Teleconference between Defense Minister Kono and NATO Secretary General

July 21, 2020
Japan Ministry of Defense
in Japanese

On July 21, 2020, Minister KONO had a telephone conversation with H. E. Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General.

  1. They exchanged views on issues such as the roles to be played by the defense authorities given the global spread of COVID-19. Minister Kono explained the Japan Self-Defense Forces activities on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, quarantine measures at the airport, efforts to prevent community transmission, infection-preventative measures undertaken in their operation which resulted in having no deployed member infected with the virus, and analysis by the SDF Central Hospital by using the presentation document (see attached). Secretary General Stoltenberg also explained the latest situation and measures taken in NATO.
  2. Furthermore, they also exchanged views on the current regional security issues including the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and they agreed to continue close communication on this matter. Specifically, they shared their view that they strongly oppose unilateral attempts to change the status quo by coercive measures and any activities that increase tensions, taking into account the current situation in the region. They also reaffirmed the importance of free and open maritime order based on the rule of law.
  3. Further, they discussed defense cooperation and exchanges between Japan and NATO. They agreed on the importance of continuing cooperation with countries that share values and interests from the perspective of maintaining and strengthening the free and open international order that has been a cornerstone of peace and prosperity of the world. Moreover, Minister Kono, taking into consideration the implications of COVID-19, expressed the importance of maintaining seamless defense posture and of continued and strengthened bilateral defense cooperation based on the recently revised Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme between Japan and NATO (see the website below). Minister Kono also expressed his expectation for NATO’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
  4. They agreed on the following three points bearing in mind the circumstances caused by the spread of COVID-19;
  1. sharing information, knowledge and lessons learned about the measures taken by the defense authorities towards overcoming COVID-19 at the earliest stage;
  2. necessity of sharing recognition of threat based on the current circumstances and of potential effects of the spread of COVID-19 on defense policy of each country from the view point of the role of defense authorities; and
  3. promoting vigorously defense cooperation and exchanges to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific while maintaining communication between Japan and NATO