• Kyodo


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg affirmed Thursday in Brussels that Japan and NATO should expand their existing cooperation, particularly in maritime security and cybersecurity.

“By further strengthening cooperation between Japan and NATO, we must make solid the foundation of (ties between) Japan, the United States and Europe, which share basic values…I agreed on this awareness with Secretary General Stoltenberg today,” Abe said at a joint news event after their talks at NATO headquarters.

In Abe’s first meeting with Stoltenberg since the latter took up his post in 2014, they both hailed Japan’s participation in NATO activities, including counterpiracy and cybersecurity initiatives, under a partnership and cooperation program started in 2014.

“In the future, we could also look into further maritime cooperation and expand our dialogue on security challenges. We should seek to deepen our cyberdefense cooperation, where NATO sees Japan as a key partner,” Stoltenberg said.

Their meeting followed North Korea’s apparent test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday.

“Our position is very clear: North Korea must comply with its international obligations, stop all activities related to its ballistic missile and nuclear programs, abandon all existing weapons of mass destruction programs once and for all and engage in real dialogue with the international community,” Stoltenberg said.

Abe also said he invited Stoltenberg to visit Japan before the end of the year.

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