Japan and NATO agree to step up cooperation

The chief of NATO's military committee and the top officer of Japan's Self-Defense Forces have discussed the Ukrainian situation and agreed to step up cooperation.

Admiral Rob Bauer of NATO and the SDF's chief of Joint Staff, General Yamazaki Koji, met in Tokyo on Tuesday. Bauer is on a two-day visit to Japan.

Yamazaki said not allowing attempts to change the status quo by force is a common security challenge for the international community. He also said strengthening cooperation by Japan, NATO and NATO members is essential.

Bauer responded that cooperation among free democratic nations is needed to defend order based on international rules. He added that Japan is a very important partner for NATO.

They exchanged opinions on the situations in Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific region, where China is stepping up maritime activities.

After the meeting, Yamazaki told reporters that unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force must not be tolerated in any part of the world. He said Japan is committed to maintaining open and free international order based on the rule of law, and will strengthen cooperation with NATO.

Bauer stressed that it is important to firmly maintain international order based on rules nurtured over 70 years after the two world wars.