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Japan supports Sweden's NATO membership

72 Comments
By RAF WOBER

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72 Comments
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NATO needs to keep Japan in check with all the military buildup

-23 ( +8 / -31 )

So? North Korea's Kim could say the same thing. Japan is not a member of NATO and shouldnt be, and as such their "support" or any comments about it, heard or even cared about.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

That's fantastic but completely irrelevant.

Turkey and Hungary both have major issues with Sweden - hopefully they stand up and for their national interest.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

Japan supports Sweden's NATO membership

Can't Japan really endorse Sweden or even Ukraine to join NATO? Wait does Japan really member NATO in the first place or just another outsider that cheering up?

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

By what right does Japan support Sweden's NATO membership? Is Japan a NATO member?

-3 ( +18 / -21 )

What is Japan doing meddling in the affairs of Europe???..

Why don't Japan stop being the concubine of the US and dedicate itself to solving the problems of its people FIRST ???...

-6 ( +12 / -18 )

Oh dear, the French (NATO member) will be upset, again.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

@BigP

 French (NATO member) will be upset, again.

Macron is fine with Swedish ascension into NATO.

What Macron opposes is the expansion of NATO outside of Europe and North America, because Xi told Macron he didn't like it during their summit and Macron agreed.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Apparently, Russia is also a "NATO Partner for Peace". Names don't really matter so much. But Sweden and Japan have a right to declare their support for each other as democracies. I think that's what this is.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

What business is it of Japan? Nowhere near the North Atlantic.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Sweden has every right to be in NATO...it's a vibrant democracy...it's got strong liberal-social ideals - and - this is important - a vast spectrum if ideals - and they manage that - they have been near to the threat of the USSR and now Russia for decades - they have some of the top private companies in the world - Ericsson, TetraPak, ABB, SKF, SAAB (who make state-of-the-art fighter planes)...

Their Neighbo[u]r Finland equally excellent -

I lived in Sverige for a few years - all my peers had to do military service - they hated it at the time but they love to talk about afterwards...

Perhaps that's a good idea for we western democratic countries to re-institute - compulsive military service - as opposed to paying off student loans or whatever - give them credits - I know all the cry foul folks will whine...but the world was a better place when the innovative and strong were the power-houses of the world...

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Japan supports Sweden's NATO membership

So what? Japan is not in NATO

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

Japan wants to sit at the big boys table. Do something about Article 9 then.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

I'm sure Sweden's relieved.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Japan being positive about Sweden joining NATO can have several benefits:

Japan and Sweden share common democratic values and have a shared interest in maintaining peace and stability. Japan's support for Sweden's NATO membership would strengthen the existing alliance between the two countries, fostering closer cooperation on defense and security issues. This would enhance mutual trust and understanding, creating a stronger partnership in addressing regional and global challenges.

Japan and Sweden can deepen their security cooperation through NATO. Japan has been increasingly engaging with NATO in recent years, including participating in joint exercises and information sharing. With Sweden as a NATO member, there would be additional opportunities for trilateral or multilateral exercises and collaboration, enabling the exchange of best practices, expertise, and technologies in areas such as maritime security, cybersecurity, and disaster response.

Japan's positive stance on Sweden joining NATO would contribute to regional stability in the Indo-Pacific and the Baltic Sea region. Both regions face security challenges, and closer cooperation between Japan and Sweden, facilitated by their common NATO affiliation, would help deter potential aggressors, promote security, and maintain the rules-based international order.

By supporting Sweden's NATO membership, Japan demonstrates its commitment to multilateralism and a rules-based international system. In an era of geopolitical uncertainties, strong multilateral institutions like NATO play a vital role in maintaining stability and resolving conflicts through peaceful means. Japan's endorsement of Sweden's NATO aspirations aligns with its broader foreign policy objectives of upholding international norms and fostering global cooperation.

