Primary Malaysian Chinese language newspaper Oriental Daily recently reported that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to attend the NATO summit scheduled for late June in Spain. This move will make him the first Japanese leader to attend this Western alliance meeting. Whether Kishida will actually attend the June 29-30 meeting in Madrid depends on the domestic political situation. The timing may conflict with the political campaign season for the July 10 Senate election. Kishida’s participation in the NATO summit is expected to strengthen the coordination with the United States and European countries to deal with Russia’s war in Ukraine and possible emergencies in the Taiwan Strait. Kishida plans to travel to Spain on June 26 after attending the three-day G7 summit in Germany. Australia, New Zealand and South Korea were also invited to the NATO summit as Asia-Pacific partners. The involvement of Japan and other non-NATO countries will send a strong message of solidarity to the international community in the Ukraine crisis. However, some Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers believe that Kishida, who already has a relatively high approval rating, should concentrate on campaigning before the Senate election.
Source: Oriental Daily, June 4, 2022