Japan, Finland confirm unity in dealing with Russia

Jiji Press
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, and Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin shake hands prior to a meeting Wednesday at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin on Wednesday confirmed unity in dealing with Russia, which continues its invasion of Ukraine.

They also shared concerns over China, which is making increasingly hegemonic moves, and exchanged opinions about plans to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Kishida and Marin confirmed that countries sharing universal values will respond to Russia in a united way.

They also shared the view that as security in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region is inseparable, any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force are unacceptable.

On the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kishida told a joint press conference that the world is at “a critical moment to end the atrocious aggression.”

“Finland is a strong advocate of further sanctions against Russia,” Marin told the press conference.

Regarding her country’s possible application for NATO membership, Marin said, “If Finland takes this historical step, it is for the security of our own citizens.”

“Joining NATO would strengthen the whole international community that stands for our common values,” she added.

Sharing a 1,300-kilometer border with Russia, Finland has long maintained military neutrality. In response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, however, Finland is expected to decide shortly whether to seek NATO membership.

Kishida and Marin also discussed the security environment in Asia. She expressed concern about China, saying that Beijing may be plotting ways to use its power.