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Japan, NATO step up ties amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine

  • Published
    8th Jun, 2022
  • Japanese and NATO officials agreed to step up military cooperation and joint exercises as they shared concerns that Russia's invasion of Ukraineis causing a deterioration of the security environment in Europe and Asia.
  • Cooperation between Japan and NATO began in 1990.
  • Japan was one of the first "partners across the globe" when the relationship became more formalized.
  • Japan deepened their relationship in April 2013 with a joint political declaration, and in May 2014 signed accords relating to counter-terrorism and counter-piracy efforts.
  • Japan has also been involved in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and with stabilization efforts in the Balkans during the 1990s.
  • Russia-Ukraine war due to the decision of joining NATO alliance of Ukraine has led many countries to ensure regional security.

About NATO Foreign relations

  • NATO maintains foreign relations with many non-member countries across the globe.
  • NATO runs a number of programs which provide a framework for the partnerships between itself and these non-member nations, typically based on that country's location.
  • These include the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Partnership for Peace.
  • NATO is a system of collective security i.e., its independent member states agree to defend each other against attacks by third parties.
  • It was established during the Cold War in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union.
  • The alliance remained in place after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and has been involved in military operations in the Balkans, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.

Significance of Japan-NATO ties

  • Security in the region: The security of Europe and Asia are closely intertwined, especially now with the international community facing serious challenges.
  • Against China: Japan has been increasing its military capabilities and cooperation with Europe, in addition to its alliance with the United States and partnerships with other countries in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, in the face of China's rise.
  • Closeness with United States: Japan had joined the United States and Europe in imposing sanctions against Russia and providing support for Ukraine, saying the crisis affects not only Europe but also could further embolden China to increase its assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.

India’s role

  • India’s stance in the Russia-Ukraine crisis has continued to be one of neutrality, viewing the Russia-Ukraine war as part of a historical contestation between European powers.
  • It should have called Russia’s action an invasion.
  • India is now an elected member of the UNSC, and the question is how it can contribute to improving the war situation in Ukraine.
  • Among the powers at the UNSC, it is only India that has relatively good relations with NATO countries, Russia and Ukraine.
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