The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) postponed its decision to open its office in Japan. The joint declaration passed at the NATO summit that began on Tuesday in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius did not mention the opening of the office in Tokyo. The Vilnius Declaration was agreed upon on the very first day of the summit and its document was in the hands of the media.
According to Western Media, the document included the opening of a NATO liaison office in Tokyo. It said that talks would be continued with the Japanese government on the issue of opening an office in Tokyo. But at the last moment, this sentence was removed. While this was a major issue at the NATO summit this time. The office opening in Japan would have formally expanded NATO to Asia. China strongly opposed this proposal.
Like last time, four major countries of the Asia-Pacific region – Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand were invited to the NATO summit. This has been seen as part of NATO’s intention to expand in the Asia-Pacific region. In this connection, a proposal was also made to open an office in Tokyo. But it is understood that differences have arisen among NATO countries on this issue. France has vehemently opposed the expansion of NATO outside Europe.
France made its opposition public just before the summit. France argues that such a move would send the wrong message to China. This gives more air to the already greatly increased tension between America and China. Thitinan Pongsudhirak, professor of political science at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, told the website nikkaiasia.com – “If NATO builds its institutions in the Asia-Pacific, the whole of Southeast Asia will see it as a challenge to the principle of ASEAN centrality.” Already, many people are complaining that groups like QUAD and OCUS have taken centre stage, while ASEAN, an association of 10 countries, is losing its importance.
But NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg stressed that what happens in the Asia-Pacific also matters in Europe. Similarly, what happens in Europe is also important for Asia-Pacific. On the other hand, while addressing the NATO Public Forum held in Vilnius, the President of the Czech Republic Petr Pavel also emphasized strengthening relations with the allied countries of Asia-Pacific.
Powell said that, unlike the previous Cold War, this time the world is witnessing a clash between two systems of governance. On one side there are democratic countries, while on the other side, there are countries with dictatorships like China, North Korea, Iran and Russia. He said- ‘These countries run on different values. He argues that Western countries have maintained the present system according to their selfishness, and the time has come to change it to make a multi-polar world.