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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 28 - April 3  > Japan's office to be opened at NATO HQ could bolster military cooperation
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2018 March 28 - April 3 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Japan's office to be opened at NATO HQ could bolster military cooperation

March 31, 2018

The Liberal Democratic and Komei parties used their majority at the Upper House plenary session on March 30 to enact a bill to launch a Japanese representative office to NATO in Brussels, Belgium.

Warning that the opening of a Japanese NATO office could enhance the risk of becoming involved in military operations, the Japanese Communist Party voted against the bill to revise the law on foreign diplomatic missions.

In a meeting of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense held on the previous day, JCP member of the House of Councilors Inoue Satoshi pointed out that NATO under its new Strategic Concept is enabled to use force outside its previously-established area of jurisdiction such as happened in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Inoue also said that the new partnership policy of this 29-member alliance propels its partner nations to participate in its operational plans, citing remarks Japanese Ambassador to Belgium Sakaba Mitsuo made in 2014 in which he admitted to the possible strengthening of Japanese collaboration with NATO.

Foreign Minister Kono Taro in the Upper House meeting in response to Inoue said, "Currently, we are not considering Japan's participation in NATO operations."

Japan in 2014 signed onto the NATO Individual Partnership and Cooperation Program followed by the railroading through in Japan of the national security-related legislation aptly dubbed the war laws. Accordingly, Japan's Self-Defense Forces are now granted permission to provide cooperation and logistics support for NATO troops in addition to U.S. forces.
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