Japan will be attending a NATO summit for the first time in its history. This is in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its continued regional aggression. Japan has been a long-time supporter of NATO, and this summit provides a significant opportunity for them to reaffirm that commitment. Japan is also looking to deepen its cooperation with NATO on security issues, including counterterrorism and cyber defense.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Wednesday that he will attend the NATO summit, which will occur between June 28 and June 30 in Madrid, Spain.
Kishida said that Japan “attaches great importance to the role of NATO in maintaining international security and stability.
He also said that Japan is “determined to further deepen its cooperation with NATO” and hopes to use the summit to “reaffirm Japan’s commitment to contribute to international peace and security.”
Kishida stressed that Russia’s use of force is unjustified and unforgivable, and breaking international law has a “serious cost.”
He said that Japan will continue to work with the international community to maintain peace and stability in Europe.
Kishida would be the first Japanese prime minister to attend a NATO meeting. Kishida added that his presence would be “for the first time as Prime Minister of Japan.”
This is a significant step for Japan, which has been increasingly concerned about Russia’s aggression in the region. “I have a strong sense of urgency that Ukraine may be East Asia tomorrow,” he warned.
Kishida has already committed to significant increases in Japan’s military strength and budget. He said that the protection of lives and the economy’s turnaround were among his top priorities since taking office.
NATO appears to be stronger now than it was before Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Finland and Sweden announced they intended to apply for NATO membership after the invasion.