Italy’s Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini went on a state visit to Japan, where he met with his counterpart Kishi Nobuo. The two discussed the Russian aggression against Ukraine, global and regional security, particularly in the Indo-Pacific, and defence cooperation   

Ministers of Defence Lorenzo Guerini  and Nobuo Kishi meet in Japan
Ministers of Defence Lorenzo Guerini and Nobuo Kishi meet in Japan

Last week, Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini went on a state visit to Japan. During the visit, he met with his Japanese counterpart, Mr. Nobuo Kishi.   

Our countries are bound by long-standing, deep-rooted relations, which today are strengthened by broad common values, starting from fundamental ones: freedom, democracy, and the rule of law”, said Minister Guerini. Mr. Guerini also expressed his satisfaction with their fruitful meeting, the first held in person in Japan after two years of pandemic-related limitations.  

Great democratic countries“, Minister Guerini continued, “must assume the burden of defending the essential principles of international law, which are there to protect civil co-existence. This is the reason why I see a strong connection between actions conducted to safeguard security and freedom in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, and the Indo-Pacific: these are closely connected scenarios”.

Besides the developments of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the talk also focused on Italy’s full support for the strategy of the European Union. The latter aims at guaranteeing the promotion and development of new capabilities to be deployed in all operational sectors to tackle new threats, challenges, and realities more effectively. 

italy japan security defence

In fact, even if the Mediterranean Sea and bordering maritime areas remain the focus of the Italian Defence, Italy looks at the Indo-Pacific as an increasingly relevant area for international stability, due to its growing economic, demographic and political importance. Therefore, Italy wants to strengthen the coordination of activities in the region. 

Italy and Japan share an approach aimed at safeguarding its essential principles. Therefore, the common engagement of the two countries, at both the global level and in their respective geographic areas, seems only natural. “The geographical distance between Europe and the Indo-Pacific – Mr. Guerini added – “is, therefore, much smaller than it seems, and security implications for the two regions influence each other”.  

The meeting was also an opportunity to deepen the status of bilateral relations between the respective Armed Forces, especially concerning the signing of the Technical Arrangement between the Italian and Japanese Air Forces. The Agreement provides for the advanced training of Japanese pilots to be conducted in Italy at the International Flight Training School (IFTS).  

Industrial cooperation was also a top item in the discussion. The ambitious Italian-Japanese technology and equipment implementation project, which kicked off in 2019, culminated in January 2021 in the third edition of the Joint Working Group: a forum that allowed sharing of ideas and development plans on Defence systems.  

italy japan security defence

Furthermore, Italy assigns great value to the Tempest project, aimed at developing 6th generation systems that will define the most advanced technologies and determine the future of the aerospace industry. Italy’s ambition is to make this a model for future industrial cooperation, where Japan is seen as a strategic partner.  

Among the elements that bind Italy and Japan – Minister Guerini concluded- there is that special balance between respecting traditions and the vocation to innovate which characterizes both countries. We deem that the understanding between our nations is open to further interesting progress specifically in the field of technology”.