From July 11th to 12th, NATO will hold a summit in Vilnius. The capital of Lithuania, and discuss key issues such as military support for Ukraine and Sweden’s “entry into the Treaty”. There was a lot of buzz. However, according to the “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” report on the 10th. NATO‘s plan to open Asia’s first liaison office in Tokyo, Japan, has been postponed until after this fall.
According to reports, NATO‘s original plan was to include the content of the new liaison office in Japan in the relevant documents adopted at the Vilnius summit held in Lithuania on July 11–12. NATO stipulates that relevant decisions must be unanimously approved by the participating countries, but France has made it clear that it does not support this plan. On the 7th, a person from the French presidential palace emphasised to the media. That it is not appropriate for NATO to set up a stronghold in the Indo-Pacific region with the United States. And Europe as its collective defence targets.
According to relevant sources, the content discussed at the summit will include negotiations on Sweden’s accession to NATO. The creation of a long-term assistance framework for Ukraine and the extension of the current NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s term of office for one year. Compared with the previous issues that need to be resolved. The establishment of the Tokyo Liaison Office has a “lower priority”. And related work will be postponed until after the fall of this year. A decision may be made near the end of the year.
Japan has ‘strong interest’ in expanding cooperation with NATO.
Japan has been actively expanding its cooperation with NATO in recent years. In 2022, the then-Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida became the first Japanese head of government to attend the NATO summit. Japan’s foreign ministry has since decided to boost the mission’s status by sending an independent representative to NATO, separating it from its embassy in Brussels. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has repeatedly confirmed that NATO has plans to open a liaison office in Tokyo.