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Kishida mulls attending NATO summit in Spain

  • June 4, 2022
  • , Asahi, Yomiuri, Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Saturday evening’s Nikkei wrote that Prime Minister Kishida is considering participating in the NATO summit scheduled for late June in Madrid to convey Japan’s plan to continue taking a concerted approach with NATO members to help Ukraine defeat Russian forces and call for NATO’s greater commitment to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific amid China’s growing presence. The Japanese leader is likely to travel to Spain following his attendance at the annual G7 leaders’ meeting to be held in Germany on June 26-28. A final decision on the proposed European trip will be made while taking into consideration the 18-day official campaign of the Upper House election slated for July 10.

 

In a follow-up report, the business daily wrote on Sunday that by attending the NATO conference, Kishida hopes to draw NATO’s attention to the security situation in East Asia with China’s potential aggression against Taiwan in mind. Although some administration officials are cautious about the premier traveling overseas ahead of a critical national election, others take the view that his participation in the major international confab at this juncture will help boost the LDP’s standing at a time when more voters are interested in security and global affairs following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

 

Yomiuri ran a similar story, saying that Kishida has dismissed concern about the proposed European tour keeping him out of the country for almost a week during the election campaign based on the belief that his attendance at the NATO session would raise Japan’s presence in the international community. Asahi wrote that as South Korean President Yoon is also likely to attend the NATO summit, he and Kishida may hold talks on the margins.

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