Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday said he will attend this month’s NATO summit in Madrid. This meet becomes the country’s first leader to join a top meeting of the transatlantic alliance.

The June 28-30 gathering is seen as a crunch moment for the 30 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies, four months into Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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It is reported that Sweden and Finland, which have applied to join NATO, are sending delegations to the summit, and South Korea’s new President Yoon Suk-yeol will also be the first leader from his country to attend.

Japan, not a NATO member and a key US ally, has delivered defensive supplies to Ukraine and imposed tough sanctions on Russia in tandem with the other Group of Seven countries.

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Speaking to reporters, Kishida said, “As the only Asian country in the G7, Japan’s diplomatic capabilities are being tested.”

His attendance at the NATO summit will be “the first time for a Japanese prime minister”, he said. He further added that he intends to highlight the link between security concerns in Europe and Asia.

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In recent weeks, Kishida hosted a summit of the Quad grouping and has made trips to countries including Singapore, where he gave a keynote speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit on Friday.