Short Note on Japan

Betsy Pisik’s column this morning on Japan and the “Group of Four” seeking permanent Security Council seats included this tidbit:

Japan is so focused on the Security Council that it will not field a candidate for secretary-general this year, mindful of the handshake agreement that the permanent council members will not amass too much power by also holding the top office.

One Response to “Short Note on Japan”

  1. kporter says:

    I think this is a risky strategy for the Japanese. They may alienate the rest of the G4 and still have nothing to show for it.

    It seems to me unlikely that just one new permanent member will be added to the Council (even one without a veto). If the Council opens at all, the changes will have to address a broad range of representation needs…or the changes won’t be approved.

    Of course, this is why any change to the council is very difficult.

    More to the point of this blog, I also think it might be short-sighted for the Japanese to write-off pursuing the SG position. If they fielded a good SG candidate, they could certainly make a strong case that Japan deserves this kind of representation (based on thier contributions to the UN). Plus it would fulfill the Asia rotation.

    Behind the scenes, they could promise the US, China, and Russia that, if the SG were from Japan, Japan would not raise the SC expansion issue until after the SG’s term ends. This would likely bring a sigh of relief from those capitals.

    Of course, this would anger much of the world if the quid pro quo were public!

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