Japan intelligence agreement not 'warning shots' to China - Ardern

Source: 1News

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand and Japan starting negotiations for an intelligence sharing agreement is not "warning shots" to China.

The deal was announced by Ardern and her Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida in Tokyo overnight in the pair's first face to face meeting.

In a media stand up on Friday, Ardern was asked what the agreement meant for China, and specifically if it was a "warning shot".

"Well they didn't for Spain, why should they anywhere else," Ardern responded.

"New Zealand has these kinds of arrangements with a number of other countries. It would seem wrong to preclude having such an arrangement with Japan simply because we'd be worried about the perception of it.

"Our relationships are strong, we have these exchanges already. This allows us to put some extra protocols around it that will make it swifter for those agencies who are engaged with them."

Ardern said the agreement was about more than just security and intelligence, including humanitarian aid in disasters.

"A good example would be we did create a bespoke arrangement after the Tongan volcanic eruption we did share information, including satellite information and other assessments that we were making as agencies and departments, and share that with Japan.

"This would put more formality and structure around such information sharing."

She added that New Zealand and Japan had similar information sharing arrangements with a number of countries, again noting New Zealand and Spain.