NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, April 15, 2013

From Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO:  My visit to Asia is about partnerships. It is an opportunity to showcase these partnerships and to make them stronger. Because our partnerships are in the interest of peace. . . .

Today’s NATO is a new NATO.  It’s a NATO with a global perspective.  It’s a NATO with global partners.  And Japan is our longest-standing global partner.
This long partnership is understandable.  Because NATO and Japan are like-minded.  We share the same values.  We share the same security challenges.  And we share the same desire to work together.  So we can help the United Nations and the international community to reinforce the rules-based international system.  And to build security and stability – both in our own regions, and beyond.
But let me make one thing clear.  The Alliance’s global perspective does not mean that NATO seeks a presence in the Asia-Pacific region.   What it does mean, is that NATO seeks to work with the Asia-Pacific region.  And Japan is a key partner for this endeavour. . . .

No country and no continent can be insulated against these new, global security challenges.  And no country, and no continent, can deal with them on its own. 
To these common problems, we need common approaches and responses.  To deal with instability.  To confront global threats such as terrorism, cyber attacks, and proliferation.  And to maintain the free movement of people, goods and information on which our economies and our very way of life depend.
Over the past two decades, NATO has been an important driver for that kind of international cooperation.
In the Balkans, in the 1990s, NATO intervened to put an end to massive human rights violations, and restored stability to the region.
In Libya, in 2011, we enforced an historic United Nations Security Council resolution to protect civilians from attacks.
Off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, we are protecting the vital international sea lanes and helping reduce the rate of successful pirate attacks.
And in Afghanistan, we continue to deny a safe haven to extremists, to help build a safer future for Afghans and the whole region, and so to enhance the security of our own nations.
Today, practically all that we do, we do with partner nations, such as Japan.  Because we all know that in today’s security environment, cooperative security is the key to success.
So let me take this opportunity to thank you for the considerable and consistent support that Japan has provided to NATO these past 20 years.
In the Balkans region, while NATO played the major military role in ending the war, Japan played a major economic role in building the peace.
Without the significant economic assistance that your country provided, the region would not be as stable, as safe, and as secure as it is today.
In Azerbaijan, you have helped to clear unexploded weapons and contamination from vast areas of land.
And in the Gulf of Aden, your Maritime Self Defence Force has been helping NATO ships to prevent attacks by pirates in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
But it is in Afghanistan where much of Japan’s assistance and support has been focused.  So many Afghan men and women benefit from Japan’s commitment — and Japan’s contributions — to make their country more safe and more secure. . . .

NATO and Japan share the same commitment to freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights.  And we share the commitment to protect those values.
By working together, NATO and Japan can continue to strengthen our partnership.  Promote our values.  And enhance security and stability for the benefit of everyone.
Together, this is our vision.  And together, we can make it happen.

Excerpts from speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the Japan National Press Club, Tokyo.  (photo: NATO)