Japan’s apical subject commandant departed for Brussels connected Monday to be a NATO gathering this week, which volition interaction connected issues relating to information and defence practice successful the Asia-Pacific region.
General Koji Yamazaki, main of unit of the Joint Staff, is expected to be the NATO Military Committee successful Chiefs of Defense Session connected Thursday, Nikkei Asia reported, citing the Japanese Defense Ministry.
This marks the archetypal clip a Japanese apical subject commandant has attended specified a meeting. Representatives from Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea, which are non-members of NATO, volition besides beryllium present.
The treatment volition halfway connected Chinese maritime enlargement successful disputed seas and North Korean resumption of rocket tests arsenic NATO seeks to heighten practice with Asia-Pacific partners.
The gathering comes arsenic Finland and Sweden expressed interest successful joining the 30-member information bloc successful the aftermath of Russia’s penetration of Ukraine. Japan is simply a spouse of NATO but not a subordinate state.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Monday that Japan volition intimately show the developments of Finland’s and Sweden’s applications for NATO membership, section quality bureau Jiji Press reported.
Speaking astatine the Hudson Institute connected May 11, NATO Deputy Security General Mircea Geoana said that China’s accelerated subject enlargement and modernization contiguous a situation to the planetary information environment.
“China is not an adversary to NATO,” Geoana said. “But its subject modernization, its dense concern successful atomic missiles and hypersonic missiles, and its coercive diplomacy, has information implications for each NATO allies.”
Geoana said that “like-minded democracies astir the world,” and peculiarly “those successful the Asia-Pacific region,” would request to enactment unneurotic to code the information implications posed by China and its strategical spouse Russia.
To that end, Geoana said that Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, “four highly-valued partners of NATO,” would play an invaluable relation successful helping the confederation to support bid and stableness passim the Indo-Pacific.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg successful Belgium connected March 24, during which some sides reaffirmed their committedness to continued cooperation.
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also attended a NATO overseas ministers gathering for the archetypal clip past month.
“As we face superior challenges to the planetary order, arsenic symbolized by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the information of Europe and the Indo-Pacific portion cannot beryllium discussed separately. Now is the clip to fortify practice betwixt NATO and its partners, including Japan,” Hayashi said.
Andrew Thornebrooke contributed to this report.