Kyodo News
February 1, 2023

Japan, NATO vow to continue sanctions on Russia, ahead of G-7 summit

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg pledged Wednesday to continue imposing punitive sanctions on Russia over its war in Ukraine, around three months before Japan hosts the Group of Seven summit.

During their meeting in Tokyo, Hayashi and Stoltenberg also exchanged views on…closer collaboration between Japan and the U.S.-led, trans-Atlantic alliance, according to the Foreign Ministry.

On Tuesday in Tokyo, Stoltenberg confirmed with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida that Japan and NATO will further cooperate in addressing “the changing strategic environment,” with Russia and China bolstering their military ties recently.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning criticized NATO for strengthening security ties with Asia-Pacific countries and fabricating “China threats.”

“The Asia-Pacific is not a battlefield for geopolitical competition, and the Cold War mentality and confrontation between camps are not welcome,” she said.


NATO regards Japan, a U.S. close ally, as a partner nation. Tokyo has been reinforcing security relations with the 30-country alliance….

On Wednesday, Hayashi told Stoltenberg that it is meaningful for Japan and NATO, which share fundamental values, to “deliver a strong message” at a time of “this historical inflection point.”

Stoltenberg stressed the importance of his organization and Tokyo working together in various fields….


Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, started his four-day tour to East Asia on Sunday. He made a trip to South Korea for talks with President Yoon Suk Yeol before visiting Japan.


Associated Press
February 1, 2023

NATO chief wants more ‘friends’ as Russia, China move closer

China’s growing assertiveness and collaboration with Russia pose a challenge not only to Asia but also to Europe, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday as he sought stronger cooperation and more “friends” for NATO in the Indo-Pacific region.


“The fact that Russia and China are coming closer and the significant investments by China and new advanced military capabilities just underlines that China poses a threat, poses a challenge also to NATO allies,” Stoltenberg told an audience at Keio University in Tokyo. “Security is not regional but global.”

“NATO needs to make sure we have friends,” he said. “It is important to work more closely with our partners in the Indo-Pacific.”


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning defended China as “a force for regional and global peace and stability” and criticized NATO for labeling China a threat and for expanding its military ties to Asia.

“NATO has constantly sought to reach beyond its traditional defense zone and scope, strengthen military and security ties with Asia Pacific countries and played up China’s threats,” Mao said. “I would like to stress that the Asia-Pacific is not a battlefield for the geopolitical contest and does not welcome the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation.”