Allies agree Japan’s Mission to NATO

  • 24 May. 2018 -
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  • Last updated: 24 May. 2018 17:39

The North Atlantic Council agreed on Thursday (24 May 2018) to accept Japan’s request to designate its Embassy to Belgium as its Mission to NATO. The Ambassador of Japan to Belgium will be the Head of the Mission of Japan to NATO.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a joint press conference in Tokyo, 31 October 2017.

In 2011, Allies decided to invite all partner nations to establish Missions to NATO. Since then more than two dozen partners have done so, in order to further deepen ties with the Alliance.

Japan is NATO’s longest-standing partner outside Europe, with deepening cooperation since the early 1990s. Over the years, the Alliance and Japan have worked together to stabilize Afghanistan, to counter piracy off the coast of Somalia, and to strengthen partners like Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Jordan. Today, Japan has liaison officers at NATO, including at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium, and Maritime Command in the United Kingdom. Japan also contributes a staff officer in support of the Alliance’s work on Women, Peace and Security.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Tokyo in October 2017, where he met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera. During the visit, both sides agreed to deepen cooperation in areas of common concern, including maritime security, cyber defence, nuclear non-proliferation, and gender mainstreaming in peace missions.