Vilnius Summit 2023: NATO stands united against an unpredictable global security environment

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  • Gina Bou Serhal
Foreign Policy & International Relations

Vilnius Summit 2023: NATO stands united against an unpredictable global security environment

For nearly 75 years, the transatlantic bond of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies has ensured the freedom and security of Europe and North America, with collective defense against all potential threats, serving as its core purpose. Currently, NATO allies face one of the most volatile security environments since the era of the Cold War. From July 11-12, 2023, leaders from NATO countries met in Vilnius, Lithuania for the annual NATO Summit, focusing squarely on the defence of the Allied territories with the war in Ukraine dominating the overarching agenda.

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 — a crisis that occurred on NATO’s doorsteps — the Alliance has dramatically enhanced its defensive capabilities and reinforced its ability to protect and defend member countries both at sea and on land, as well as buttressing its cyber and space commands.

One of the most pronounced outcomes following Crimea’s annexation was the agreement made at the NATO Wales Summit in 2014, which called for adaptation measures to ensure members could rapidly address security challenges, resulting in the creation of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).

Designed to enhance the existing NATO Response Force (NRF) — the alliance’s multinational force comprised 40,000 land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces (SOF), the VJTF was created as a “spearhead force” within the NRF, which included a land contingent of approximately 5,000 troops, along with air, maritime, and SOF components, with the capacity to position themselves within 2-3 days in the event of emerging conflict arising in the east and south of NATO’s borders.[1]

In order to maintain a stable and predictable security order for NATO’s citizens, allies agreed during the Vilnius summit to build upon and strengthen this existing collective defense by adopting a new generation of regional defense plans — the most comprehensive since the end of the Cold War. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described it as a means to “counter the two main threats we face: Russia and terrorism.”[2]

Aimed at further enhancing its collective deterrence and defensive posture, NATO’s updated plans provide for 300,000 troops at ‘high readiness’, armed with considerable air and naval power.[3]  The aim is to improve NATO’s preparedness with greater scale, to deter against any threat — even on short notice.

The war in Ukraine: The catalyst for increased NATO commitments and solidarity

The war in Ukraine, along with the country’s potential membership to the military alliance, dominated the event, underscoring the message to Russia that NATO stands united, and its continued attack on Ukraine would not be tolerated. In order to reaffirm NATO’s unwavering solidarity with the Ukrainian people, the allies agreed to a three-element package during the Vilnius summit to bring Ukraine even closer to NATO. First, leaders agreed to a multi-year assistance program for Ukraine to help modernize its Soviet-era defense standards. Allies committed to rebuilding Ukraine’s defense and security sectors, while also providing support to help ensure critical needs are met, including fuel, demining equipment, and medical supplies, according to Stoltenberg.[4]

Second, the establishment of a new NATO-Ukraine Defense Council was announced at Vilnius, providing the framework for enhanced political cooperation between NATO and Ukraine. The Council will be utilized as a platform for decision-making and crisis consultation[5] wherein Ukraine will be considered equal to NATO allies, and deliberate on security issues of mutual concern.[6]

Finally, alliance members pledged to expedite Ukraine’s membership to NATO. An agreement was made to remove the requirement for Ukraine to submit a Membership Action Plan, streamlining the process for Ukraine’s future accession. Following the first working session, Stoltenberg said: “This is a strong package for Ukraine, and a clear path towards its membership in NATO.”[7]

Maintaining the 2% Defense Investment Pledge

During the 2014 Wales Summit, allies ratified their first Defense Investment Pledge, with members agreeing to increase their defense spending to 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) by 2024[8]. However, the pledge has yet to materialize from many of NATO’s biggest economies, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain — all of whom maintain GDP’s of at least $1 trillion. If these five members alone remained committed to their agreed upon defense budget increases, such spending could add an additional $61 billion to NATO’s collective military budget annually.[9]

Not all NATO members have remained ambivalent to boosting their military spending and investing in key capabilities. The recent war in Ukraine served as a catalyst for at least seven of NATO’s 31 members to meet the 2% GDP target in 2022, including Greece, the United States, Lithuania, Poland, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Latvia.[10]

