by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida

  • 12 Jul. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 12 Jul. 2023 08:28

(As delivered)

Prime Minister Kishida,

Welcome to NATO.

It is really great to see you again.

We met earlier this year in Tokyo and it's good to see you here in Brussels. 

We highly value the partnership with Japan. No other partner is closer to NATO than Japan. 

And you have stated many times that what happens in Asia matters for Europe and what happens in Europe, matters for Asia. That demonstrates that security is not regional, security is global. 

And that is demonstrated by the ongoing war in Ukraine which has global ramifications, and we are extremely grateful for your strong support to Ukraine, your economic support, and also the fact that you visited Kyiv some months ago. 

We are of course also concerned about China's heavy military build-up, the modernization and expansion of its nuclear forces, and we are of course, following very closely and condemning the nuclear and missiles programs of North Korea, violating international norms and multiple UN Security Council resolutions. 

And we saw the latest missile launched by North Korea once again reminding us of the nuclear missile programs which are in violation of international law. 

So we strongly appreciate the fact that you are here, participating in the NATO Summit. 

We look forward to deepening further cooperation and to have the meeting later on today with the Indo Pacific partners.

So once again, Prime Minister welcome to NATO.