Estonia and Japan strengthen defense cooperation (1)

Japanese Vice-Minister of Defense Akira Sato meeting with the National Defense Committee of the Estonian Parliament (Erik Peinar/Estonian Parliament)
5/7/2015 4:41 PM
Category: Politics

Japanese Vice-Minister of Defense Akira Sato is on a working visit to Estonia, meeting with the Parliament's Defense Committee, ministry officials and the head of Estonian Defense Forces.

Following a meeting with Sato, the Chairman of the National Defense Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson said it is remarkable how much Estonia and Japan have in common.

"We both sense that the security situation is changing not only in Europe, but in the whole world," Mihkelson said. "The security challenges of Japan are to a great extent similar to the challenges faced by us and our allies in Europe. Therefore, the exchange of information and increasing cooperation in the field of security and cyber-defense are extremely important."

The Vice-Minister of Defense of Japan said at the meeting that Japan feels it has a connection with Estonia because of a common neighbor. The territorial dispute between Japan and Russia over the South Kuril Islands (for Japan, the Northern Territories) is still unsolved.

Sato remarked that Russia's military attention both towards Japan and Estonia has intensified. Recently Russia conducted a military exercise on the disputed islands. Russia has conducted military exercises also in the regions bordering on Estonia.

Mihkelson and Sato also discussed the economic sanctions against Russia.

However, according to Sato, Japan is most interested in cooperation in the field of cyber-security. To that end, Sato visited the Information Systems Authority and NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCD COE) in Tallinn.

M. Oll

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