Despite shortcomings, NATO’s 2022 annual report indicated that allies have continuously invested in defense and increased their spending since the pledge was adopted in 2014. Over the past eight years, European allies and Canada have consecutively increased their spending each year, adding an additional $350 billion towards collective defense. The United States, meanwhile continues to dwarf all other 30 members in defense expenditures, spending more than $811 billion in 2022, equal to 3.57% of its GDP, with the United Kingdom coming in second at $73 billion, or 2.25% of its GDP.[11]

Following a NATO Defense Ministers Meeting in Belgium in June, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said 2% of the GDP on defense should be considered a ‘floor’ and not a ‘ceiling’ when it comes to military spending, adding that an increase in investment would ensure NATO’s credible collective defense while allowing the alliance to continue to modernize its capabilities. Austin also stated that spending at least 2% — if not more, would allow the Alliance to strengthen its defense industrial bases, standardize critical munitions, and improve NATO interoperability.[12]

Considering that NATO allies are facing the most challenging security threats since the end of the Cold War era, leaders at Vilnius agreed to maintain the 2% defense commitment adopted in 2014, while pledging to invest at least 20% of their defense budgets on ‘major equipment’ and research and development to maintain a leading innovative and technological edge.[13]

Defense Production Action Plan: Expediting munition production & delivery

Amid a rapidly evolving and complex global security environment with the Russian-Ukraine crisis standing at the forefront, much of the summit agenda stressed on NATO’s need to update regional collective defense strategies, including reinforcing its eastern flank as well as prioritizing the procurement and investment of a battle-ready arsenal to including not only jets and tanks, but a continuous, steady flow of ammunition — a concern throughout the war thus far.

As of March 2023, the U.S. has supplied Ukraine with nearly 1 million 155-millimeter howitzer shells — the NATO alliance artillery standard, since the onset of war, while Europe’s contribution has been less than half the amount at 350,000 shells in total.[14] Considered the most requested and widely used munition in the war in Ukraine, the appeal of the 155mm howitzer lies in its ability to be fired from longer distances, striking targets up to 32 kilometers away, serving as a practical choice for the safety of ground forces.

The dilemma for NATO allies has been to maintain a steady flow of munitions to Ukraine while also retaining robust arsenals of their own, ensuring not to deplete their own supplies in the event of an unforeseen escalation or conflict elsewhere. Considering Russia is firing almost 50,000 rounds a day, compared to nearly 10,000 from Ukraine,[15] the disproportion has long remained a concern for NATO members. In February, Jens Stoltenberg stated, “the current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production. This puts our defense industries under strain.”[16]

Since the onset of the war in February 2022, delivery lead times for new munition orders have increased from 12 to 28 months. In order to expedite production to meet Ukraine’s demands, NATO allies are working closely with their defense industries to secure multi-year procurement contracts for ammunition and other defense capabilities, including weapon systems. “It is clear that we are in a race of logistics” said Stoltenberg, adding that “key capabilities like ammunition, fuel, and spare parts must reach Ukraine before Russia can seize the initiative on the battlefield. Speed will save lives.”[17]

Ukraine membership to NATO

Initial cooperation between Ukraine and NATO began in 1991 with Kyiv joining the North Atlantic Cooperation Council followed by the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program in 1994.  The concept behind the PfP solidifies bilateral cooperation between individual Euro-Atlantic countries and NATO, empowering partners to develop an individual, tailored relationship with the alliance, and identifying their own priorities for cooperation.[18] Relations between Ukraine and NATO further strengthened in 1997 with the signing of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership that established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) elevating the NATO-Ukraine partnership to the next level.[19]

During the Bucharest NATO Summit in 2008, Ukraine was given a thinly-veiled promise of eventual membership to NATO. However, 15 years have passed and the country still lacks a concrete membership action plan. The hesitation among some within the Alliance stems from Article 5 of the NATO treaty which states an attack on one ally is considered an attack on all.  As Ukraine is in the midst of war, such a commitment to protect every inch of NATO territory has created a lack of unanimity among NATO members, mainly the United States and Germany, who wish to avoid direct confrontation with Russia that could risk escalation into a full-on nuclear war.

