Japan Seeking to Open ‘NATO Liaison Office’ as West Seeks Chinese Encirclement

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USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), as USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in the South China SeaInternationalIndiaAfricaThe island nation’s push to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization comes even as all current maps and the latest geological surveys indicate Japan remains firmly tethered to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.Japan is seeking to open a so-called “NATO liaison office,” the country’s foreign minister confirmed Wednesday.Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi reportedly told US media that Japan is “already in discussions” to open a formal outpost for the aggressive alliance but that “no details [have been] finalized yet.”In his remarks, Hayashi directly linked the decision to ongoing hostilities in Ukraine.“Something happening in East Europe is not only confined to the issue in East Europe, and that affects directly the situation here in the Pacific. That’s why cooperation between us in East Asia and NATO [is] becoming … increasingly important.”The comments came just one day after Japan’s Ambassador to the US, Koji Tomita, suggested to reporters at Washington’s National Press Club that a NATO office was in the works.The opening of such an office is “one of the things that we are working on to strengthen our partnership,” Tomita told journalists, adding:“I really haven’t heard any final confirmation of that, but we are working in that direction.”The office would be NATO’s first such installation in Asia, and is expected to be viewed with suspicion by Beijing, which has echoed Russia’s warnings about the military grouping’s hostile posture.On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry warned the nation of 1.4 billion “will never forget the barbaric crimes of US-led NATO” in Yugoslavia, where the alliance bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade 24 years ago in an attack that left three people dead and 20 injured.The development comes ahead of this week’s G7 meeting in Hiroshima, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is slated to attend virtually.

Hayashi reportedly described the meeting’s planned location in Hiroshima as a nod to the need to discuss “nonproliferation and also disarmament,” without noting that it was the de facto leader of the G7, the United States, which was responsible for the notorious deadly bombing there.

The US military’s decision to strike Hiroshima and Nagasaki marked the only use of nuclear weapons in combat in human history and left hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians dead, disfigured, and mutilated for generations.

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