Japan and Sweden both have an interest in safeguarding a free and open maritime order and countering common security threats, such as cyberattacks, terrorism, and non-proliferation. Through NATO, Japan and Sweden can enhance their coordination on these issues and work together towards promoting regional and global security.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Hey fact hecker, Japan very much has an interest in cultivating good relations with NATO members and aspirants. If China comes hunting Japan will need all the help it can get. Moreover if China concludes that NATO members would take economic and military action in the event the tried to invade Taiwan and/or take the Senkaku Islands then China my decide the cost is too great and be deterred. The latter is of course the preferred outcome.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Really pushing these Japan NATO stories, huh JT?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Pure fantasy. You have it backwards. Japan has a history of invading China and Korea. 

If China comes hunting Japan

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

By what right does Japan support Sweden's NATO membership? Is Japan a NATO member?

 

What business is it of Japan? Nowhere near the North Atlantic.

 

So what? Japan is not in NATO

 

Japan may support or not.

 

Read the article:

 

Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson said that Sweden sees the need for European countries to reach out to Asian partners because of the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

 

That’s why.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson said that Sweden sees the need for European countries to reach out to Asian partners because of the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

 

That’s why.

So what? Sweden is not in Nato either.

This is just Japan trying to be relevant on the world stage as it slowly fades

That's why

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

As a G7 member, which Sweden is not, Japan’s endorsement of joining NATO carries a lot of clout. I don’t get why so many posters belittle Japan’s role in the world. Japan really is not beholden to the US. They tried decoupling from the US back when the then called DPJ was in power. That was disastrous. Japan is pragmatic and their relationship with the US is beneficial for both sides and Asia as a whole.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

NATO Membership for EU countries OK but must avoid dangerous destabilization of their Russian relations.

Sweden like Norway, small population, well-educated, wealthy with established mature Democracy unwilling to become major military Hub = Opposite of Ukraine.

Ukraine as very recent undeveloped Democracy eager to militarize, thus heavily influenced by outside interests, unlike Sweden. This dynamic, fed by Ukraine being poor, triggered Russian escalation - decades in the works.

Unclear why Japan's expressing any view on NATO or NATO Membership being so many times removed. Obviously, Sweden has Membership challenges with existing NATO Members, especially Turkey.

Finally, Sweden unlike Austria and Switzerland has now made a judgment to abandon its long-standing neutral status, probably because it directly borders Russia.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Finland and Norway have land borders with Russia. Sweden does not.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Fair enough, but if you go far enough north into Artic circle Sweden, Russia and Northern countries all in VERY close proximity, including Canada, Greenland, US, etc.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

 Japan really is not beholden to the US.

Nearly spat my coffee all over the keyboard.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

So what? Sweden is not in Nato either.

That's going to change one way or another. I know scandis stick together and I'm not even Scandinavian.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

That's going to change one way or another.

Only if Turkey agrees.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Only if Turkey agrees.

There are many ways of dealing with Turkey and Hungary.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada says Japan supports Sweden's membership into NATO as if Japan had a casting right to determine an applicant country's feasibility for membership. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said already that Japan wouldn't join NATO although he would allow its liaison office to be built in Tokyo.

Indications are that Japan is virtually a NATO member and is acting accordingly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So, one NATO non member is supporting another non Nato countries membership.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan's defense minister expressed his country's support for Sweden's NATO membership

Really? Do the citizens of Japan give their support? I am a Swede, and they don't even have my support. So, exactly who are supporting this?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

There are many ways of dealing with Turkey and Hungary.

No there are not. Turkey MUST agree to let Sweden into NATO. There is NO other way.

NATO's rules, not mine

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

So, one NATO non member is supporting another non Nato countries membership.

Exactly. It's silly.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

NATO trying to expand remind me very much of countries with and aging depopulation trying to slow the growth rate of fewer babies or possibly a few more babies. Why?

Nearly entire World\s mad at US led NATO & G-7 long-term & present global destabilization. Huge Global movement AWAY from US, NATO and G-7 in particular. They seek Stability based Member Partnerships, not military expansion or other destabilization.

China led BRICS has dozens of large leadership countries openly seeking to gain Membership now, because of US led Global Destabilization, especially NATO. All large Muslim majority, Central Asian, and many countries of Non-Muslim Global South.

