Security pacts: USA, Finland, Sweden, Japan, Italy, Australia
Finland intends to sign a bilateral security and defence agreement with the United States. The agreement will address, among other aspects, the status of US forces during their operations on the Finnish territory and practical issues such as customs and taxation. With Turkey and Hungary blocking Sweden’s NATO membership, Sweden has also discussed closer military cooperation with the US. The cooperation is expected to include storing US defence equipment in Sweden during peacetime and enabling faster deployment of US military reinforcements in the event of a crisis or war.
Japan also intends to strengthen security and military cooperation with the United States to combat threats from China and North Korea. Joint activities with the Americans will furthermore address space, cyber security and new technologies. The Japanese have also signed strategic partnerships with Italy in various sectors – from defence to culture.
A new anti-Chinese alliance is emerging in the Pacific region. A security treaty between Australia and Papua New Guinea is expected to cover defence, troop training, joint military operations and cyber security issues. Australia, the United States and its allies seek to counter Beijing’s growing influence in the strategically important Pacific region. This is in response to China’s April 2022 security pact with the Solomon Islands. It has raised concerns about the build-up of the Chinese military in the South Pacific region.