NATO to open Japan office to enable Indo-Pacific consultation, Nikkei reports
A Japanese service member fires a rifle during a joint live fire drill with U.S. and German troops during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) joint drill, Wahiawa, Hawaii, June 2022. Photo via @RimofthePacific on Twitter.
TOKYO (Reuters) - NATO is planning to open a liaison office in Japan, its first in Asia, to facilitate consultations in the region, the Nikkei Asia reported on Wednesday, citing Japanese and NATO officials.
The liaison office will enable discussions with NATO's security partners, such as South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, with geopolitical challenges from China and Russia in mind, the media outlet reported.
NATO and Japanese foreign ministry spokespeople were not immediately available for comment. Wednesday is a public holiday in Japan.
The proposed one-person office is due to open next year in Tokyo but details such as whether Japan would provide the space or NATO would fund it were under negotiation, the news outlet said.
NATO has similar liaison offices in New York, Vienna, Ukraine and other places, it said.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg visited Japan in January and pledged with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to strengthen ties in the face off "historic" security challenges, citing Russia's invasion of Ukraine and China's rising military power.
Japan and NATO are seeking to deepen cooperation on cyber threats, disruptive technologies and disinformation, aiming to sign an individually tailored partnership programme before a NATO summit in July, Nikkei Asia reported.
(Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Robert Birsel)