Japan has denied having received an unofficial offer to join AUKUS. Photo/Illustration
Several unnamed Japanese government officials told the paper that Tokyo had been approached informally about such a possibility by each of the three alliance members.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno denied the reports, saying there were “no facts” in the Sankei Shimbun article.
“Tokyo was not asked to participate in AUKUS,” he said as quoted from Russia TodayWednesday (13/4/2022).
The AUKUS pact, seen largely as a strategy to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific, was announced by the leaders of Australia, Britain and the US in September 2021.
The original aim was to provide Canberra with a fleet of nuclear-powered, but conventionally armed, submarines. But last week the trio announced that they would also cooperate on developing hypersonic technology, with Japan expressing support for the decision.
According to the Sankei Shimbun, involving Tokyo in the development of hypersonic missiles was one of the main motivations behind the AUKUS offer.
Read also: White House Announces Hypersonic Missile Program with Australia and UK