Japan’s PM Calls for Closer Ties with NATO Amid Rising Regional Threats

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Kishida Emphasizes Link Between Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Security

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TOKYO, July 9 (Reuters) – Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida highlighted the need for Japan to strengthen its ties with NATO in light of Russia’s growing military cooperation with North Korea. In written remarks ahead of his attendance at a NATO summit in Washington DC this week, Kishida expressed concerns about regional security threats becoming increasingly intertwined.

“The securities of the Euro-Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific are inseparable, and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its deepened military cooperation with North Korea are strong reminders of that,” Kishida said. He stressed Japan’s commitment to bolstering its cooperation with NATO and its partners.

Kishida also warned that the international community should not tolerate efforts by some countries to disrupt the established global order, suggesting that the current situation in Ukraine could foreshadow similar conflicts in East Asia. He emphasized the importance of global cooperation to address emerging security threats, including cyber-attacks and space conflicts.

The Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) — Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand — will join NATO leaders at the summit on July 10-11. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol indicated that he plans to discuss the threat posed by North Korea’s growing ties with Russia.

Last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un signed a mutual defense pledge with Russia during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pyongyang. Kim expressed his full support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The U.S. and its allies have accused Pyongyang of supplying ballistic missiles and artillery shells to Russia for use in Ukraine. They also fear Moscow might provide support for North Korea’s nuclear missile development in return. Additionally, Washington has accused China of providing non-lethal assistance, such as drone and missile technology, to Russia, aiding its military efforts in Ukraine. China has denied supplying weaponry to any party.

Without naming China, Kishida mentioned that “some countries” have allegedly transferred dual-use civilian-military goods to Russia, serving as a “lifeline” for its war in Ukraine. He called for a strategic approach to address these issues, considering the roles of all international actors involved.

“The geographical boundary of ‘Euro-Atlantic’ or ‘Indo-Pacific’ is no longer relevant in safeguarding global peace and security. Japan and Indo-Pacific partners can play a significant role for NATO allies from this perspective,” Kishida stated.

While constrained by decades of pacifism, Japan has refrained from supplying lethal aid to Ukraine. Instead, Tokyo has provided financial assistance, spearheaded post-war reconstruction efforts, and contributed to NATO’s fund for non-lethal equipment, such as anti-drone detection systems. Tokyo has also warned of potential conflicts in East Asia, particularly concerning China’s assertive territorial claims, including Taiwan.

“This summit is a critical opportunity for Japan, the U.S., and other NATO allies to confront ongoing challenges to the international order and to reaffirm values and principles that have shaped global peace and prosperity,” Kishida said.

However, there are limits to how far NATO members are willing to forge closer ties in Asia. A plan to open NATO’s first liaison office in Japan was blocked by France and criticized by China.

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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