NATO Secretary General meets visiting Japanese high school students
The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed a group of visiting high school students that were victims of the earthquake and tsunami that affected Japan on 11 March 2011.
Addressing the group at NATO Headquarters, the NATO Secretary General said that while Japan is not a member of NATO, it is a very important and long-standing partner and spoke with the students about the shared values of the Alliance.
“NATO is more than just a military Alliance”, the Secretary General said. “It is also a community of shared beliefs and principles. All members share the same fundamental values of liberty, democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. And all our members are prepared to defend these values whenever necessary”, he added.
The NATO Secretary General said that Japan regularly makes extremely valuable contributions to NATO’s operations and missions in support of the United Nations and spoke with the students about NATO’s cooperation with Japan.
“Our friendship goes back a long way”, the Secretary General said. "Japan is NATO’s oldest partner from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO nations and Japan share the same values. We face many of the same challenges. So we regularly consult and brief each other on our security concerns. And we have agreed to work together even more closely in the future.”
The group of students was selected from three High Schools in the Miyagi Prefecture in Japan and visited Belgium as part of an educational exchange programme with support of the International School of Brussels, non-governmental organisations and the cities of Antwerp and Bruges.