Wed, Oct 06, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Foreign minister backs Japan's UN council bid


Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) said yesterday that he supports Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

The minister made the remarks after meeting with the new deputy representative to Japan, Chen Hung-chi (陳鴻基), who left for Tokyo yesterday and was to assume his new post the same day.

The minister said that during his recent visit to the US, he was asked about his view on Japan's quest for a Security Council permanent seat.

"I told my US hosts that I support Japan's bid and would be pleased to see Japan enter the Security Council as a permanent member," he said.

He said that Japan donates 20 percent of the annual UN budget and has had outstanding economic achievements over the past decades.

"The world should not continue to restrict Japan's role in international affairs due to its aggressive military action 60 years ago. I think the United Nations should work out a more reasonable Security Council organic framework with Japan, Germany, India and Brazil being given permanent seats," he said.

Regardless of the fact that Taiwan lost its UN seat in 1971, Chen said that, since the Republic of China had been a founding member of the world body, it could possibly help Japan's efforts to obtain a permanent seat, although the issue would need further study.

Meanwhile, Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission Chairwoman Chang Fu-mei (張富美) also expressed support for Japan's Security Council bid, as Tokyo has on many occasions spoken out in favor of Taiwan in the international arena, and the two countries have traditionally maintained close relations. Chang said Japan cast a "yes" vote in Taiwan's failed bid to join the World Health Assembly in May.

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