Japan’s Kishida to attend NATO leaders’ summit in Lithuania

Tokyo, Jun 21 (EFE).- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday confirmed that he will attend the NATO leaders’ summit next month in Lithuanian capital Vilnius, making it the second event of this kind to be attended by the PM.

Kishida had attended the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s summit for the first time in June 2022 in Madrid.

The Prime Minister said he would honor NATO’s invitation to “participate in active diplomatic activities to maintain and strengthen international order and defend national interests.”

After attending the July 11-12 NATO summit in Vilnius, he will travel to Brussels and subsequently fly to the Middle East to visit Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Kishida said at a press conference.

Kishida’s decision to attend the event is part of a push to deepen ties with NATO as the allies have grown closer in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s increasing military influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Japanese PM and other alliance leaders will discuss the opening of a NATO liaison office in Japan as well as the signing of the Individually Tailored Partnership Program (ITPP) to deepen bilateral collaboration on cybersecurity, emerging technology and fighting disinformation.

Leaders from South Korea, Australia and New Zealand are also expected to attend the summit in Vilnius at a time when NATO is looking to strengthen its presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

In May, Kishida chaired the G7 leaders’ summit in Hiroshima, which was focused on extending support to Ukraine in the fight against the Russian invasion, a topic that will also be the focus of discussions in the Vilnius meeting. EFE


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