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NATO’s Attack on Japan

Jens Stoltenberg met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Japan at Tuesday to discuss common security challenges and NATO’s deepening partnership with Japan. During the meeting, it was discussed that Japan and NATO should remain united and determined in the face of security threats arising from the war between China, North Korea, and Russia-Ukraine. “No NATO partner is closer or more capable than Japan,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg warned that China is watching developments in Ukraine closely and “learning lessons that may affect its future decisions”. In the statement that followed the talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as part of Stoltenberg’s Asia trip aimed at strengthening ties with democratic allies, “What is happening in Europe today may happen tomorrow in East Asia. Therefore, it must be in unity and togetherness, freedom and freedom and independence. We must stand together for democracy.”

Stoltenberg and Kishida said they are concerned about the growing cooperation they are seeing between China and Russia. “We stress with concern Russia’s growing military cooperation with China, including joint operations and exercises around Japan,” the joint statement said. Stoltenberg asked South Korea to increase its military support to Ukraine in Seoul the previous day. On Tuesday, he praised Japan’s strong position and significant support for Ukraine.

Japan, along with its G7 partners, imposed sanctions on Russia and took rare steps, such as sending defence equipment and providing shelter for those fleeing the conflict. Stoltenberg said he and Kishida also shared concerns about North Korea’s “provocative behaviour”, which ranged from nuclear activities to ballistic missile tests. He said China “is not our enemy”, but warned of its growing military presence in Asia, including nuclear weapons, bullying its neighbours, and threatening Taiwan, as well as spreading disinformation about NATO and Ukraine.

Kishida said that as part of Japan’s efforts to deepen relations, it will establish an independent agency for its relations with NATO. Kishida also added that the country would consider regularly attending high-level meetings organized by the alliance.

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