Global Insight: The Japan-NZ relationship

Japan would like to join New Zealand's intelligence-sharing alliance to improve its relationship with the United States, Professor Robert Patman believes.

The international relations specialist was being interviewed on ODT TV's Global Insight programme this week when he made the comments.

America is an indispensable partner for Japan, which has regional security worries including China. But Japan's relationship with the United States (US) has become less predictable under President Donald Trump. New Zealand's membership in the Five Eyes intelligence partnership, which includes the US, would be helpful to Japan, University of Otago-based, Prof Patman says.

"Mr Trump makes a virtue of being unpredictable. From a Japanese point of view, that is not such a virtue, '' Prof Patman says.

"If it was part of an intelligence-sharing arrangement, either directly or indirectly, that would give Japanese decision-makers much more continuity of perception in relation to its relationship with the United States.''

During the interview, Prof Patman also spoke about the potential benefits to New Zealand if it further improved its relationship with Japan, the third largest economy in the world. He warned that the relationship should not be improved at the expense of relationships with China and the US.

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