Japan’s Interest In NATO
From Girish Modi, Decatur, GA
Korea was a part of the Empire of Japan from 1910 to 1945. Just as Hitler wanted to dominate Europe, Japan wanted to dominate Asia and the Pacific. That’s why it had invaded China in 1937 and captured Taiwan. Japan’s biggest mistake was to attack American and British territories in Southeast Asia and the Central Pacific, including an attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor in December 1941 which resulted in the United States and the United Kingdom declaring war against Japan.
NATO was established after World War II. It is an intergovernmental military alliance among 29 European nations, Canada & USA. NATO is a collective security system wherein independent member states agree to defend each other against attacks by third parties. NATO operated as a check on the threat posed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The alliance remained in place after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In the 1990s the organization extended its activities into political and humanitarian situations and most recently added Finland as a member nation.
Japan wants to join NATO because it is afraid of Korean and Chinese military superiority. Japan is trying to convince NATO members that the security of Europe is at stake amid concern about China’s heavy military buildup, expansion of its nuclear forces & North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Japan had joined the recent conference in Lithuania.
Japan also supports Ukraine and even proposed to open a NATO liaison office in Tokyo that will expand NATO to the Pacific region along with three other Indo-Pacific nations Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea. Though there will be no permanent presence of NATO assets in the Indo-Pacific, Japan, and other IP4 countries are boosting ties with individual NATO member states such as Britain, Germany, France, and Italy, all of which have increased deployments to the region.
Thus, the NATO alliance is gaining a foothold in the Indo-Pacific and gives it a role in the U.S.-led competition with China. NATO’s enlargement has led to tensions with non-member countries like North Korea, Russia & China, which have repeatedly warned that such moves will ultimately fuel regional tensions and increase the likelihood of conflict.
(This submission has not been edited.)