Joint press conference
with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - Opening remarks by the Secretary General
Prime Minister, it is a great pleasure to be back in Japan, and to meet you. Your personal commitment to a strong relationship between Japan and NATO is long-standing. And I am convinced that the joint political declaration we have just signed will make our partnership even stronger in the future.
This declaration highlights that our relationship is founded on our joint values and the common security challenges we face. Japan and NATO are dedicated to the values of individual liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. And although the security environments are different in the Euro-Atlantic region and the Asia-Pacific, we know that in today's world, we are all connected and our security can be affected by challenges well beyond our borders.
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.
That is what we are doing together in Afghanistan. NATO is leading the ISAF mission, under the mandate of the United Nations, to help make sure that it never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists who could threaten international security.
We thank you for Japan’s enormous contributions to supporting security and development in Afghanistan. Our efforts complement and reinforce one another. Because we can do more together than we could do alone.
And that is a lesson which goes far beyond Afghanistan. There are many areas in which cooperation between NATO and Japan could benefit international security. We could work together more closely to avert crises whenever possible, and support the building of security whenever needed. We can do more together to deal with challenges such as disaster relief, terrorism, piracy, and cyber attacks.
So our declaration also charts the course for the future of our partnership, through deeper political dialogue and greater practical cooperation. Because by working together, we can make a real difference for our security and for the rest of the world.
The Prime Minister and I have of course discussed the series of North Korean statements, missile launches and nuclear tests, which are of concern to the whole international community.
NATO strongly condemns North Korea’s provocative rhetoric and provocative actions. They pose a serious threat to regional and international peace, security and stability.
I urge North Korea to refrain from any further provocations and to fulfil its international obligations to fully implement all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. And I commend all efforts to seek peaceful solutions through dialogue. Because nobody could have an interest in further escalating the tensions in this region.
In the joint political declaration, Japan and NATO acknowledge our shared strategic interests in promoting global peace, stability and prosperity, through pursuing a rules-based international order that promotes peaceful settlements of disputes.
So Prime Minister, thank you very much. And thank you for your continued commitment to our partnership.