Japan Considers Opening NATO Liaison Office

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Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi announced that Japan is considering opening a NATO liaison office.  Hayashi said, “Since the aggression by Russia to Ukraine, the world [has] become more unstable.  Something happening in East Europe is not only confined to the issue in East Europe, and that affects directly the situation here in the Pacific. That’s why a cooperation between us in East Asia and NATO [is] becoming … increasingly important.”  Despite rising tensions in the region, Hayashi stressed that Japan is not “sending a message” to any particular nation by possibly opening a liaison office. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning responded, “Asia is a promising land for cooperation and a hotbed for peaceful development.  It should not be a platform for those who seek geopolitical fights. NATO’s eastward push and interference in Asia Pacific matters will definitely undermine regional peace and stability.”