NATO, Japan pledge to strengthen ties amid threat to "international rules-based order"

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged on Tuesday to strengthen ties, saying Beijing and Moscow are leading "an authoritarian pushback against the international rules-based order," reports citing CNN.

"The Indo-Pacific faces growing challenges from China's coercive behavior to provocations by North Korea. And in Europe, Russia continues to wage its brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. This war is not just a European crisis, but a challenge to the world order," Stoltenberg said in a joint statement with Kishida on Tuesday, adding that he and Kishida agree that "transatlantic and Indo-Pacific security is deeply interconnected."

"If President Putin wins in Ukraine, this would send a message that authoritarian regimes can achieve their goals through brute force. This is dangerous. Beijing is watching closely and learning lessons that may influence its future decisions," said Stoltenberg.

During a visit Tuesday to Japan's Iruma Air Base, Stoltenberg said that "the war in Ukraine matters for all of us, and therefore we're also very grateful for the support that Japan is providing, also using the planes and the cargo capabilities."

Japan has provided nonlethal aid to Ukraine in the form of drones, bulletproof vests, helmets, tents and medical supplies. However, due to defense guidelines that effectively ban weapons exports, Tokyo has not delivered weapons.

Stoltenberg arrived in Tokyo on Monday from South Korea, where he had urged Seoul to increase its military support for Ukraine.

Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol became the first leaders from their countries to attend a NATO summit last year, joining alliance leaders as observers.

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