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Surprise US proposal puts Japan in awkward position

From Asahi.com:

Washington proposed adding two nations–including Japan–to the permanent membership club of the [United Nations] Security Council. But Japan wants to give priority to a resolution on Security Council expansion drawn up by the Group of Four nations–Japan, Germany, Brazil and India.

The United States supports Japan’s desire to become a permanent member, but it opposes the G-4 proposal because it would add six permanent seats to the council and could dilute U.S. influence in the world body.

With the United States making public its opposition to the G-4’s plan, it will be that much more difficult for the resolution to be adopted at the United Nations.

When asked about U.S. support for Japan’s bid, Koizumi said: “It’s good for Japan, but not for the other nations. We must think about the international community as a whole. I’d like to ask for more understanding from the U.S.”

I have to say, I’m glad Japan isn’t just turning its back on its partner nations so it can get that coveted Security Council seat. That loyalty is really impressive. It makes me wonder if/why the White House thought Japan would go along with it, and how the White House’s stance towards Japan might have changed if Japan had actually taken them up on the offer.

Japan has been asserting its independence from the US for some time now. To back away from an alliance with peer nations and cheerfully accept a handout from the US would undermine everything they’ve accomplished.