Section 4. Cooperation in Various Activities of the United Nations


1. Japan's Basic Attitude


The United Nations is the most universal organization in the world, and Japan has positively participated and cooperated in U.N. activities since its admission to the organization. It must be pointed out, however, that the United Nations has assumed a considerably different role from that of its original design. This is solely because the United Nations has come to reflect directly the realities of international politics. As a result of the large increase in the number of member states together with the complex and diverse nature of the problems handled, the United Nations and its agencies have come to provide a highly useful framework in such wide fields as in the maintenance of international peace, disarmament, socio-economic advancement, human rights, culture as well as international cooperation in the regulation of daily intercourse in technical and administrative fields. It has been one of the key elements of Japan's diplomacy to participate and cooperate positively in the various activities of the United Nations whose purpose is the promotion of international cooperation.


2. Japan's Activities at the United Nations in 1975


Japan continued its vigorous activities at the United Nations in 1975, its major efforts being as follows:


(1) Japan made constructive contributions as a member of the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Industrial Development Board, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Program, and the World Food Council. The number of major councils and committees in whose work Japan took part totalled 28 (there are 33 major councils and committees). Japan is one of the most active member states of the United Nations.

In 1975, there was an election of judges for the International Court of Justice, a principal judicial organ of the United Nations, and Prof. Shigeru Oda, from Tohoku University, was elected as the second postwar Japanese judge, following the late Judge Kotaro Tanaka.

It reflects the expectation placed on Japan's role in U.N. activities that it holds so many important posts in this organization.


(2) Japan played a positive role as a non-permanent member of the Security Council during the two-year term from1975 to 1976. In the course of debates in the Security Council on questions such as the Middle East, Cyprus and East Timor, Japan sometimes found itself in a dilemma in making a difficult choice. However, Japan always held the basic attitude that the countries concerned should make sincere efforts in the spirit of "dialogue and cooperation" to bring about an effective and mutually acceptable settlement in each case. Japan's attitude was highly appreciated by the countries concerned.


(3) In the course of the disarmament debate at the 30thU.N. General Assembly, a total of 25 resolutions on disarmament, the largest number ever, were adopted.

 Being stimulated by the debate at the 29th General Assembly following the Indian nuclear testing as well as that of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in May 1975, the 30thGeneral Assembly had its attention focused, in particular, upon the issue of nuclear non-proliferation, including the question of the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones. In this connection, addressing itself to the question of how to control nuclear explosions conducted in the name of peaceful purposes, Japan appealed to the General Assembly to promptly take effective steps to prevent nuclear proliferation and sponsored, together with the Netherlands, Canada and other countries, a resolution requesting both the IAEA and CCD to continue its study concerning nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes, and the resolution was adopted. Meanwhile, with these activities at the U.N. as background, considerable progress was achieved at home toward the ratification of the non-proliferation treaty.

Japan made a positive contribution to the consideration of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and signed the Treaty in February 1970, from the viewpoint that the proliferation of nuclear weapons would increase the danger of nuclear war and might constitute a grave threat to the peace and stability of the world.

Heated discussions followed in preparation for the necessary constitutional procedures for the ratification of the Treaty. The major issues involved were, among others, the guarantee of security of non-nuclear-weapon states, nuclear disarmament, and peaceful application of nuclear energy.

In April 1975, the Government of Japan, taking into consideration the debate both inside and outside the Diet, sought approval of the ratification of the Treaty from the National Diet, and the Diet gave deliberate consideration to various questions with regard to the Treaty.

(On May 24, 1976, the Diet approved the ratification of the Treaty, and the Government of Japan deposited its instruments of ratification with the Governments of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States, on June 8, thereby becoming a party to the Treaty.)


(4) As for the Korean question, two contradictory resolutions - one supporting the Republic of Korea and the other North Korea - were both adopted at the same time. Thus, no clue was found to a concrete settlement of this question.

Japan, together with Canada, New Zealand, the United States and other countries, promoted the resolution sup-porting the Republic of Korea and exerted efforts to have it adopted from the point of view that the maintenance of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula was important and in the hope that dialogue between the two parties concerned would be promoted. However, the adoption of the resolution supporting North Korea left open the problems of how to coordinate the purpose of the United Nations and how to insure the implementation of the resolutions adopted.


(5) As regards the subject of reviewing the U.N. Charter to strengthen the United Nations, Japan participated in the ad hoc committee established under the resolution adopted at the29th General Assembly. At the 30th General Assembly, Japan also endeavored to have adopted, by consensus, the resolution calling for the establishment of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the United Nations, with a view to expanding the basis of understanding of and support for this subject.


(6) The United Nations also plays an important role in the economic and social fields. In September 1975, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted by consensus are solution on development and international economic cooperation at its Seventh Special Session. At this meeting, Japan emphasized the importance of "dialogue and cooperation" and appealed to all countries, whether developed or developing, to steadily advance toward fostering more well-balanced and equitable world economic relations. It was also agreed at the Special Session to elaborate further the major substantive problems contained in the afore-mentioned resolution at the fourth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in May 1976.

Japan has also been taking part in the work to establish the International Fund for Agricultural Development which is a follow-up to the World Food Conference in 1974.

The U.N. Revolving Fund for Natural Resources, the establishment of which was resolved at the 28th General Assembly on Japan's initiative, entered the operational stage after the details of its management had been determined in1975.

At the 30th U.N. General Assembly, Japan reiterated its intention of continuing to lend its cooperation to the U.N. University headquartered in Tokyo in view of the fact that the University had already begun to operate, and took the initiative in submitting a resolution which sought the positive support of all U.N. member nations for the U.N. University. The resolution was adopted by consensus.


(7) Japan actively participated in various activities of the 14 U.N. specialized agencies in such fields as the economy, development, labor, transportation, and communications.


(8) Japan also actively participated in the debate at the third session of the third U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea, which was held in Geneva from March 17 until May 9,1975, in order to establish a stable and equitable new order for the sea.


to table of contents