Japan, EU Mull Hotline, Regular High-Level Security Talks

Reuters file photo

BRUSSELS — Japan and the European Union are considering the establishment of a hotline to speed up information sharing between their diplomatic authorities, a senior EU official said. This would also include regular consultations at the level of vice minister.

The aim is to deepen the EU’s involvement in the Indo-Pacific region, where China has been increasing its hegemonic moves, and to strengthen cooperation on security issues.

Stefano Sannino, secretary general of the European External Action Service that is in charge of EU security policy, will visit Japan and hold talks with Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori as early as Wednesday, according to the senior official.

Cooperation measures are expected to be discussed at the meeting in detail regarding the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, which has been supported by European powers such as France and Germany, as well as support for Ukraine.

If agreed to, the hotline will establish a direct link between Japan’s Foreign Ministry and the European External Action Service.

While the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the foundation for the security of Europe, the EU plays a major role in political discussions regarding emergency preparedness and response.

The EU is becoming increasingly wary of a Taiwan contingency that could have a major economic impact, so it apparently seeks to deepen information sharing with Japan. The senior EU official said that the EU considers Japan as its most important partner alongside the United States on China issues.

Measures to strengthen cooperation in the field of economic security will also be on the agenda at the talks in Japan, as the EU has been moving to break its supply chain dependence on China and Russia.

Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force and the EU Naval Force have conducted joint training exercises in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia, and the EU intends to explore joint exercises in the Indo-Pacific region as well.

Japan-EU talks at the level of vice minister were also held in Brussels last July. The senior EU official said that it is not usual for multiple meetings to be held in this short period of time.