical agreement but invites further conversations.”

Unlike Nato, there is little commonality across partner nations in Asia to allow military systems to work alongside each other. The RAA deal will allow political discussions about how to deepen military cooperation in the region.

“That’s why it’s so important,” Mr Patalano told The Telegraph. “It’s the beginning of translating talks about cooperation into military effectiveness.

“It creates a more complex [security] web for the Chinese to have to deal with…but there’s not much they can do about it.”

With the Aukus and RAA deals signed in the last six months, “it shows US allies getting together,” Mr Patalano said. 

“The Chinese will not be opening a bottle of champagne today.”

Concerns over China’s military posture in the South China Sea and aggression towards Taiwan have led Japan to move away from its post-war constitutional constraints on the use of military force.

It is likely Japan will seek to extend the RAA treaty to include Britain, particularly given the opportunities created by the UK-Japan deal signed in December 2021 to develop engines for future jet fighters.


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