An Argument for Japan's Becoming Permanent Member

What is the stance of Japan on becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council?

Since Japan joined the United Nations in 1956, cooperation with the United Nations has been a cornerstone of its foreign policy. Japan has the world's second largest economy *, and based on this national strength, it has the capacity to assume ever greater global responsibilities through various contributions to the efforts of the United Nations and particularly the Security Council.

Japan is ready to discharge those greater responsibilities as a permanent member of the Council. Japan is the world's largest donor of official development assistance. With this commitment to the United Nations, backed by its national strength, Japan has the capacity to assume ever greater global responsibility through the efforts of the United Nations and particularly the Security Council.

* In 1998, Japan's GDP totalled US $3.8319 trillion (International Financial Statistics International Monetary Fund, 1998) and its share of the global GDP amounted to 13.4 percent (World Development Indicators, World Bank, 2000). Japan is also the world's largest donor of official development assistance (US $15.365 billion in 1999 (provisional)).

1. Cooperation in terms of personnel

Since 1992, when the International Peace Cooperation Law was enacted, Japan has dispatched Japan Self-Defense Force contingents, cease-fire observers, civilian police officers and other election observers to six UN peacekeeping operations, two humanitarian relief operations, and two international election monitoring activities. Japanese personnel are also actively engaged as political affairs officers, and in their roles, in the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), both of which were established In 1999.

2. Financial cooperation

Providing approximately 20.6 percent of the United Nations budget, Japan is second only to the United States in his financial support of the Organization. Leaving out the United States, Japan's financial contributions exceed the combined contributions of the four remaining permanent members of the Security Council.

Moreover, Japan's contributions constituted most of the Trust Fund which enabled developing countries to participate in the multinational force that was dispatched to East Timor.


3. Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

Japan is committed to promoting international disarmament and non-proliferation while firmly maintaining its Three Non-Nuclear Principles of not possessing, not producing and not permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons into its territory. Since 1994 Japan has submitted draft resolutions on nuclear disarmament at the UN General Assembly, which have been adopted with overwhelming support. Japan actively contributed to the success of the 2000 NPT Review Conference, and has been taking the initiative in facilitating the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Moreover, Japan has been playing a leading role in disarmament of conventional arms, including small arms and landmines. It has provided substantial financial assistance for this purpose, and in 2000 established the Small Arms Fund within the United Nations.

4. Other

Japan has served as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for eight terms. During its 1992-93 term, for example, it actively contributed to the achievement of a peace agreement in Cambodia. During its most recent term, in 1997-98, Japan helped shape the debate on many issues of regional and global concern.

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