Nikkei wrote that the UK has sounded out Japan on the idea of sharing confidential information by strengthening its cooperation with the Five Eyes alliance in order to counter China’s attempts to expand its global influence. The paper wrote that although Japan has responded positively to the idea, it will be required to enhance its capability to protect secrets both in the public and private sectors to share intelligence with the alliance. The paper wrote that following his telephone conversation with Defense Minister Kono in late July, Chairman Tugendhat of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament disclosed in a tweet that they discussed the idea of inviting Japan to the alliance. Noting that Japan already exchanges intelligence with the Five Eyes nations, the paper wrote that Tokyo’s possible participation in the framework would allow it to expand its cooperation with the alliance by sharing information with higher confidentiality more swiftly. According to the paper, there is also a view within the GOJ that it would be possible for Japan to increase information sharing with the Five Eyes nations without becoming an official member of the alliance.
The paper speculated that the UK is exploring the possibility of inviting Japan to join the alliance out of concern over China’s treatment of Hong Kong and handling of the coronavirus pandemic and that Britain is hoping to have a new partner other than Germany and France following its departure from the EU. The paper also speculated that it would make sense for the United States to cooperate with Japan because it has expressed its intention to forge alliances with other democratic countries to counter China.