08:33 GMT +319 August 2019
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    Japanese PM Abe and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg meet at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

    NATO, Japan Seek Deeper Partnership on Maritime, Cybersecurity Issues

    © REUTERS/ Eric Vidal
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    On Thursday, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met in Brussels, stating that NATO and Japan must enhance cooperation, with a special focus on cybersecurity and maritime security.

    After speaking with Stoltenberg at NATO headquarters, Abe said at a news conference, "By further strengthening cooperation between Japan and NATO, we must make solid the foundation of [ties between] Japan, the United States and Europe, which share basic values … I agreed on this awareness with Secretary-General Stoltenberg today," according to Japan Times.

    This meeting marks Abe’s first with the NATO secretary-general since he took office in 2014. The two officials noted Japan and NATO’s cooperation program, which began the same year Abe was elected, and included cybersecurity and counterpiracy efforts. 

    "In the future, we could also look into further maritime cooperation and expand our dialogue on security challenges," Stoltenberg remarked. "We should seek to deepen our cyberdefense cooperation, where NATO sees Japan as a key partner."

    Abe also invited Stoltenberg to visit Japan before the year ends.

    Acknowledging that the meeting took place following North Korea’s Tuesday test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Stoltenberg added, "Our position is very clear: North Korea must comply with its international obligations, stop all activities related to its ballistic missile and nuclear programs, abandon all existing weapons of mass destruction programs once and for all and engage in real dialogue with the international community," saying the launch was "a threat to international peace and security," and a blatant violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 


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