Japan is in talks to open a NATO office in the country, the first of its kind in Asia. This was announced by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi in an interview with CNN.
According to him, Russia's invasion of Ukraine made the world less stable, and it also forced Japan to rethink regional security. Hayashi did not provide other details about the alliance's office and its possible location.
“What is happening in Eastern Europe is not only a problem for her, it directly affects the situation here in the Pacific region. That is why cooperation between us in East Asia and NATO [becomes] more and more important.”
Separately, the minister recalled that Japan is not a member of NATO, but this step makes it clear that the bloc's partners in the Asia-Pacific region "cooperate very steadily" with the member countries of the alliance.
The possible opening of a NATO office in Japan was first reported by the Nikkei Asia on May 3, citing unnamed Japanese and NATO officials. NATO has similar liaison offices in other countries, including Ukraine. An office in Japan will allow discussions with alliance security partners such as South Korea, Australia and New Zealand on geopolitical issues, new technologies, and cyber threats, the Nikkei noted.
A NATO spokesman told CNN, commenting on the possible opening of a representative office, that NATO would not go into details of ongoing discussions between allies. However, the source stressed that NATO and Japan "has long-standing cooperation."
On April 4, Finland officially joined NATO, becoming the 31st member of the alliance. As a result, the total length of the land border of the Russian Federation with the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance has more than doubled. Military experts told The Insider that Russia's defense strategy may change as the country perceives NATO expansion as a threat, but Finland's decision only strengthened regional security. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the expansion of NATO, said that this "is another aggravation of the situation" and "an encroachment on the security of the Russian Federation", in response to which Moscow will be forced to take "countermeasures".