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Japanese State Minister of Defence visits Estonia for the first time

6. May 2018 - 15:00
Japanese State Minister of Defence visits Estonia for the first time
Japanese State Minister of Defence visits Estonia for the first time

Minister of Defence Jüri Luik met today, in Tallinn, with Japanese State Minister of Defence Itsunori Onodera, in order to discuss the defence related relations between the two countries and the international security situation. The meeting focused on the promotion of cyber-defence cooperation between Estonia and Japan. Minister Onodera is the first Japanese Minister of Defence to visit Estonia.

‘Estonia and Japan share a similar vision regarding security, and despite the distance between our two countries, our security problems are similar,' said Minister of Defence Luik.

The ministers agreed that there is an understanding in Estonia and Japan when it comes to the importance of cyber defence, and the need for greater cooperation in the field, both bilaterally as well as in NATO, can be seen. ‘Thanks to the high level of development in information technology and cyber-defence in both countries, we can be equal partners to each other,' added Luik.

Minister of Defence Luik invited Japan to use our Cyber Range and to develop cooperation through training exercises.

Last fall, Japan submitted an application to join NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, which is located in Estonia. Today, Minister Onodera also visited the Centre personally.

In addition to bilateral cooperation, the defence ministers of the two countries discussed security questions related to North-Korea, Russia and China, and discussed the topic of cooperation between Japan and NATO.

‘North-Korea’s nuclear programme is a global concern, and finding a permanent solution to the problem is also of great importance to Estonia,' noted Luik.

Minister of Defence Luik also recognised Japan for its close cooperation with NATO and cited the great contribution by Japan in supporting military forces in Afghanistan. ‘Japan has also imposed sanctions against Russia and supported the government of Ukraine,' added Luik.

Yesterday, Minister of Defence Itsunori Onodera visited Ämari Air Base, where he received an overview of Estonia’s Air Force and the training exercise Siil, which happened to be taking place at the same time. The Minister also reviewed the activities of the French air-policing contingent stationed at Ämari.

In addition to Ämari, Minister Onodera also visited the open house at the Mine Harbour (Miinisadam) for the large-scale training exercise Siil. The Japanese Minister of Defence recognised the Estonian Defence League and the desire of our national defence volunteers to contribute to the security of their country.

Picture gallery, meeting of Japanese Minister of Defence with Minister of Defence Jüri Luik

Further information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee