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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 10:35, September 26, 2004
Japan needs qualification: Commentary
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The current pressing task for Japan should be to work harder to qualify itself for a seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council but not to hurriedly squeeze the country into the body, said a Xinhua News Agency commentary. An excerpt follows:

Japan has never given up a long-held dream of permanent membership in the Security Council since it launched the first diplomatic offensive to this end in 1995 when the world body celebrated its 50th birthday.

As a country with the world's second largest economy and leading military weaponry, Japan's wish to become a member of the powerful club is understandable.

However, Japan is currently far from being qualified for such status.

First, Japan's self-claimed reasons for its Security Council membership is that it has made the second largest financial contribution to the UN and it has participated in peace-keeping missions and reconstruction work in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The arguments are both groundless.

The UN Charter does not regulate in its clauses that its permanent Security Council membership is decided by the amount of a country's donation to the world body. Japan's second argument will also make the world doubtful of its motive of actively involving itself in postwar Afghanistan and Iraq.

Second, the UN is neither a club of the rich nor a board of directors organized by shareholders. It is an international political body expected to play a role in solving major international issues. Thus, the multilateral mechanism should be representative of different types of countries and regions. Given the current makeup, what the Security Council needs is to absorb more developing rather than developed countries in an expanded line-up.

Third, a country who has not unloaded the burden of history is unqualified for a permanent Security Council membership. The original purpose for the establishment of the UN was to prevent the re-emergence of Fascism and to maintain world peace. The current permanent members all made great contributions to the war against Fascism during World War II. It would be ridiculous if Japan, one of the major countries which caused profound tragedy to neighbours and has so far made no sincere apology to its victims, was given a seat on the Security Council.

Fourth, Japan has no independent diplomacy of its own. Japan's record of behaviour in the international arena has shown that the country follows US-style diplomatic principles. Thus, its entry into the security council is not expected to bring a distinctive voice.

With old international image in the world, in Asia in particular, Japan's efforts to gain such membership will only be a dream.


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