Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Affirms Japan’s Non-Membership Stance on NATO, Acknowledges Opening of Liaison Office

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In a parliamentary session on Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed that Japan has no intentions of becoming a member or semi-member state of NATO, despite the security alliance’s plan to establish a liaison office in the country. The announcement came in response to the Japanese ambassador to the United States, who had earlier revealed that NATO was preparing to open an office in Tokyo, marking its first presence in Asia and aiming to enhance regional consultations.

During the session, Kishida stated that he was not aware of any official decision made by NATO regarding the establishment of the office. He clarified that Japan did not have any plans to join NATO in any capacity, emphasizing the country’s independent approach to security arrangements.

While Japan acknowledges the significance of NATO’s intention to set up a liaison office in Tokyo, Kishida emphasized that this move does not indicate a shift towards NATO membership. Japan remains committed to its existing security partnerships and alliances in the region while maintaining its own independent defense policy. The establishment of a NATO liaison office in Japan could potentially facilitate greater collaboration and consultation between Japan and NATO, fostering a deeper understanding of regional security challenges and interests. However, Japan’s position on NATO membership remains unchanged, as it continues to pursue its own strategic objectives while working closely with its existing partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

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