Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was set to attend a NATO summit meeting on Wednesday, becoming the first Japanese leader to do so, as the trans-Atlantic alliance seeks to deepen ties with Asia-Pacific partners amid China's rise.

The two-day summit in Spain, which follows the Group of Seven leaders' meeting in Germany, will see NATO members commit to bolstering defenses in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while endorsing a new Strategic Concept — the alliance's guiding document for the next decade — that would refer to China for the first time.

NATO has invited to the gathering the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, which the Brussels-based organization views as its Asia-Pacific partner countries, also an unprecedented move.