Although the Vilnius summit did not produce a concrete commitment as to when Ukraine will be formally invited to join NATO, it did provide the promise, yet again, of an eventual accession to the military alliance. While acknowledging that Ukraine is on the path to becoming interoperable and politically intergraded with the alliance, the formal NATO Communique highlighted the need for additional ‘democratic and security sector reforms, that must be addressed before NATO membership can materialize.

According to NATO’s 2022 Strategic Concept, the Alliance considers Russia as ‘the most significant and direct threat to allies’ security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area”.[20] Following its year-and-a-half-long war with Russia, the Ukrainian military remains the most battle tested across Europe as a result of its first-hand experience in combatting Russian warfare tactics, including its numerous successes in withstanding and resisting Russian attack, especially during the early days of the conflict when Kyiv was expected to fall to Russian forces within days. For these reasons, Ukraine’s accession would serve to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank, known as the ‘Bucharest Nine,’ which includes the NATO member states of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic — all of whom emphatically support Ukraine’s membership to the alliance.

To ensure Ukraine meets NATO’s operational standards and practices, members also agreed to provide intensive training to the Ukrainian military. Denmark’s Acting Defense Minister Troels Lund PoulsenIt announced during the first day of the summit that a coalition of 11 NATO allies would begin training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets in Demark — a longstanding request from Ukraine’s military to aid against Russian aerial assaults, along with the establishment of a training center in Romania. In anticipation of the eventual delivery of the jets to Ukraine later this fall, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced in June that his nation would begin building the necessary infrastructure required for the sophisticated F-16s.[21]  Such actions will ensure Ukraine’s military will become fully interoperable with NATO forces, bringing Ukraine one step closer to NATO membership once the war is over and the conditions outlined by NATO have been met.

In the meantime, U.S. President Joe Biden has suggested further strengthening of Ukraine’s security forces with enhanced capabilities to deter future threats against Ukraine’s sovereignty.  The strategy, known as the ‘Israeli Model’ is based on the defense relationship between the U.S. and Israel, wherein the U.S. would supply Ukraine with advanced weaponry, training, and military assistance as a means to guarantee the country’s self-defence while Kyiv embarks on the extensive path toward NATO membership.

Security guarantees

In the absence of a formal invitation to NATO, Ukraine’s Western allies backed up pledges of supporting the country ‘for as long as it takes’ with security guarantees. During the two-day summit, broad commitments from Ukraine’s allies were made, including forthcoming deliveries of military hardware, munitions, and advanced weaponry systems. In a statement published by Downing Street at the start of the Vilnius summit, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak affirmed Britian’s commitment to boost the production capacity of the 155mm artillery ammunition by eight-fold.[22] Germany announced a $756 million military aid package intended to “serve Ukraine’s priorities,” including a range of air defence, tanks, and artillery, according to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.[23]

France announced its pledge to supply Ukraine with surface-to-air long-range missiles known as SCALP, similar to a commitment made by the United Kingdom in May. The Ukrainian military has requested such missiles for months from the United States due to its range capacity of 250 kilometers, allowing Ukrainian forces to hit targets far beyond the front lines.[24]

In a display of solidarity, the G-7 announced the establishment of a long-term security framework for Ukraine, releasing a joint statement reaffirming its “unwavering commitment to the strategic objective of a free, independent, democratic, and sovereign Ukraine.” Each G7 nation intends to develop bilateral, long-term defense commitments through the delivery of security assistance, training, and intelligence sharing to ensure the Ukrainian military continues to develop as a “sustainable force capable of defending Ukraine now and deterring Russian aggression in the future.”[25]

Adopting the Defense Production Action Plan during the Vilnius summit, allies agreed to accelerate joint procurement and boost production capacity within the defence industries across the alliance. Promoting a robust and agile defence industry along with enhancing allies’ interoperability is essential for NATO members to swifty address the complex issues arising from today’s security environment challenges.

Strengthening NATO’s northern flank

Since NATO’s inception in 1949, the organization has more than doubled in size as a result of Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty which encourages enlargement, based on the belief that European nations have the right to defend themselves. Labeled as an ‘open-door policy”, NATO membership remains open to European countries that are willing to assist in contributing to collective security throughout the Euro-Atlantic.

