General Denis Mercier, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, visited Singapore and Japan from June 2 to 6.
In Singapore, he attended the Shangri-La Dialogue, alongside a wide range of top-ranking political leaders, including numerous ministers of defence of NATO and partner nations. During the second session regarding “New patterns of security cooperation”, he took the opportunity to deliver his vision about the security challenges, across the Alliance’s borders. He stressed that “improved cooperation built on a wide ranging ecosystem of global partners, persistent exchange of open source information, respectful, flexible and adaptable relationships amongst parties and the development of interoperability standards that enable large exchanges of data, form the basis of the new security cooperation patterns in the 21st century.”
Following this visit, General Mercier paid the first visit of a Supreme Allied Commander Transformation to Japan. He met with Mr Nobuo Kishi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, with Mr Takayuki Kobayashi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defence and with Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of staff, joint staff of the Japan Self-Defence Forces. General Mercier also took the opportunity to discuss current security challenges with high ranking officers from the Joint Staff. In all his meetings, General Mercier highlighted that NATO welcomes Japan’s policy of proactive contributions to peace and looks forward to new cooperation opportunities.”
These two visits demonstrate that although the security environments of the Euro-Atlantic and Asia-Pacific regions are quite different, and notwithstanding the geographic distance between Asia and the NATO member nations, in a more globalized and interlinked world, both of these regions are affected by, and can affect, political and security developments beyond their borders.