Visit to NATO by Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
Today, Japanese Prime Minister Abe paid an historic visit to NATO Headquarters, the first ever by a Japanese Head of Government.
The Prime Minister first held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General, and then met with the full North Atlantic Council. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan's interest in building a stronger partnership with NATO, both politically and in practical terms -- an interest both echoed and welcomed by the Alliance.
NATO also welcomed Prime Minister Abe's announcement that Japan would enhance its already substantial role in Afghanistan by directly supporting NATO's Provincial Reconstruction Teams, for example in the areas of humanitarian assistance.
All parties agreed that NATO and Japan share an interest in more profound cooperation to defend shared values in a world where security threats -- such as the menace posed by North Korea's missile and nuclear programs -- are transnational in nature.