The government is working to stipulate the need for UN Security Council reform in a statement that the leaders of the G7 nations will issue when they meet for the Ise-Shima Summit on May 26-27. If it succeeds, the reform vision will be incorporated into the leaders’ statement for the first time in 16 years. As Japan aspires to become a permanent member of the UNSC, it wants to use discussions at the summit as a springboard to increase momentum toward UNSC reform.
In 2005, Japan, Germany, India, and Brazil proposed increasing the number of permanent members to 11 from 5 and the number of non-permanent members to 14 from 10. But the discussions have stalled due to opposition from the U.S. and China, which have veto power. The G4 nations revised their proposal last year to increase non-permanent membership to “14 to 15” and allocate the new seat to an African nation.
With Japan celebrating the 60th anniversary of joining the UN this year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been actively soliciting understanding for UN reform from leaders during his overseas tours. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up a strategic headquarters for UN reform to lobby for African nations and others. The government has already sounded out the G7 partners on putting the issue on the agenda for the summit meeting and has received positive responses. Abe is looking to stimulate moves on the reform by including the issue in the G7 statement.