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NATO Secretary-General: Strengthening our partnership with Japan

  • June 30, 2022
  • , Nikkei Asia
  • English Press

I am honored to welcome Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to our NATO summit in Madrid on June 29. This is the first time leaders from our four Indo-Pacific partners — Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the South Korea — will participate together in a NATO summit. We will discuss ways to strengthen our cooperation, faced with the most serious security challenges in decades.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal war on Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and shaken the global order. The immediate aftershocks of Russia’s aggression go far beyond Europe’s borders, fueling inflation, and food and energy crises worldwide. Moscow’s attempts to tear up the global rule-book and wipe a free and independent nation from the map pose a fundamental and lasting threat to our shared security.

 

I welcome the fact that Japan has joined the unprecedented sanctions NATO allies have applied on President Putin’s war efforts and regime and is providing humanitarian support, financial assistance and nonlethal aid to help Ukraine prevail. Japan’s Foreign Minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, attended the meetings of allied foreign ministers and Group of Seven foreign ministers held at NATO earlier this year, where we discussed the global implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

 

Beijing has joined Moscow’s attempts to undermine the international rules-based order and its coercive policies challenge our interests, security and values. We face other growing and interconnected threats from climate change, cyberattacks and disruptive technologies to terrorism, instability and nuclear proliferation. NATO is deeply concerned by North Korea’s persistent, provocative and destabilizing behavior, including its ballistic missile tests. We continue to monitor the situation closely with our partners in the region and call on Pyongyang to comply fully with international law.

 

NATO has stood firm in the defense of freedom, democracy and the rule of law for more than 70 years. We fully support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations enshrined in the U.N. charter. At our transformative summit in Madrid, we will continue to defend our shared values and security by strengthening our support for our partners while keeping NATO agile, alert and adapting.

 

We will agree NATO’s next Strategic Concept to reflect the radically changed security environment, marked by rising strategic competition, the renewed threat of conflict and persistent instability. We will forge a new policy on Russia, craft common ground on the challenges posed by China and significantly step up our deterrence and defense to defend every inch of allied territory against any threat.

 

NATO has a unique network of 40 partners across the globe. At the summit, we will step up NATO’s support to Ukraine through adopting a comprehensive assistance package and increase our tailor-made support to other partners at risk of Russian interference to strengthen their resilience for the long-term. We will also enhance our cooperation with like-minded nations and organizations to defend our democratic values in the face of the authoritarian pushback against global rules.

Japan’s participation in the Madrid summit is a historic milestone in our bilateral relations and in NATO’s wider relations with our Indo-Pacific partners. It demonstrates how closely connected our security is and the importance of sharing information on the common challenges the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions face. We may be oceans apart, but NATO and Japan have a strong and long-standing partnership. We have been engaged in dialogue and cooperation for more than 30 years. Particularly over the last decade, our cooperation has grown from strength to strength.

 

NATO and Japan have worked together to stabilize Afghanistan, counter piracy off the coast of Somalia and build partners’ capacities, such as Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Jordan. We have stepped up our scientific cooperation and are working together on cyber defense. NATO and Japanese ships also exercised together earlier this month in the Mediterranean Sea. I look forward to strengthening our cooperation on maritime security, innovation and human security.

 

Last year, as part of our ambitious NATO 2030 agenda, we pledged to strengthen relations with our Indo-Pacific partners even further. Earlier this year, as a result, we agreed an agenda for tackling shared security challenges. We are now translating this strong political will into practical cooperation in key areas, including cyber, new technologies, countering disinformation, maritime security, climate change and resilience.

 

In this more dangerous and competitive world, we need close friends and strong partners more than ever. In 2017, I was honored to visit Tokyo as NATO secretary-general. What I said then is even more relevant now: in a world of complex and evolving threats, no one country or organization can afford to stand alone. Global challenges require a global response.

 

I look forward to deepening NATO’s cooperation with Japan and with all our like-minded partners to promote peace, protect our shared security and send a clear message that violence and intimidation will not pay.

 

Jens Stoltenberg has been NATO Secretary-General since October 2014.

 

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