Last update: 16-May-2006 17:13 NATO Update

4 May 2006


Japanese Foreign Minister debuts at NATO Council

03/05/2006 - NATO
Visit to NATO by H. E. Mr. Taro Aso, Foreign Minister of Japan, 4 May 2006
27/04/2006 - NATO
NATO looks to global partnerships
03/04/2005 - NATO
NATO Secretary General visits Japan
Opening remarks by NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in the North Atlantic Council
Japan and NATO in a New Security Environment
- Speech by Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council
Opening remarks in the North Atlantic Council (wmv/2866kb)
Joint press point (MP3/3373kb)
High resolution photos of the visit

Japan intends to work more closely with NATO, Foreign Minister Taro Aso told Alliance decision-makers in what was the first address by a Japanese Foreign Minister to the North Atlantic Council, 4 May.

Mr. Aso’s visit to NATO Headquarters comes as the Alliance is looking at strengthening its relations with non-member countries.

We have far too much in common to allow our geographical separation to prevent us from working closely together,” said NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as he welcomed Mr. Aso to the Council.

Time for closer cooperation

The Secretary General stressed that Japan and NATO share the same values, face the same threats and are engaged in many of the same areas, including Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Foreign Minister said that “now is the time” for discussions on deeper relations between NATO and Japan.

NATO and Japan have had a strategic dialogue since the early 1990s, with officials meeting on a biannual basis to discuss security topics of mutual interest.

This was the first time that a Japanese Foreign Minister formally addressed the Council.