The leaders of Japan and Finland on Wednesday strongly condemned Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and agreed on the need for a resolute and united response to the ongoing crisis that threatens the rules-based global order.
At the first in-person meeting, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin briefed her Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida on Finland’s plans to potentially join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a landmark decision which she said would “strengthen “the international community that shares universal values.
“We consider the security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific region to be inseparable and we oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force anywhere in the world,” Kishida told a press briefing. spouse with Marin at his office.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin shake hands before their talks at the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on May 11, 2022. (Kyodo)
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“We will deepen cooperation with Finland to respond to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and achieve a ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific,” Kishida said.
Since the start of the Russian aggression in February, Kishida has repeatedly expressed concern about its ramifications beyond Europe. Japan, along with the United States and other like-minded countries, is pushing for a “free and open” Indo-Pacific as an assertive China expands its sphere of influence.
The crisis in Ukraine has motivated Finland and its neighbor Sweden, both of which have faced Russian aggression in the past, to consider joining NATO, a collective security framework seen by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a threat to the security of his country due to its eastward expansion. .
Ahead of the summit, Marin told an event in Tokyo that his government would soon make a decision on applying for NATO membership.
Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin (R) speaks during a seminar in Tokyo on May 11, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
Finland, which shares a border of about 1,300 kilometers with Russia, had engaged in high-level dialogue with it until the start of the war in Ukraine. As a member of the European Union, however, Finland is now a strong supporter of new sanctions against Russia, Marin said.
“Russia is openly violating international law and the Charter of the United Nations. Their atrocities against civilians continue. This cannot be accepted by any nation, let alone a permanent member of the Security Council,” he said. she declared.
Marin said she discussed “general disappointment” with the UN Security Council, given that the veto power has been abused. “We need to reform the council so that it becomes transparent, more effective and more representative,” she said.
At the summit, Japanese and Finnish leaders agreed to work towards a world without nuclear weapons, a key goal for Kishida. Marin said Finland was “very concerned” about North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.
Japan and Finland have deepened their ties as strategic partners sharing universal values such as democracy and respect for the rule of law. Economically, science and technology are key areas of cooperation, with Finland known to be at the forefront of digitalization.