Meanwhile, NATO\s big growth plan is tiny Sweden, NATO like country slowing down its collapse a tiny bit by having less severe drop in population, though trend firmly intact.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Pointless.

I mean sure, it makes sense why Sweden wants in; but NATO already won in Scandinavia. They just got Finland, a major historical antagonist for the Kremlin that also borders a large part of Western Russia. Sweden doesn't share a land border with Russia, only a slim maritime one.

In Europe, already Russia is virtually surrounded by hostile countries. With no business left over there, expect them to get a lot closer to China.

As for Japan, their strategy is currently aimless. Japan is not a part of Europe. They may wish they were but that isn't and will never be the case. What they need to do is start building a formidable military of their own. NATO is not going to set up post in Hokkaido or Kyushu. Ukraine is not going to reward Japan for being nice to them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@La vie douceToday 12:25 pm JST

There are many ways of dealing with Turkey and Hungary.

So far none of them are working, are they....more carrot is needed.

What carrot? A unified Baltic makes everyone safer. You don't need a brain to see that. NATO will take it's time because there isn't anything inherently necessary with the official paperwork, but I'm sure it won't wait forever while the Russian plants to disrupt things.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Aly RustomToday 01:18 pm JST

There are many ways of dealing with Turkey and Hungary.

No there are not. Turkey MUST agree to let Sweden into NATO. There is NO other way.

NATO's rules, not mine

You don't know about Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties whereby Hungary and Turkey can be turned out on their rears.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You don't know about Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties whereby Hungary and Turkey can be turned out on their rears.

There is no mechanism for expelling a NATO member. They can't do it by force.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

There is no mechanism for expelling a NATO member. They can't do it by force.

There is a mechanism under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. No force is needed as troops can just be pulled out and Hungary and Turkey dis-invited from future parties.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There is a mechanism under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. No force is needed as troops can just be pulled out and Hungary and Turkey dis-invited from future parties.

No there isn't

Here take a look.

No Suspension Provision in the North Atlantic Treaty

Yet matters are not quite so simple. The founding instruments of many international organizations provide for the suspension of a member State’s rights, and even for the termination of its membership, in certain circumstances. Instruments of this kind include the United Nations Charter (Articles 5 and 6), the Statute of the Council of Europe (Article 8) and the Treaty on European Union (Article 7). Alas, the North Atlantic Treaty is not among them. No provision in the treaty foresees the suspension of membership rights, let alone the expulsion of an ally.

Can Turkey be Expelled from NATO? It's Legally Possible, Whether or Not Politically Prudent (justsecurity.org)

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

What they can do as you have said above is they can pull out their troops from Turkey, they can have NATO drills without including Turkey, BUT actual expulsion from NATO is not possible. It does not exist in the charter.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

The danger to Sweden in joining NATO is that it could get involved in a war that it does not want to fight but will be forced do so.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Aly RustomToday 03:47 pm JST

actual expulsion from NATO is not possible. It does not exist in the charter.

https://www.justsecurity.org/66574/can-turkey-be-expelled-from-nato/

Your link literally says

Should the conditions for the existence of a material breach be satisfied, NATO’s member states would be entitled, by unanimous agreement, to suspend the operation of the treaty in whole or in part or to terminate it either in their relations with the defaulting state or among them all (Article 60(2) of the Vienna Convention).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

La vie douceToday 03:50 pm JST

What carrot? Turkey ( Erdogan ) wants to buy US F16 that Biden admin didnt want to provide. Now Biden seems to be changing the tune. Don,t need anything but eyes that can read current news reports to see that.

Biden never said the F16s were a nonstarter, from which we conclude that Erdogan is demanding more. Don't need anything but ears to have heard about that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I guess my statement is that buying F16s is all that Turkey deserves to get in the way of carrot. Time to take out the stick.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The danger to Sweden in joining NATO is that it could get involved in a war that it does not want to fight but will be forced do so.

