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Japan not ready for U.N. Security Council seat [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2005-5-27 12:14:48 |Display all floors
The following is an article written by Mr. Takashi Tsujii, a writer and poet. It appears on Asahi Shimbun on May 27th.

Many business leaders and people in diplomatic circles seem to share the view that Japan adequately meets the requirements to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Their opinion is based on Japan's great financial contributions to the U.N. budget and to developing nations in the form of official development assistance.

But I disagree.

The United Nations is an international organization for peace. The greatest problem of the Security Council, which forms its core, is how to deal with U.S. unilaterism. The U.S. government ignored the United Nations and launched a pre-emptive attack on Iraq. The problem is how to check such arbitrary action.

At the time, the Japanese government supported U.S. military action by toeing the U.S. line, whereas Germany, which is also seeking a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, acted more cautiously.
Its attitude was in striking contrast with Japan's. Given that the United Nations stands by the principle of international pacifism, I don't think Japan as it is today is qualified to become a permanent member of the Security Council.

To begin with, it is questionable whether the current Japanese administration has a will of its own and is capable of independent thinking. It is natural for other countries to say that allowing Japan to become a permanent member only serves to give the United States another vote in the Security Council.

It is also questionable whether Japan is doing its share as a responsible member of the international community.

Some people argue that it is unreasonable to distinguish between victors and vanquished nations 60 years after the end of World War II.

Although I won't completely deny such vague feelings as wrong, we must also squarely face the reality that 60 years after the war, Japan still has no Asian friends who trust it.

In other words, Japan has yet to settle its history that led to World War II.

Also in this regard, Japan is completely different from Germany, which has positively made an effort to reconcile with its neighbors. The fact that China and South Korea are opposing Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the Security Council is also a sign that Japan is not ready for the post.

The world is facing the challenge of U.S.-led globalization. As the reality of the Iraq war suggests, if nothing is done to stop this trend, it could destroy the cultural uniqueness of individual countries, including those in Asia. The protection of unique cultures and cultural diversity is a global task. Japan is also urged to make a contribution to advance it.

Looking back at modern Japanese history, I think it was the period leading up to around 1892 that Japan showed its best international awareness. While it had no military or economic power, the government at the time calmly read the dynamics of great world powers. It tried to protect its cultural uniqueness while facing the pressure of globalization by imperialistic powers.

However, it eventually leaned toward diplomacy backed with militarism and lost the war. After the war, Japan relied on its economic power to rebuild itself.

But recently, the business world and the government are seeking to open ways to export weapons because Japanese products are not selling as well as they used to.

Looking at their fallen morals, I cannot help but worry that Japan has been reduced to ``a country obsessed with economic values with no respect for ethics and culture.''

If Japan wants an honorable place in international society, it should appeal to the world the value of its peace Constitution. Specifically, it should establish the three principles not to ``possess nuclear weapons,'' ``dispatch troops overseas'' and ``adopt the draft system.'' Such principles make the best use of Japan's originality as a state based on history. It is also the greatest contribution Japan can make to promote international peace.

In doing so, overseas activities of the Self-Defense Forces should be limited to peacekeeping operations decided by the U.N. Security Council.

That is how Japan should advance ``U.N.-centered diplomacy.''

Japan should first clearly express such national philosophies and strive to win the understanding of the international community, including its neighbors. Only when it does, should it consider making a bid for permanent membership on the Security Council.

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Post time 2005-5-27 13:25:42 |Display all floors

Japan isn't as qualified as many other countries.

I believe there are two unforgiving reasons why the present Japanese government  isn't qualified to sit on the UN security council:

1.  The Japanese government is unwilling to totally repent from her past war crimes and renew herself into a peace-loving nation that can benefit the world; and
2.  The Japanese government has been acting as a "yesman" of Washington rather than as an independently minded entity.

There are many better qualified governments than the present-day Japanese government,  e.g. Brazil, India, Germany, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Indonesia, Canada, and so on.

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Post time 2005-5-28 02:43:52 |Display all floors

hey....let hope china never gets one

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Post time 2005-5-28 14:47:49 |Display all floors

I think Japan should get a seat... well until the Security council is worth havi

Niulaoye, I enjoy your comments as you always have good suggestions that are productive, but this time I'm disagreeing on some parts. My country relies on absolutely no militariasm for it's power and well being. Also we aren't based on financial power and we have not lost culture. We continue to preserve our culture through language, art, even innovation such as buildings using old styles and technologies relying on old culture.  Your comments on Japan should adopt 3 principles of not pocessing nuclear weapons, a draft and not to dispatch troops overseas is not Japan's duty but for every single country in the world to do (except for draft which I oppose). If we really wanted world peace, there shouldn't armies anywhere. Japan carries no nuclear weapons and even if it did so, China, USA, Russia etc. everyone else carries them too. Draft I believe is not a good solution for it gives no choice for people who want to pursue other careers such as an educator, doctor etc.
My main argument is that Japan isn't the only country with the burdens to keep it's 'national philosophes' when all countries are having difficulty doing it themselves.

Myfriend has points that other countries are qualifies as well. I wouldn't say Canada (I live here and there aren't enough people), Egypt (poor and having difficulties controlling it's own security), Brazil (too dependent on Aid including today), Indonesia (same as Brazil and Egypt). To tell you the truth the Security Council is a waste of time as time and time again it has failed to provide security to the world. Even if members veto it, US went ahead to war anyway. Why do we not remove or even reform the council so that it actually works? Until then I think there should be no more members into the council (Even though I believe my country is capable of being so) until it actually works. Don't stick more people on a sinking boat.

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Post time 2005-5-28 15:49:36 |Display all floors

It is not my word


Thanks for your message.

But it is not my comment and I cannot take the credit, I am just quoting a passage from a Japanese media. It is the word of Mr. Takashi Tsujii.

I appreciate your comment of security council. In my opinion, the system is the result of last world war. If it is in need of reform, it will be better to eliminate the seat for security council permanent members, so everybody is equal.

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Post time 2005-5-30 00:17:41 |Display all floors

UN Security Council

Remeber guys,

The % original permanenet members of the Security Council are who??

US, China, UK ,USSR and France......China has a seat

why?  Because at the time of its formation these were the most dominant Nations in the world...I.e  they had nuclear weapons or direct access to the technology.

The world will always be at will always fight each other.
The UN security council aims to reduce the amount of war.
A world without armies will soon become a battlefield!

Sorry, but thats the real world we live in...welcome, take a seat!

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Post time 2005-5-30 08:48:03 |Display all floors


"why? Because at the time of its formation these were the most dominant Nations in the world...I.e they had nuclear weapons or direct access to the technology."

Nope. China, as the Republic of China (KMT/Taiwan) had a seat on the UNSC and it never had any nuclear weapons. It was basically the largest & most "powerful" nations who had been on the Allied side of WWII. China joined when the mainland was still under Nationalist control, but non-nuclear.

But of course things change and the UN like any global body needs to be flexible. Otherwise China wouldn't be a candidate to join the G8 in the future, simply because it wasn't a member when it started :)

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