Japan's Kishida considering joining NATO summit | World News - Hindustan Times

Japan's Kishida considering joining NATO summit

Agencies | , Tokyo, Stockholm
Jun 06, 2022 06:08 AM IST

Spain's capital, Madrid, will host the 2-day NATO summit on June 29 and 30.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is leaning toward attending a summit of leaders from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) in late June to spur coordination with the West over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kyodo News reported, citing unnamed government sources.

Japan's PM Fumio Kishida during the recent Quad summit hosted by his country. (Bloomberg)
Japan's PM Fumio Kishida during the recent Quad summit hosted by his country. (Bloomberg)

The move would mark an unusually aggressive stance for a Japanese leader although Kishida has repeatedly condemned Russia over what he has described as a “war crime” against Ukraine.

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In the past, Japanese leaders have maintained a careful line on their relations with Russia as the two countries have wrangled over decades-old territorial disputes. A government spokesman said officials would be unable to comment on the Kyodo report before Monday.

The Nato summit takes place on June 29-30 in the Spanish capital Madrid, which would likely overlap with the campaign ahead of elections in Japan pencilled in for July 10.

Kishida will make a final decision later, taking into account the political situation before the upper house elections, the government sources were quoted as telling Kyodo.

Nato has invited Japan to the summit, along with Australia, New Zealand and South Korea as its partners in the Asia-Pacific region. Kishida’s presence at the summit would be welcomed as delivering a strong message of international solidarity on the Ukraine crisis, the sources were quoted as saying by Kyodo.

Milley backs Sweden, Finland’s Nato bids

Top US General Mark Milley said Saturday that the United States is determined to support Sweden and Finland as the countries pursue Nato membership, a statement underscored by his visit to the USS Kearsarge after it became the largest US warship ever to dock in Stockholm.

“It’s important for us, the United States, and it’s important for the other Nato countries to show solidarity with both Finland and Sweden in this exercise,” General Milley said ahead of Nato’s annual Baltic Sea naval manoeuvres.

The “Baltops 22” naval exercise is set to run from June 5 to 17 and involve 14 Nato countries as well as Sweden and Finland.

That invasion prompted the two Nordic countries to reverse decades of military non-alignment and apply for Nato membership.

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