Though on opposite sides of the globe, Finland shares much in common with Japan in terms of values and, with its northern island of Hokkaido, much in common in terms of geography and climate.

The two countries, which bookend Russia, are both concerned about the situation in Ukraine. That is leading to growing cooperation in bilateral and multilateral military, security and defense relations, said Tanja Jaaskelainen, Finland’s ambassador to Japan, during a recent interview with The Japan Times.

With the Group of Seven Leaders’ Summit set to take place in Hiroshima this weekend, the ambassador called on Japan to use the occasion to send a firm message that the world will stand firm against Russia.