Considering their proximity to the Russian Federation, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine prompted both Finland and Sweden to disregard their traditional stance of military nonalignment and apply for NATO membership. All decision-making efforts among NATO members, including the decision to admit new members, remain consensus-based and must be approved by all 31 members. This fundamental principle initially delayed the decision to allow Sweden to join NATO at the behest of Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan long opposed Sweden’s addition to NATO, accusing Stockholm of supporting separatists within the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known as the PKK, a Kurdish militant political group designated by the United States, European Union, and Turkey as a terrorist organization. Although Sweden’s constitution allows for broad protection of non-violent personal freedoms, Erdoğan has long urged Sweden to ban public displays of support from the PKK while pressing Sweden to extradite its members back to Turkey, without due process.

Finland’s membership also faced pushback initially from Turkey as a result of Finnish weapons embargoes in response to the Turkish targeting of Kurdish militias in Syria. Following numerous rounds of negotiations, Finland’s eventual accession to NATO took place in April 2023, instantly doubling NATO’s land border with Russia. In a surprise turn of events hours before the Vilnius summit began, Turkey announced the reversal of its veto position regarding Sweden’s membership. According to Turkish officials, Turkey’s ‘key demands’ were met regarding Sweden’s approach to the Kurdish separatists in Sweden.[26] However, Turkey’s longstanding petition to purchase American-made F-16s, which Congress has blocked as a means of leverage over Turkey to approve Sweden’s membership, is more likely the scenario behind Erdogan’s last-minute U-turn in approving Stockholm’s membership bid.

NATO will greatly benefit from Finland and Sweden’s robust national defense spending, further reinforcing the military alliance’s northern flank, including the integration of a new generation of Swedish submarines in the Baltic Sea[27] and Finnish F-35 fighter jets.[28] The addition of Finland and Sweden to NATO will have a profound impact on regional security within the Nordic-Baltic region. NATO will gain access to new territories and their infrastructure, including extensive railway networks, allowing for increased ability to transport reinforcements and equipment to the northern flank in the event of an unexpected escalation with Russia.[29]

Delivering remarks following NATO’s 2022 Summit in Madrid, U.S. President Biden stated that although Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aim was to ‘break up NATO’, Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine has instead solidified the alliances resolve, adding that “we’re more united than ever. And with the addition of Finland and Sweden, we’ll be stronger than ever. They have serious militaries, both of them.”[30]

NATO expansion in Asia-Pacific

NATO’s Madrid summit in June 2022 included the first ever participation of leaders from four Indo-Pacific nations, including Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia. NATO stressed its commitment to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with regional partners in order to face mutual challenges.

NATO values the strategic importance of the Indo-Pacific region as a means to counter growing Chinese influence. Outlined for the first time in NATO’s 2022 Strategic Concept, the document underscored the importance of the Indo-Pacific region, noting that developments within the region directly affect Euro-Atlantic security[31] adding that the Alliance faces “systemic competition” from Beijing’s “ambitions and coercive policies” that challenge members’ “interests, security and values.”[32]

Stoltenberg expressed NATO concerns about what the Alliance considered as China’s military build-up, while also condemning North Korea's latest missile test, in violation of international norms and multiple UN Security Council resolutions.[33] On the other hand, China has rejected NATO’s accusation that it challenges the bloc’s interests and security and opposed any attempt by the military alliance to expand its footprint into the Asia-Pacific region.[34]

Amidst geopolitical implications surrounding the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the continued solidarity that Chinese President Xi Jinping shows to President Vladimir Putin, NATO allies maintain growing concerns over the Russian-Chinese pursuits to reshape the world order.  China’s military expansion in the South China Sea coupled with its increased military spending, further reinforces such fears. China’s clear pursuit to break out of the United States maritime encirclement posed by the ‘first island chain’[35] by entering into a security agreement with the Solomon Islands is also driving tensions, as the arrangement allows for a Chinese military presence near U.S. forces based in Guam — also in close proximity to America’s traditional military ally, Australia.

