US Will Support Japan Becoming Permanent Member of Reformed UN Security Council: Kishida

US Will Support Japan Becoming Permanent Member of Reformed UN Security Council: Kishida
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a joint news conference with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida after their bilateral meeting at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, on May 23, 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Naveen Athrappully

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that the nation intends to become part of the group of permanent United Nations Security Council members that currently includes China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“I expressed the necessity to reform and strengthen the United Nations including the Security Council, which bears an increasing importance for peace and security of the international community, and gained the [U.S.] president’s support,” said Kishida during a joint press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden on May 23.

“The president stated that the United States will support Japan becoming a permanent member of a reformed Security Council,” Kishida said.

Under the U.N. charter, it is the responsibility of the Security Council to maintain international peace and security. It determines deployment details of U.N. peace operations and decides how to respond to crises around the world.

According to contributions received for 2022 for the United Nations Regular Budget, Japan had contributed the most of any nation, at over $230 million. Other high-contributing nations were Germany at $175 million and the UK at $125 million.

Japan is due to hold the Group of Seven (G-7) presidency in 2023.

“As the world faces an unprecedented challenge caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the heightened risk of the use of weapons of mass destruction, at next year’s G-7 summit, I hope we can demonstrate the will of the G-7 to resolutely reject aggression by force, threat of nuclear weapons, and attempts to overturn the international order with a strength that will make a mark in history,” Kishida said.

The prime minister talked about the strategic importance of the Indo–Pacific region and stressed upholding and developing a “free and open international order” together with the United States.

Biden launched the Indo–Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) with 12 regional countries, along with the United States, during the Tokyo visit. The IPEF is touted as an economic partnership focusing on the Asia–Pacific region.

Biden talked about working together “to ensure a free and open Indo–Pacific that creates opportunity and prosperity for all people in the region.”

“The United States remains fully committed to Japan’s defense and we welcome the opportunity to work more closely together in an increasingly challenging security environment,” he said.

Biden supports Japan building up its defense capabilities, saying, “A strong Japan and a strong Japan–U.S. alliance is a force for good in the region.”

The U.S. president talked about the peace and stability that “we hope to increase” in the Taiwan Strait, promoting “freedom of navigation” in the East and South China Seas, and deterring North Korea.

Japan is currently a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council that includes nine other countries: Angola, Egypt, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Venezuela. They are elected on a regional basis for a term of two years.

Japan may renew its membership for 2023 for the 12th time, which would make the country the longest running non-permanent member.

There have long been calls for reform in the U.N. Security Council. Because the council’s charter states that countries that make considerable contributions to the U.N. should be members of the council, Japan and Germany are regarded as prime candidates for new permanent seats.

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