NATO, Japan pledge to strengthen ties, warn ‘Beijing is watching’

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged on Tuesday to strengthen ties, saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its growing military cooperation with China had created the tensest security environment since World War Two, Reuters reported.

The two leaders met in Tokyo for discussions that covered topics including Russia’s nuclear threats, joint military drills between Russia and China near Japan, and North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, according to a joint statement released following the meeting, Reuters reported.

Speaking at a joint news conference, Kishida said that intensified Japan-NATO cooperation was needed “in order to maintain and strengthen the rules-based, free and open international order”.

Stoltenberg told reporters a Russian victory in Ukraine would embolden China, saying “Beijing is watching closely, and learning lessons that may influence its future decisions”, adding that “what is happening in Europe today could happen in East Asia tomorrow”.