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‘Natural Partners’ in Challenging Waters? Japan–NATO Co-Operation in a Changing Maritime Environment

Alessio Patalano
RUSI Journal, 22 June 2016
Japan, NATO, Maritime Forces
Japan and NATO have deepened their defence engagement following joint efforts to address common maritime challenges

Japan–NATO co-operation has come a long way from the initial political contacts of the 1990s, with Japan’s contribution to reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan a core factor in the development of the partnership. Alessio Patalano, however, argues that it is the counter-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean which has been critical to the development of a more robust form of military interaction and has set the foundations for an enhanced partnership. He explains why maritime security can continue to play a central role in driving co-operation forward, notwithstanding the need for both actors to respond to the return of peer competition at sea.

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