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UPDATED: 08:55, September 22, 2004
Japan says it wants permanent Security Council membership
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Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday expressed the hope that his country wants permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council.

"We believe that the role that Japan has played provides a solid basis for its assumption of permanent membership of the Security Council," Koizumi told the general debate of the 59th session of the UN General Assembly.

He also said, "In order to better reflect today's world, it is also necessary to remove the 'enemy state' clauses from the (UN) Charter, as the General Assembly has already recognized these provisions to be obsolete."

The enemy state clauses are a series of references in the Charter to any state "which during the Second World War has been an enemy of any signatory of the present Charter". Article 107 of the Charter says that "nothing in the present Charter shall invalidate or preclude action, in relation to any state which during the Second World War has been an enemy of any signatory to the present Charter, taken or authorized as a result of that war by the governments having responsibility for such action."

In his speech, the Japanese leader urged the United Nations to speed up reform, saying that as the international community rises to meet the challenges it faces in today's world, the United Nations must not be left on the sidelines.

"We need a strong and effective United Nations. Indeed, we must create 'a new United Nations for the new era'," Koizumi said.

He said changes were needed throughout the UN system, and among these changes, the core must be the reform of the Security Council.

"The Security Council must improve its representation to better reflect today's world. In addition, the Security Council must be provided with adequate resources to address the challenges effectively. Countries with the will and resources to play a major role in the international peace and security must always take part in the council's decision-making process," said Koizumi.

The Security Council therefore, he said, "needs to be expanded, both in its permanent and non-permanent categories, adding new members from both developing and developed countries."

Koizumi said, "The realization of peace requires comprehensive efforts ranging from peace-building to nation-building. Japan's role has thus become increasingly vital to the maintenance of international peace and security, which is precisely the mandate of the Security Council."

Source: Xinhua

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