From 5 to 9 June 2022, Admiral Rob Bauer, Chair of the NATO Military Committee paid an official visit to Japan upon the invitation of the Chief of Staff of Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force, General Koji Yamazaki.
During the visit, he met with the Minister of Defence, Mr. Nobuo Kishi, high-level Japanese military officials, including the Commander in Chief of the Self Defense Fleet, Vice Admiral Yuasa Hideki, as well as members of the National Security Secretariat. The Chair took the opportunity to visit the Cyber Defense Command of the Self-Defence Forces and delivered a lecture at the Joint Staff College.
The Chair of the Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer and General Koji Yamazaki, Chief of Staff of Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force, discussed NATO-Japan long-standing partnership and the security situation in Europe: “Japan is NATO’s longest-standing partner from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. We share the same values and challenges, which makes us natural partners,” stressed the Chair. NATO and Japan have been engaged in dialogue and cooperation since initial contacts in the early 1990s.
Speaking with the Minister of Defence, Mr. Kishi, Admiral Bauer emphasized NATO-Japan practical cooperation in a wide range of areas, ranging from maritime security to cyber defence. In this regard, he mentioned Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force squadron training with NATO ships off the coast of Spain and in the Baltic Sea. The Chair also visited the newly established Cyber Defense Command of the Self-Defense Forces, where he met with its Commander, Major General Akitsugu.
Admiral Bauer was welcomed by Lieutenant General Yuusuke Tajiri, Commandant of the Joint Staff College where he delivered a lecture on the importance of protecting the international rules based order; the role of deterrence in collective defence, and the role of the Military Committee in providing the North Atlantic Council with consensus-based, unfettered military advice.
Concluding his visit, Admiral Bauer met with Vice Admiral Hideki, Commander in Chief of the Self Defense Fleet while visiting the Operation Centre at Yokosuka Base, which reaffirmed NATO-Japan forward-looking cooperation in maritime security.