NATO and Japan sign Political Declaration for a stronger partnership

  • 15 Apr. 2013 -
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  • Last updated: 15 Apr. 2013 15:45

Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen signed a Joint Political Declaration with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe which provides a framework for the further development of the relationship between NATO and Japan. “I am convinced that the joint political declaration we have just signed will make our partnership even stronger in the future,” said the Secretary General during his visit to Tokyo on Monday (15 April).

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe

Mr Fogh Rasmussen said the declaration highlights that the relationship between NATO and Japan is based on joint values and the common security challenges faced by both. “While NATO has no ambition to take on a permanent role in Asia, we see very clearly the advantage of working with like-minded partners like Japan,” he said. "The signing of the declaration also reflected Prime Minister Abe’s personal commitment to a strong relationship with NATO," said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen.

This is the first joint declaration signed between NATO and Japan. In the document, Japan and NATO spell out their shared strategic interests in promoting global peace, stability and prosperity, through pursuing a rules-based international order that promotes peaceful settlements of disputes. It indicates areas where cooperation can be increased, such as closer coordination in managing crisis situations and intensifying cooperation to jointly handle challenges such as disaster relief, terrorism, piracy and cyber attacks.

The Secretary General and the Japanese Prime Minister also discussed North Korea. Mr. Fogh Rasmussen commended international efforts to seek a peaceful solution through dialogue.

During his visit, the Secretary General also held talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera and he met with members of the Japanese Diet. The Secretary General thanked them for their country’s commitment to international security, and notably Japan's contribution in Afghanistan and he expressed hope that Japan will continue its support there after 2014. "We thank you for Japan’s enormous contributions to supporting security and development in Afghanistan," said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen. Japan has in the past contributed to building peace in the Balkans, fighting piracy on the high seas and making Afghanistan more safe and secure.  “We are natural partners and together we can make a difference,” the Secretary General said.