From greater investments to closer-than-ever defense and security cooperation, Japan-Germany relations have soared to unprecedented heights in recent years, Berlin’s top envoy to Tokyo has said, as the partners align their strategic interests to tackle what they view as mounting challenges to the international order.

“We have always had a very close relationship but, given the geostrategic and geopolitical changes in recent years, our cooperation is now more intense than ever before,” German Ambassador Clemens von Goetze told The Japan Times in a recent interview, pointing to shared concerns such as the war in Ukraine, supply chain disruptions and security tensions in East Asia.

The growing momentum — which will reportedly see Prime Minister Fumio Kishida make his first visit to Germany as leader next month — is largely reflected in the expanding defense, diplomatic and economic security cooperation between the strategic partners. Berlin has realized that it can no longer afford to ignore Indo-Pacific issues, while Tokyo has sought to forge a united front of “like-minded” partners to deal with an “increasingly severe” global security environment.