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Japan misread the signs in pushing plan for a NATO office

Tokyo needs to find ways to work around the concerns of Europe, Southeast Asia

| Japan
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, looks on as U.S. President Joe Biden speaks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 12.   © AP

Masahiro Matsumura is professor of international politics and national security at the faculty of law of St. Andrew's University in Osaka.

Despite months of dynamic diplomatic campaigning by Japan and the NATO Secretariat, leaders of the military alliance meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July failed to affirm plans to open a liaison office in Tokyo as an initial toehold in the Indo-Pacific region.

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