Opening statement to the North Atlantic Council

by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the occasion of the visit of the Prime Minister of Japan to NATO

  • 06 May. 2014 -
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  • Last updated 13-May-2014 12:42

The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe attends the North Atlantic Council meeting

Good afternoon.         

Prime Minister, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you here today.  This is the second time you will address this Council, after your landmark visit in 2007. This demonstrates the role you have played in the deepening of the NATO-Japan partnership. Your visit is all the more timely given the background of your new National Security Strategy, which emphasizes your vision for Japan’s proactive contribution to peace.

Prime Minister, our partnership is grounded in our shared values.  The 28 NATO Allies represented around this table and Japan are like-minded.  We are democratic countries founded on the same view of upholding individual liberty and human rights. We share the belief that the international order should rest on multilateral cooperation, the primacy of international law, and the importance of human rights.  We share security challenges, as well as a determination to work together.  That is why I called Japan and NATO "natural partners" when I enjoyed your hospitality in Tokyo last year.

During that visit, we concluded a Joint Political Declaration which reaffirmed the common values that bring together Japan and NATO. It included welcome steps to make our bond more visible and it spelled out our determination to work more closely together.  On that basis, a few minutes ago we signed an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme, which will serve as a practical roadmap for our joint activities.

Je tiens à exprimer notre gratitude pour les remarquables contributions apportées par le Japon aux initiatives de l'OTAN. Votre pays a joué un rôle essentiel en Afghanistan à l'appui d'autres efforts internationaux, notamment ceux de la FIAS et de l'OTAN. Je soulignerai à cet égard avec une grande reconnaissance les milliards de dollars que le Japon a mis à disposition pour soutenir de petits projets locaux au travers des équipes de reconstruction provinciales, ainsi que le soutien financier qu'il continue de fournir aux forces de sécurité afghanes.

Monsieur le Premier ministre, nous nous réjouissons d'entendre votre point de vue sur la relation bilatérale entre l'OTAN et le Japon, ainsi que sur l'environnement stratégique de votre pays.

Prime Minister, the floor is yours.