Jim Townsend, US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO under former President Barack Obama, and currently an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, described Stoltenberg's Asia trip as one of "reassurance" to Asian partners.
"The timing of Stoltenberg's visit is important. The war in Ukraine has had an effect on Asian countries and China's close relationship with Russia is also a threat that needs to be addressed," he told DW. "Stoltenberg's presence in Tokyo will show that NATO is keen to strengthen its partnership with Asia," he said.
"These visits also signify unity because it shows that NATO and Asia are willing to work together. This trip signals a stronger partnership seeking to deal with China, North Korea and Russia's influence in Asia," he added.
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