The Buzz

Japan, NZ to speed up intel sharing pact amid China concerns

The foreign ministers of Japan and New Zealand agreed to speed up talks on an intelligence sharing pact as the two island nations vowed to strengthen security ties and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region amid shared concern over an increasingly assertive China.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and her Japanese counterpart, Yashimasa Hayashi, also agreed during their talks in Tokyo to collaborate on priority issues for Pacific Island nations such as climate change, maritime security and infrastructure.

Hayashi said Japan, under its new National Security Strategy, is strengthening cooperation with like-minded countries to maintain and expand the “free and open” international order, and that cooperation with New Zealand is extremely important.

In December, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government adopted key security and defense upgrades, including a counterstrike capability that breaks with the post-World War II principle limiting Japan to self-defense, while doubling defense spending in five years.

Kishida told a parliamentary session yesterday that the Defense Ministry is purchasing 400 U.S.-made Tomahawk cruise missiles for deployment as early as 2026. The Tomahawks would be used on Aegis radar-equipped destroyers and would be capable of striking targets as far as 1,600 kilometers  away.

Categories Asia-Pacific Buzz