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US backs Japan

March 20, 2005

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TOKYO, March 19: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Saturday that the United States unequivocally supported Japans bid to secure a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Japan has earned its honourable place among the nations of the world by its own effort and its own character, Ms Rice said in a speech at Tokyos Sophia University. Thats why the United States unambiguously supports a permanent seat for Japan on the United Nations Security Council, she said.

Japan, Brazil, Germany and India have launched a joint bid for permanent seats on the Council, arguing that the current line-up is outdated as it was founded in the wake of World War II to reward the victors.

The United States has only explicitly backed the bid of Japan, one of its most steadfast allies.

In December then US ambassador to Tokyo Howard Baker said Washington would back giving Japan veto power on the Council, a privilege enjoyed only by Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Japan has been seeking a greater global role, sending troops to Iraq on its first mission to a country at war since World War II.

At a joint press conference with Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, Ms Rice lauded Japan for its commitment to democracy in its reconstruction efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict-hit areas.

On the basis of this and many other examples of Japans willingness to accept global responsibility, the United States does support a permanent seat for Japan in the UN Security Council in the context of broader UN reform, she said. AFP