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[Editorial] Japan Not Qualified for Permanent Security Council Seat

[Editorial] Japan Not Qualified for Permanent Security Council Seat

Posted March. 20, 2005 22:22,   


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has stated that “I support Japan’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.” This is not a new stance of the U.S., but it adds meaning to the Japanese Prime Minister’s proclamation of Japan’s plan to become a permanent member on the UN Security Council last fall, since it is the first time a U.S. official with authority over foreign policy issues has officially made such a declaration. Besides, since it happened following the Korean government’s announcement of its negative view of Japan’s continuing distortion of its history, it has become a sensitive issue to Korea.

We think that Japan does not have the qualities or the qualifications for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. First of all, one cannot but be suspicious of Japan’s plans after becoming a permanent member. It is true that Japan has been financially contributing to UN in large amounts. However, it seems doubtful that Japan will sincerely devote itself to the international society according to UN principles after becoming a permanent member.

The act of making international contributions should not be done for one country’s own good, but for the betterment of the world. As one can see from the Dokdo and the history distortion issues between Korea and Japan, Japan has not fully discarded its imperialistic tendencies regarding territory. Instead of acknowledging their history, they are window dressing their invasions and atrocities committed in the past.

Because of his continuing visits to Yasukuni Shrine, which honors both Japan’s war dead and war criminals, the Japanese prime minister has created tensions with both Korea and China. Such conduct has been the main hindrance in conducting exchange visitations between not only Korea and Japan, but also between China and Japan.

The international stage is not played by just one actor. The preface of the Japanese constitution states that “regardless of country, [Japan] should only focus in domestic issues, and should not neglect other countries.”

However, Japan recently has been behaving out of this international context and has been incongruent with the principles of its own constitution.

If Japan becomes a permanent member of the Security Council, it could aggravate international conflict instead of contributing to international society. This is the main reason against Japan becoming a permanent member. In the world we live in, there are “rich, but unfriendly neighbors,” and there are some things that are priceless.