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International relations

Eyeing Asia flashpoints, Kishida warms Japan's ties with NATO

First talk by leaders since 2017 come as Tokyo faces assertive China, Russia

NATO headquarters in Brussels. Japan is the only Group of Seven member that does not belong to the alliance.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida returned Friday from Brussels after the first talks between a Japanese leader and the NATO chief in more than four years, looking to showcase unity in their response to Russia while also keeping an eye on East Asia.

In a three-minute chat with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg after the Group of Seven summit Thursday at NATO headquarters, Kishida expressed his respect for the alliance's actions. Stoltenberg said the bloc would work more closely with Asia-Pacific partners, which include Japan as well as South Korea and Australia.

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