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UPDATED: 16:20, June 17, 2005
Koizumi says Japan cannot back US proposal for UN reform
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Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Friday that Japan cannot support a US proposal for UN Security Council reform as it clearly conflicts with a plan Japan, Brazil, Germany and India jointly compiled.

"Japan cannot go along with this plan," Koizumi told reporters. "We must think of cooperation in the Group of Four as important and stay united," he said.

Koizumi said the fact that the United States, Japan's closest ally, made such a proposal has put Japan in a "difficult" situation.

But Koizumi said he would do his "utmost" to persuade the United States to at least understand Japan's position.

The United States backed only "two or so" countries, including Japan, to take new permanent UN Security Council seats without veto power and two or three more nonpermanent members in the proposal it revealed Thursday.

"This seems good to Japan but it's not to the other G-4 members, " Koizumi said, adding it would not be a good idea for Japan just to think of its own interests.

The G-4 is preparing to submit to the UN General Assembly a draft resolution calling for expansion of the Security Council with six new permanent members, including the G-4 countries, and four new nonpermanent members.

Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said at a separate press conference that the G-4 nations plan to get together later this month to compare notes and try to decide how to deal with the US proposal.

"We don't see the issue as a simple matter of choosing one out of two," Machimura said.

Machimura indicated it will be difficult for the US proposal to clear the requirement for implementation of support by two-thirds of the 191 UN member states.

"But we should take it as a constructive proposal," Machimura said.

The United States and the G-4 may be able to come up with something which both sides can accept through the process of deepening discussions, he said.

Machimura indicated the US proposal puts Japan into a dilemma of choosing between the United States and its G-4 partners.

Machimura said he told US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that it is difficult to immediately break the G-4's framework, as the four countries are lobbying other UN member states to back their reform plan.

Source: Xinhua

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