Japan’s Shift From Soft To Hard Against China And Russia Has Made French Experts Sigh!

This summit of the Western Group of Seven (G7) North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will be held in Europe during the war in Ukraine. In an exclusive interview with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Céline Pachon, a researcher at the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI), sighed the shift in Japan’s diplomatic stance toward Communist China and Russia, which has become progressively more assertive and clear in recent years.

How do you see Japanese diplomacy?

“I am surprised by the change in Japan. Japan usually does not show much presence in the international community, especially in the case of strife, and is passive about taking a stand. When Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, it also did not take strong sanctions because of consideration of the northern territory consultation. This time, however, it has made its position in support of Ukraine swiftly and clearly again. The decision to impose sanctions on Russia was made quickly, and self-defense equipment, such as bulletproof undershirts, was dispatched to Ukraine. That is a big step, even if it is not anti-personnel weapons. With the decisions on liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe and refugee resettlement in Ukraine, Japan’s will to “work together with Europe and the United States” was felt. The trust in Japan in Europe has increased.”

 What is the relationship between NATO and Japan?

“NATO is now starting to focus on China. Just unlike Russia, Europe is also seeking a partnership with China. Japan has long experience with China and should be able to reach out to China. NATO countries and Japan have supported Afghanistan and Iraq together. Cooperation is also possible in the reconstruction of Ukraine. Ukraine reconstruction assistance is also a subject of the G7 summit.”

 What is NATO’s involvement in Asia?

“There are differences of opinion within NATO. France and Germany are very cautious about NATO’s direct involvement in the Indo-Pacific issue. While responding to the Russian threat has become the top issue, some countries have a negative attitude towards NATO’s expansion of its response in the Indo-Pacific. At present, in order to avoid the crisis, it is important to issue a warning to the Chinese Communist Party that it “does not recognize aggression.” Although it is not believed that the NATO army will be deployed in the Indo-Pacific, it can deal with disinformation and cyberattacks.”

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Translator: MOS Translation Team – Bright
Design&editor: HBamboo(昆仑竹)

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