Nonetheless, China’s refusal to take a firmer stance on the war in Ukraine has been creating unease in the West, with concerns that Beijing could attempt to set a precedent in the event a similar scenario repeats itself with Taiwan. As a result, the United States continues to strengthen its strategic partnerships in Indo-Pacific, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea to aid in countering China and Russia’s geopolitical ambitions.

Japan & NATO: Deepening cooperation to address regional challenges in the

“No other partner is closer to NATO than Japan.” With these words, NATO chief Stoltenberg welcomed Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to the NATO Vilnius summit on July 12. The summit unveiled the new cooperation document, called the “Individually Tailored Partnership Program between NATO and Japan for 2023-2026,” laying out areas of cooperation that include strategic communication, cyber defense, space security, emerging and disruptive technologies, maritime security, arms control, and climate change.

The Ukraine crisis served as a turning point for Japan’s foreign policy, with the nation condemning Russia’s actions as “a serious threat to the rules-based international order, with ramifications well beyond Europe.”[36] Japan has growing concerns over China’s territorial claims and perceived Russian aggression resulting from a fallout in bilateral dialogue regarding territorial disputes between Moscow and Tokyo. Such factors provoked Tokyo to update its latest National Security Strategy (NSS) last December, which called for plans to acquire preemptive strike capabilities — marking a major shift from its strictly self-defense-only postwar principle.

With China, North Korea, and Russia directly to its west and north, the NSS reaffirmed that Japan “faces the severest and most complicated national security environment since the end of the World War II”, naming China as its “biggest strategic challenge”.[37] The NSS also called for an increase of military expenditure from 1% of GDP to NATO’s standard of 2% of GDP by 2027 — a decision the US described as “Japan's staunch commitment to upholding the international rules-based order and a free and open Indo-Pacific.” On the other hand, Chinese officials urged Japan to “reflect on its policies.” [38]

In a bid to deepen its cooperation with NATO and its allies, Japan recently announced its intention to open a NATO liaison office in Tokyo to better coordinate with the Alliance’s partners across the Indo-Pacific region, including Australia, South Korea and New Zealand.[39]  The announcement in part, served as a response to increased Russian and Chinese military cooperation unfolding in the Indo-pacific region. Last June, Chinese and Russian forces conducted joint patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China sea, forcing Tokyo and Seoul to scramble fighter jets in response.[40]

While NATO member countries agree on the challenge that China poses, they differ on how to address concerns due to their reliance on Chinese investments and bilateral trade. Beijing accounts for nearly 20% of European imports and 10% of exports. French president Emmanuel Macron described Japan’s NATO liaison office as a “big mistake”.[41] Nonetheless, the establishment of NATO’s first Asia-based location may be more of a symbolic gesture to showcase Tokyo solidarity, as the cooperation between Japan and its NATO partners will not be undermined if circumstances change.


NATO allies currently face an inflection point with the possibility of ensuring freedom and territorial sovereignty remain protected for all member nations that wish to commit to a rules-based international order. What was once inconceivable — a twenty-first century land-war in Europe, has now become today’s dire reality. While the Russia-Ukraine war has only served to strengthen the alliance, NATO’s collective resolve to stand with Ukraine through the darkest era since its independence will remain pivotal for the future security of Europe and to safeguard western democracy. Today, NATO functions at its strongest capacity since its inception. As the alliance continues down the path of enlargement, with a strengthened commitment to increasing defense investments along with growing interoperability and deeper cooperation between its members, NATO has arguably transpired as the most capable military alliance in world history.


[1] “NATO Response Force,”, (date retrieved: July 5, 2023),

[2] Jim Garamone, “Leaders Agree to Expedite Ukraine’s NATO Membership,” U.S. Department of Defense, July 11, 2023,

[3] “NATO agrees strong package for Ukraine, boosts deterrence and defence,” July 11, 2023,,

[4] “NATO agrees strong package for Ukraine, boosts deterrence and defence,July 11, 2023,,

[5] Jens Stoltenberg, A Stronger NATO for a More Dangerous World: What the Alliance Must Do in Vilnius—and Beyond, Foreign Affairs, July 10, 2023,

[6] “Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence in Brussels,”, June 16, 2023,

