Japan Strengthens Its Partnership with NATO

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh RasmussenNATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday (06 May 2014) signed a roadmap detailing areas where the Alliance and Japan will work to widen and deepen their longstanding partnership. “Today we signed an agreement that will take this relationship a step further,” said the Secretary General. “It will bring our practical cooperation to a new level including in the areas of counter piracy, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.”

The Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP), signed during a visit by Prime Minister Abe to NATO headquarters, will strengthen political dialogue and practical cooperation between the Alliance and Japan. The Prime Minister also addressed a special session of the North Atlantic Council. “Our discussions show how highly we value our relationship and how much potential there is to do more,” said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen.

Tuesday’s signing of the IPCP builds on a joint political declaration the Secretary General and the Prime Minister signed in Tokyo in April 2013, which set the groundwork for strengthening NATO-Japan cooperation. Japan is the Alliance’s oldest partner outside of the Euro-Atlantic area. “Our partnership is based up on shared values, a shared commitment to international peace and security and to the principles of the United Nations and international law,” said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen.

The Secretary General said that there was no doubt that the security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic and Asia-Pacific regions were interlinked, pointing to the crisis in Ukraine. “In this time of crisis our dialogue with like-minded partners like Japan is key to address global security challenges,” he said.

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Image: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (photo: NATO)