Sweden already fights the fight it wants to - it's one of the most vigilant sentinels in the Baltic Sea for Russian subs

Why do ya think the Swedish people are in favor of joining NATO

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Terrible uniforms. Reminds me too much of Yukio Mishima’s group.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There's no point of the existence of NATO as the Russian military have proved to be an bloody joke

2 ( +2 / -0 )

obladi

Today 07:35 am JST

Apparently, Russia is also a "NATO Partner for Peace"

The russian translation says "partner for piece." That's why they take a little piece of Ukraine here, a little there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Anonymous

Today 09:43 pm JST

Terrible uniforms

I rather like them. I say replace the buttons with the hidden zippers and change the colour from white to red. Then you can totally rock the star trek TWOK uniforms.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Russia is the only direct enemy of the EU & NATO, and Russia is also an enemy country for Japan, which is located on the opposite side.

Cooperation with NATO has important implications for Japan's security and will continue to be promoted.

It is a welcome situation for Japan that a democratic country that feels threatened by Russia joins NATO.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sweden joining Nato is a terrible idea, and Japan has no business opining on it.

What is next? Japan wants to join the "Northern Atlantic" treaty orgization and participate in the next US proxy war?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@WilliBToday 01:48 am JST

Sweden joining Nato is a terrible idea, and Japan has no business opining on it.

Well yeah, if you want to see dictatorships run rampant all over the world, you would want less NATO.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How come the diagonal cut of the soldier's tunic reminds me of the diagonal slash on a Volvo grill? Must be a Swedish thang.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Finland and Norway have land borders with Russia. Sweden does not.

They have a recent history of military animosity. Look up the 1981 Whiskey on the Rocks incident where a Soviet sub ran aground well inside Swedish territorial waters at the entrance to Sweden's main naval base. Because Sweden was neutral, during the Cold War Sweden developed a large and uncommonly advanced air force (their data linking and remote engagement capabilities were far beyond anything NATO or the Soviets had at the time) to defend itself from a Soviet invasion, which the Swedes assumed would occur if the Soviets went to war with NATO. The Soviets for their part took the Swedes seriously and probed their defenses regularly to test their response just as they did to NATO members.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Your link literally says

Should the conditions for the existence of a material breach be satisfied, NATO’s member states would be entitled, by unanimous agreement, to suspend the operation of the treaty in whole or in part or to terminate it either in their relations with the defaulting state or among them all (Article 60(2) of the Vienna Convention).

It ALSO says

 No provision in the treaty foresees the suspension of membership rights, let alone the expulsion of an ally.

Can't get any more clear than that Taiwan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not to mention

* *to suspend the operation of the treaty in whole or in part or to terminate it either in their relations with the defaulting state or among them all (Article 60(2) of the Vienna Convention).

does not at all mean expulsion of a member.

* *to suspend the operation of the treaty

suspension of operations is exactly what I said above...

What they can do as you have said above is they can pull out their troops from Turkey, they can have NATO drills without including Turkey, BUT actual expulsion from NATO is not possible. It does not exist in the charter.

It basically allows for member states to NOT INCLUDE a member state in operations and intelligence among other things- effectively making it a pariah member of NATO. BUT that does NOT mean that Turkey would no longer be a member of NATO. It still would be. AND it would still have VETO rights meaning Sweden would NEVER be able to officially join NATO without Turkey okaying it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

But hey Taiwan don't take MY word for it. How about you listen to the NATO chief??

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that there’s little chance the military organization would ever introduce a system for expelling anyone among its ranks, as tensions quietly simmer between a number of the 30 member countries.

“NATO doesn’t have any mechanism to expel members. And I will not recommend that to be introduced in our founding treaty,” Stoltenberg said in Riga, Latvia, ahead of a two-day meeting of the security alliance’s foreign ministers.

“Even if I recommend it, it would never happen, because we need consensus to do that,” he said, referring to the need for unanimity in NATO decision-making, which gives every member country a de-facto veto.

NATO chief rules out system for expelling members | AP News

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Aly RustomToday 08:05 am JST

Not to mention

* *to suspend the operation of the treaty in whole or in part or to terminate it either in their relations with the defaulting state or among them all (Article 60(2) of the Vienna Convention).

does not at all mean expulsion of a member.

