TOKYO, Japan: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is making plans to attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, to be held in late June.
While Kishida has repeatedly condemned Russia, in what he described as a “war crime” against Ukraine, attending the NATO summit would be an unusually aggressive stance for a Japanese prime minister.
As Japan and Russia have wrangled over decades-old territorial disputes, Japanese leaders have previously maintained a careful line in their relations with Russia.
As the NATO summit will take place on 29th and 30th June in the Spanish capital Madrid, it would likely overlap with the campaign for Japanese upper house elections to be held on 10th July.
Kishida is expected to make a final decision later, accounting for Japan’s political situation.
NATO has invited Japan to the summit, along with its partners in the Asia-Pacific region, which include Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
Kishida’s attendance at the summit would deliver a strong message of international solidarity with Ukraine, according to observers.