Japan, NATO to Sign New Agreement, Strengthen Cooperation

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, shakes hands with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo in January.

Japan will formulate a new agreement to strengthen cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization with the aim of dealing with such risks as disinformation and the military use of space, according to government sources.

The Individual Partnership and Cooperation Program, the current guidelines on the relationship with NATO, will be revised to become the Individually Tailored Partnership Program. The ITPP will state the cooperation content in greater detail and specify more than a dozen priority areas over the next four years, including in disinformation, cyberspace and advanced technology.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during the upcoming NATO summit scheduled to start Tuesday in Lithuania, where they are expected to agree on the new framework.

The ITPP will strengthen measures against disinformation, which is a security concern, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its efforts to spread disinformation.

In addition, keeping in mind China’s accelerating military use of space, the ITPP is expected to include measures such as jointly addressing military threats in space.

NATO has become increasingly wary of China’s coercive policies, and through enhanced cooperation with Japan, the alliance aims to strengthen its involvement in the Indo-Pacific region to deter China.