You are not a lawyer and neither am I. As far as I am concerned "suspending operation of the treaty to terminate it in their relations with the defaulting state" is expelling Hungary and Turkey.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Actually it's even clearer than that because it is really:

Should the conditions for the existence of a material breach be satisfied, NATO’s member states would be entitled, by unanimous agreement, to terminate in their relations with the defaulting state.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You are not a lawyer and neither am I. As far as I am concerned "suspending operation of the treaty to terminate it in their relations with the defaulting state" is expelling Hungary and Turkey.

Should the conditions for the existence of a material breach be satisfied, NATO’s member states would be entitled, by unanimous agreement, to terminate in their relations with the defaulting state.

So now you know better than the NATO chief??

“NATO doesn’t have any mechanism to expel members

Don't need to be a lawyer to understand THAT. Just basic common sense.

The NATO chief said “NATO doesn’t have any mechanism to expel members

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I don't think NATO needs a formal mechanism to coax Hungary and Turkiye out of NATO.

If the US, UK, France, Germany and maybe Spain and Netherlands all made a joint statement that policies of those two governments are in opposition to the values NATO members are sworn to defend and are in fact aligned with those of NATO's adversaries and under those circumstances the US, UK, etc. would not honor an Article 5 request on the part of either Hungary or Turkiye unless and until their governments returned to the values NATO was formed to defend. Don't totally slam the door on them but make it clear that their current governments are aligning themselves with our adversaries and by their actions divorcing themselves from the western alliance.

Then the nations should ad that they will no longer conduct exercises or training with Turkish or Hungarian forces, sell them weapons or spares and the US will withdraw its forces from Turkiye (meaning the USAF at Incirlik AB, Izmir AB and the Army operated AN/TPY-2 radar at Kürecik Radar Station.

I think the they would get the hint and either leave or engage in some self reflection and possibly reform.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And then there is this to add to one's nightly acid reflux :/

https://www.politico.eu/article/hungaria-austria-herbert-kickl-watch-out-ukraine-here-comes-the-hungaro-austrian-empire/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No argument there Desert. None at all. Everything you said is correct.

I'm simply stating that while they have various mechanisms to coax those members out, expulsion in and of itself is not an option.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

NATO is basically a nuclear umbrella so I find it a little strange for Japan to be supporting an expansion to that umbrella given that Kishida recently stated that nukes should be abolished and has been a long time opponent of them. Seems like he is saying we need more nukes before we can have less nukes, more less.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Samit BasuJune 8  07:14 am JST

By what right does Japan support Sweden's NATO membership? Is Japan a NATO member?

Any sovereign nation has their right to express their opinion. Being a NATO member only has a bearing on having a vote. As NATO's primary adversary is Russia, and Japan is still officially in a state of war with Russia, they both have common interests, It must be devastating for you that NATO has not indicated any desire to open an office in South Korea.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NATO is basically a nuclear umbrella

No. Only three NATO members have nuclear arms. Their strength is in their conventional war fighting ability. The idea was in the event of a Soviet invasion, which nobody thought would go nuclear unless one side or the other was losing badly, was to use conventional force to turn the invaders back. Since NATO lacked the manpower and sheer numbers the Soviets fielded, they developed mobile combined arms tactics that relied on speed, coordination of different kinds of arms to achieve overwhelming effects on a chosen target combined with a reliance on developing clearly superior technology all designed to overcome the Soviet advantage in size. All of this was done to prevent an escalation to a nuclear confrontation if that was possible.

We really felt that if the US could successfully reinforce Germany in five days, something practiced with the annual REFORGER exercise, that the Soviets could be stopped with conventional arms and a nuclear war prevented. Later with the advent of the B-2 and F-117 we started to think we could attrite their nuclear forces using only conventional arms, big bunker busters from B-2s to take out their ICBM silos and low observable F-117s flying well behind enemy lines hunting their mobile missiles.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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