Japan and the NATO are in negotiations to open a liaison office for this body in Tokyo, which would be the first of its kind in Asiaexplained the Japanese Foreign Minister, Yoshimasa Hayashiin an interview with the chain CNN.
“We are already in talks, but the details have not yet been finalizedsaid Hayashi, who called the russian invasion of Ukraine “as an event with repercussions far beyond the borders of Europe, which has forced Japan to rethink regional security.”
“The reason why we are arguing about this is that, since Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the world has become more unstable”, the diplomat specified to the American chain.
“Something that happens in Eastern Europe is not just limited to being an Eastern European problem, it directly affects the situation here in the Pacific. That is why a cooperation between us, in East Asia, and NATO (is) becoming… more and more important,” she added.
Some local Japanese media, citing unidentified officials as sources, have already raised the possibility that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization could open an office in Japan.
The invasion of Russia has caused nations such as Finland and Sweden, hitherto non-aligned, to abandon their neutrality. and seek protection within NATO, with the first of them formally joining the bloc last month.
Sweden is still hoping to get the go-ahead from Türkiye -one of the members of the alliance that has vetoed its integration- to join NATO.
However, Hayashi pointed out that the opening of a NATO office was not intended to send a message “to any specific country”alluding to China either North Koreacountries with which relations have become tense in recent months.
However, he added, the security environment in Asia is becoming “increasingly severe and also complex”, and singled out China as “a major challenge” for Japan.
He also pointed to Russia as a neighbor of Japan and the threat of a North Korea nuclear testafter months of warnings from observers that there is a renewed war activity in that country.
Despite this, Hayashi played down concerns that the opening of a NATO office in Tokyo could further escalate tensions, saying: “I don’t think that’s the case.”
The country has had a pacifist constitution since World War II, recalled the diplomat.
“We are not offending anyone, we are defending ourselves from any kind of interference and concerns and, in some cases, threats”, he concluded.
NATO on alert
Over the weekend, NATO put its air force on alert in response to “dangerous” behavior by a Russian plane who approached a Polish plane while on patrol in the Black Sea for the European Union’s border protection agency Frontex.
“NATO Air Police detachments have been placed on alert in response to the dangerous behavior of a Russian military aircraft in the vicinity of a Polish Frontex aircraft over the Black Sea near Romania on Friday,” a NATO spokesperson told Europe Press.
He airplane Let L-410 was on patrol in international airspace in the Romanian deployment region on Friday when it was approached by a Sukhoi Su-35 Russian.
The agency accused the Russian fighter jet to perform “aggressive and dangerous maneuvers”, approaching the Let on three occasions at a distance of only five meters. As a result, the crew temporarily lost control of the turboprop.
“More aggressive Russian air maneuvers over the Black Sea. This time against an unarmed Polish Frontex plane. No one was hurt. It happened 60 kilometers from Romanian airspace. The Polish team acted with professionalism”, the Romanian ambassador to NATO, Dan Neculaescu.
The Polish government spokesman, Piotr Muller, told the private channel Polsat News that what happened was “a planned provocation by Russia”.
The incident was first reported by the Romanian authorities, who denounced the “aggressive” behavior of the Russian plane.
(With information from EFE and Europa Press)
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