Macron Opposes NATO’s Plan to Open Office in Tokyo

France’s President Emmanuel Macron visits the abbey at the Le Mont-Saint-Michel, north-western France, on June 5, 2023.

WASHINGTON (Jiji Press) — French President Emanuel Macron has objected to NATO’s proposal to open an office in Tokyo, apparently out of concerns that the move may raise tensions between the transatlantic alliance and China, the Financial Times reported in its online edition Monday.

At a conference last week, Macron expressed his cautious stance on extending NATO’s geographic reach beyond its own North Atlantic region to the Indo-Pacific, according to the British business daily. “If … we push NATO to enlarge the spectrum and the geography, we will make a big mistake,” the paper quoted the French president as saying.

Since setting up a NATO office requires unanimous support from all member states at the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest decision-making body, France’s resistance may make it difficult for the alliance to open what would be its first outpost in the Indo-Pacific.

In April, Macron stirred up a controversy by suggesting, in an interview during his visit to China, that Europe should not be a follower of the United States over tensions between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan.