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Minilateral institutions are more important than ever in international affairs. The US-Japan-Australia Trilateral Strategic Dialogue has long been a forum for cooperation, and these countries make up three quarters of the nations of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue alongside India. In 2021, another major minilateral arrangement debuted when Australia and the United States announced the formation of AUKUS, alongside the UK. Almost immediately, there was speculation that the arrangement could be expanded to JAUKUS, incorporating Japan.

AUKUS in particular brings to the fore a number of new questions and challenges for Australia, Japan, and the United States. What new norms will result from the nuclear technology sharing component of the arrangement? What opportunity is there for Japan to serve as a leader or liaison for likeminded Pacific states that are affected by rising tension in the region and impacted by the parameters of AUKUS? How will other domestic pressures affect critical technology and energy supply chains that will be critical to advancing AUKUS and similar initiatives?

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