In September 2018, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, Arthur Herman, wrote a fascinating piece for this page saying it was time for Japan to join the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.

Moves to align Japan (and Germany) more closely with the Five Eyes framework have since begun but now is the time for a formal and completely full tie-up. The present five members of this long-standing alliance are the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. So Japan, with its very advanced communications technologies, would be the sixth full member. The alliance gives mutual access between members to intelligence activities, as well as promoting further military interoperability, creating powerful ties that the digital age both allows and encourages.

Behind this whole issue lies, of course, the overarching question of how best to deal with China, the rising giant — a matter that is troubling not just Asian neighbors but nations in every region, large and small.