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International relations

Japan and NATO to level up cooperation with eye on China, Russia

Cyberdefense and emerging tech set to feature in agreement slated for July summit

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, left, shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron at a meeting of Group of Seven leaders at NATO headquarters in Brussels in March 2022.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan plans to adopt a new document as early this summer deepening its partnership with NATO, providing a common framework for dealing with Russia and China as they strengthen their own military cooperation.

While Japan is not a formal member of the 31-nation collective defense alliance, it is a "global partner." The Individual Partnership and Cooperation Program signed by Tokyo and NATO in 2014 has focused on certain specific areas, such as maritime security and humanitarian assistance, but cooperation between their armed forces is largely outside its scope.

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