by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Yoshimasa Hayashi
Welcome to NATO Headquarters. It is great to see you again. We met not so many weeks ago in Tokyo, and it’s a great pleasure and honour to welcome you here at NATO Headquarters, because no other partner is closer and more capable than Japan.
Therefore, we really appreciate our partnership; the political dialogue, the practical cooperation, and we welcome this opportunity to further expand what we do together. We see clearly that in a more dangerous and unpredictable world security is not regional, security is global. What happens in Europe matters for Asia, for the Indo Pacific, and what happens in Asia and the Indo Pacific matters for Europe.
Your Prime Minister also said very clearly that what happens in Europe can actually happen in Asia, as we see with the war going on in Ukraine.
Therefore the war in Ukraine also matters for you, because we should make sure that authoritarian leaders do not draw the lesson that when they use military force, when they violate international law – as President Putin does in Ukraine – that they can get what they want.
So therefore I also welcome your strong commitment, the clear message from the government of Japan condemning the illegal invasion of Ukraine; but also your financial support to NATO’s assistance package for Ukraine; and of course I also welcome the fact that you Prime Minister visited Kyiv recently. All this demonstrates that actually security is interlinked.
We are now stepping up our cooperation with our partners in the Indo Pacific – Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia. We welcome the fact that you are here today; you will participate in a meeting tomorrow; but also the fact that we have invited the heads of state and government of our Indo Pacific partners – including Japan – to participate at the NATO Summit in Vilnius in July, this year.
We also of course welcome very much that you have decided to open a dedicated diplomatic mission to NATO.
All of these are important steps on our path towards further strengthening our partnership, which we highly value.
Once again, a warm welcome to you.