Japan is seeking to shut out China from supplying drones to its government. The primary reason is over security concerns, with the government aiming to protect sensitive information as per sources close to the matter.
According to a Reuters report, the news arrives from a few sources within the government and the ruling party. These sources have claimed that the move is a part of the country’s efforts to strengthen its national security. With the advancements in technology, the primary concern is being centered around information technology, supply chains, cybersecurity, and intellectual property. These concerns are also shared by various other governments as well in recent times.
Thus, the move to reduce its dependency on China, especially in regards to sensitive technology such as drones and security cameras is understandable. Furthermore, the situation also requires careful manoeuvering between the ongoing US-China trade tensions. As per a senior government official, “China is a big market and it is important for Japan. On the other hand, there are worries that advanced technologies and information could leak to China and could be diverted for military use.” At the moment, the defense ministry has several hundred drones, which includes those that have been manufactured by Chinese companies. Although, government bodies have clarified that these drones are not used for security related matters.
It is unclear if Japan would seek to replace all such drones or just employ a stricter screening process for data leaks over a newly reinforced policy. Notably, this would likely help boost the local drones business, since the government would likely seek drones sourced from within its own borders. However, this move also does not imply a cut in ties or souring relations with China. Another senior official added that “Japan will keep diplomatic ties with China but we will be more carefully respond to sensitive technologies and information.”
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