The Five Eyes intelligence alliance is close to linking Japan as an active member as a result of a restructuring measure aimed at countering the Chinese regime and expanding its strategic economic relationship.

As The Guardian has reported, the move to expand the scope of the intelligence alliance would also help increase stocks of critical minerals and medical supplies needed for use in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) pandemic, thus decreasing dependence on Chinese stocks, according to British parliamentarians

Rare earth elements are used in manufacturing a wide range of key components in electronic products such as mobile phones, laptops, and televisions. In defense sector applications, they are used in jet engines, satellites, lasers, and missiles.

The proposal seeks to encourage a coherent political and economic alliance to compete against China and, particularly for British Conservative MPs, it represents an opportunity to establish deeper relationships with countries outside European Union regulations.

The five-eyes alliance that was founded in 1941 by the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia now may include Japan as its sixth member.

Map of Five Eyes members (Wikimedia, Applysense image)

According to Taiwan News, last week the Defense Minister Tarō Kōno, presented the suggestion for his country to be part of the alliance in a weekly publication of the Chinese research group, arguing the current need to counter the Chinese regime through investment and technology partnerships between like-minded nations.

Similarly, Kōno cordially invited the United Kingdom to participate in a new Pacific regional trade group that brings together The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) association.

As The Guardian notes, Kōno said the intention was not to seek a military conflict with China, implying that it hoped China would be able to cut defense spending, thereby allowing democratic nations to take parallel action.

For his part, the conservative chairman of the select committee on foreign affairs, Tom Tugendhat, noted that the “Five Eyes has been the core of our intelligence and defense architecture for decades. We should look at partners we can trust to deepen our alliances. Japan is an important strategic partner for many reasons and we should be looking at every opportunity to cooperate more closely.”

Tugendhat said that China, with its economic growth, has been able to buy up foreign technology companies, adding, “This is a development we must monitor closely. Tech-partnerships with countries like the UK will be critical to countering China, pooling our investments and encouraging our people to study the skill sets needed for our high-tech sectors to grow.”