Global Affairs

What's blocking Japan's entry into 'Five Eyes' club?

The 'Eyes' have it - lots of shared intelligence and expertise. Barriers to entry by others are formidable.

ST ILLUSTRATION: MANNY FRANCISCO

LONDON • Almost regardless of who emerges as Japan's new prime minister over the next two weeks, defence and security specialists in the United States and a few other key Western countries are bracing themselves for the continued drumbeat of what is by now a familiar Tokyo refrain: appeals that Japan should be allowed to join the so-called Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which brings together the spooks of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and the United States.

Of course, this is not Tokyo's priority. Still, as all those who have attended security meetings with Japanese ministers or officials over the past 12 months can attest, there is a growing crescendo of appeals from Tokyo for membership in the Five Eyes grouping.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2020, with the headline 'What's blocking Japan's entry into 'Five Eyes' club?'. Print Edition | Subscribe