Photo/IllutrationTokyo and Washington officials sign a statement on quantum technology in Tokyo on Dec. 19. (Roku Goda)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Japan and the United States, aiming to beat China in the race to develop quantum computers, signed an agreement on Dec. 19 to partner on next-generation quantum technology.

The two allies agreed to share data and cooperate on a facility for research on the technology that includes quantum cryptography applications.

The agreement is vital for protecting national secrets as quantum technology could break the current code used by slower systems in internet security and produce new unbreakable code.

China has spent huge sums for research and development of technology for quantum computers, which far exceed the capacity of supercomputers. China acquired 600 or so patents between 2012 and 2017, the most among nations, according to the European Commission.

Beijing is said to be ramping up efforts to develop quantum communication systems, which theoretically would be impossible to intercept and plans to spend 120 billion yen ($1.09 billion) to establish a quantum computer research center next year in Anhui province.

(This article was written by Roku Goda and Hisatoshi Kabata.)