Japan has no plans to join NATO: PM Kishida

TEHRAN, May 24 (MNA) –Japanese Prime Minister said on Wednesday the country had no plans to become a NATO member but acknowledged the security alliance's plan to open a liaison office in Japan.

Fumio Kishida's comments came after the Japanese ambassador to the United States said earlier this month that the U.S.-led military pact was planning a Tokyo office, the first in Asia, to facilitate consultations in the region, Reuters reported. 

"I am not aware of any decision made" at NATO regarding the establishment of the office, Kishida told a Wednesday parliament session, adding his country was not planning to join NATO as a member or semi-member state.

In response, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning called Japan's move something the Asia-Pacific region "does not welcome," saying Tokyo should be "extra cautious on the issue of military security" given its "history of aggression".

Kishida is arranging to attend a NATO summit scheduled to be held in Lithuania in July, Kyodo news agency reported later on Wednesday, citing Japanese government officials.


News Code 201148


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