(Sankei: January 24, 2016 – p. 9)
By Jun Kurosawa in New York
Japan is currently conducting active diplomacy as a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC). It has been messaging vigorously after North Korea conducted its latest nuclear test, as well as engaging in behind-the-scenes coordination to draw up a sanctions resolution. Japan is making its presence felt in the international community and trying to lay the groundwork to become a permanent UNSC member this year, which marks the 60th anniversary of its UN membership.
According to a UNSC source, Japan proposed two revisions to the wording of the press release [on the nuclear test] adopted in a closed door meeting in order to ensure the implementation of sanctions. The proposals were accepted. Behind-the-scenes negotiations are currently taking place on the sanctions resolution against North Korea and Japan is actively participating in this process. Japan also intends to perform its duties as chair of the sanctions committees on the Yemen and Lebanon issues and the committee for UNSC procedural improvement under the Security Council.
However, although Japan is still the no. 2 contributor to the UN’s budget in the 2016-18 period, its share has dropped below 10%, which is less than half of its maximum contribution in the past. There is concern that its voice may be weakened. It will need to engage in activities to make its presence felt in the UN in order to fulfill its long-cherished dream of becoming a permanent UNSC member.