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Japanese Foreign Minister Will Consider Supporting Ban

Posted March. 08, 2006 03:07,   


The Asahi Shimbun reported yesterday that Yoo Myung-hwan, vice minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, met Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso to ask for support for Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, who has declared he will run for the U.N. Secretary General post.

The newspaper said that Aso declined to make a clear response, saying, “It would be nice if the next Secretary General is from Asia. But we’ll review a little bit more because many countries are running candidates.”

It is believed that the strongest reason that the Japanese government declined to give an immediate agreement on supporting Ban is because Korea opposed Japan’s bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council last year.

But some in the Japanese Foreign Ministry reportedly said, “Unlike China, Korea did not ask other countries to oppose Japan’s move to be a permanent member of the Security Council,” arguing, “Japan should support Ban so that it could gain support from Korea when it makes a bid again to gain membership on the UN Security Council.”

Meanwhile, Yoo said in a strategy dialogue of Korea-Japan vice foreign ministers, which was held before he met Aso, that it is hard for Korea to have a summit meeting with Japan as long as Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi continues to visit Yasukuni Shrine.

Kwang-Am Cheon iam@donga.com