[7] “NATO agrees strong package for Ukraine, boosts deterrence and defence,”, July 11, 2023,

[8] “Wales Summit Declaration,” September 5, 2014,,

[9] Bradley Bowman and Jack Sullivan, “Can NATO Finally Make the 2 Percent Stick?,” Foreign Policy, June 20, 2023,

[10] Marta Rodriguez Martinez, “NATO: Why is spending 2% of GDP on defence so controversial?” EuroNews, April 7, 2023,

[11] “NATO Spending by Country,” Wise Voter, date retrieved: July 7, 2023,

[12] “Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Press Conference Following a NATO Defense Ministers Meeting in Brussels, Belgium,” U.S. Department of Defense, June 16, 2023,

[13] “Vilnius Summit Communiqué,”, July 12, 2023,

[14] Jacopo Barigazz, “EU nears deal to restock Ukraine’s diminishing ammo supplies,” Politico, March 15, 2023,

[15] Steven Erlanger, “Ukraine Needs Shells, and Arms Makers Want Money. Enter the E.U.," The New York Times, March 8, 2023,

[16] “NATO chief says Ukraine’s ammunition use outstripping supply,” Associated Press, February 13, 2023,

[17] Sabine Siebold and Andrew Gray, “NATO to increase targets for ammunition stockpiles as war depletes reserves, Reuters, February 14, 2023,

[18] “Partnership for Peace programme,, April 11, 2023,

[19] “Relations with Ukraine,”, June 2, 2023,

[20] “NATO 2022 Strategic Concept,”, date retrieved: July 6, 2023,

[21] Burç Eruygur, “Ukraine to prepare infrastructure for F-16 fighter jets: Zelensky,” Anadolu Agency, June 6, 2023,

[22] “Prime Minister: NATO must learn lessons from Putin's barbaric tactics in Ukraine”, GOV.UK, July 11, 2023,

[23] Laura Kayali and Hans Von Der Burchard, “France and Germany pledge more weapons for Ukraine,” Politico, July 11, 2023,

[24] John Irish, “France to supply Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles, Reuters, July 11, 2023,

[25] “G7 joint declaration on Ukraine multilateral framework,” Reuters, July 12, 2023,

[26] Firat Kozok, Selcan Hacaoglu and Natalia Drozdiak, “Turkey Agrees to Back Sweden’s NATO Bid in Boost to Alliance,” Bloomberg, July 10, 2023,

[27] Anne Kauranen and Johan Ahlander, “How Sweden and Finland could help NATO contain Russia,” Reuters, July 3, 2023,

[28] Ann-Sofie Dahl, “Finland and Sweden’s NATO entries are a mixed blessing for the old Nordic allies,” Atlantic Council, June 27, 2023,

[29] Anne Kauranen and Johan Ahlander, “How Sweden and Finland could help NATO contain Russia, Reuters, July 5, 2023,

[30] Jim Garamone, Biden Says NATO Meets Challenges of Today, Prepares to Counter Threats of Tomorrow,” U.S. Department of Defense, June 30, 2022,

[31] “Relations with partners in the Indo-Pacific region,”, July 7, 2023,

[32] “NATO Tokyo office is ‘still on the table,’ says Stoltenberg”, Nikkei Asia, July 12, 2023,

[33] “NATO Secretary General: no partner is closer than Japan”,, July 12, 2023,

[34] “China lashes back at NATO criticism, warns it will protect its rights”, Reuters, July 12, 2023,

[35] Euan Graham, “Assessing the Solomon Islands’ new security agreement with China”, IISS, May 5, 2022,

[36] “Ukraine: A turning point in Japanese foreign policy?”, Pacific Forum, February 25, 2022,

[37] “As regional threats rise, Japan eases defense-only strategy”, nbc news, December 16, 2022,

[38] “Japan approves a historic new military build-up”, dw news, December 16, 2022,

[39] “Nato planning to open Japan office to deepen Asia-Pacific ties”, The Guardian, May 3, 2023,

[40] “France opposed to opening of Nato liaison office in Japan, official says”, The Guardian, June 7, 2023,

[41] Ibid.

: 14-July-2023

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