All national dailies reported that Foreign Minister Hayashi took part in the NATO conference on the war in Ukraine held in Brussels on Thursday, saying that this was the first time for a Japanese foreign minister to attend a NATO-related session. With China’s robust military activities in mind, Hayashi reportedly said: “It is wrong to consider security in Europe separately from that of the Indo-Pacific region at a time when the international order is being seriously challenged…. China has yet to condemn Russia over its aggression against Ukraine.”
Regarding his participation in the NATO meeting along with three other Asian representatives, Hayashi said: “It is high time for NATO to strengthen coordination with its Asian partners.” The papers said Japan is keen to capitalize on mounting European interest in the Pacific theater to draw stronger engagement by NATO to deter China’s provocations. Yomiuri noted that NATO also regards deeper bonds with the four Asia-Pacific partners as critical not only to prevent China from offering various assistance to Russia but also to keep Beijing’s hegemonic ambitions across the world in check.