Michael Paul

NATO Goes East

NATO-Japan Cooperation and the “Pivot to Asia”

SWP Comment 2013/C 33, October 2013, 4 Pages

Europe should not fear the rebalance to Asia, Europe should join it, said former US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in January 2013. One step in that direction is NATO-Japan cooperation. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will not become a global policeman, but it has increasingly acquired a global perspective – stabilization through consultation and cooperation. Accordingly, Japan does not expect NATO to play a direct military role in the Asia-Pacific region. But it expects a partner with shared perceptions and approaches. Thus, the Joint Political Declaration, signed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 15, 2013, should be interpreted as a foundation to build political partnership and as a starting point for further initiatives embedding other regional actors.