May 24, 2023
Japan PM Kishida mulls attending NATO summit in July: gov’t sources
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is making arrangements to attend a NATO summit scheduled for July, government sources said Wednesday, as the Asian country has deepened ties with the trans-Atlantic alliance amid global security concerns.
On the sidelines of the summit in Lithuania, Kishida is expected to hold bilateral talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s plan to open a liaison office in Tokyo, the sources said.
Kishida and Stoltenberg are also likely to map out a new Japan-NATO security cooperation document, called the Individually Tailored Partnership Program….
In 2022, Kishida became the first Japanese prime minister to join a NATO summit….
At the summit in Spain last year, Kishida expressed eagerness to update a partnership document with NATO to boost cooperation, as the Western military alliance now views Japan as a partner nation.
At the invitation of Stoltenberg, Zelenskyy is also set to take part in the NATO summit. It will be the first time for Lithuania to host the summit since joining the 31-member security alliance in 2004.
In addition to Ukraine’s possible accession to NATO, the alliance’s leaders are poised to exchange views on the importance of bolstering security cooperation between the Indo-Pacific region and Europe, with China in mind.
A plan to set up an office of the Brussels-based NATO in Tokyo, meanwhile, was unveiled earlier this month by Japan’s ambassador to the United States….
Prime Minister Kishida at NATO summit in Madrid last year. Photo: Kyodo.