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Japan and NATO pledge to strengthen cooperation | Russian military cooperation has led to the tensest security environment since World War II

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida talks with visiting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on January 2023, 31. (Photo of joint media interview)
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida talks with visiting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on January 2023, 31. (Photo of joint media interview)

Japan and NATO leaders pledged to strengthen cooperation in response to Russia’s aggressive war in Europe and China’s growing military cooperation with Russia.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida issued a joint statement after talks with visiting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday (January 2023, 31), saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Moscow’s increasing military cooperation with Beijing have created the tensest security environment since World War II and that Japan will strengthen cooperation with NATO in maritime security, weapons control, cyberspace, and other fields in response to the changing strategic environment.

Japan will host the G7 summit in May, where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s role are expected to be the focus of discussions.

Japanese media reported that Kishida is considering visiting Kiev in February this year to consolidate Japan’s support for Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said the war in Ukraine concerns the security of all, and NATO is grateful for the support provided by Japan.

A day earlier, Stoltenberg was in Seoul to urge South Korea to do more military support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.

The NATO secretary-general said in South Korea that it is “extremely important” not to let Russia win, not only for Ukraine but also to avoid authoritarian regimes, including Beijing, mistakenly believing that they can use force to achieve their own ends.

He said that although NATO does not see China as an adversary, Beijing’s increasing military capabilities and coercive actions in the region have kept China high on NATO’s agenda.

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Last June, the NATO summit invited the President of South Korea and the Prime Minister of Japan as observers for the first time, signaling that NATO is seeking a stronger partner in the Indo-Pacific region to address Russia’s threats in Europe and China’s growing challenge to the international order.

Beijing opposes NATO’s invitation to Japan and South Korea to the NATO summit and accuses NATO of expanding partnerships in Asia to harm regional security.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said Monday that “NATO continues to break through traditional defense zones and fields, and constantly strengthens military-security ties with Asia-Pacific countries, and relevant developments should arouse a high degree of vigilance among regional countries.” ”

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