Japan seeking permanent UN security council seat

I don’t know what to think.

It’s nice to have 20% of the seats, but maybe another ally would benefit us?

Of course China opposes it, but as the last communist country, they should.

I’m inclined to say, “yes”.

What say you?

You don’t have 20% of the seats. There are 15 members. That gives you 6-7% of the seats. What you have is a permanent seat. And a veto right. As I understand it Japan is seeking a permanent seat without Veto.


Thanks, but I did know that.

Except for the part where they aren’t seeking veto powers. I assumed that any, only, and all permanent members were given veto right.

Given that they aren’t (as you understand it) seeking veto powers, it seems a given to me that yes, we (the U.S.) shoud be for it.

Yes I think it would be in America’s interest in the short to middle term. Japan most likely could be an ally in the efforts to limit China’s influence in the region and beyond. However I imagine Japan would only get its seat in a larger reconstruction which would also entail letting Brazil and perhaps Germany and India have permanent seats.

I’m inclined to say “allocate security council seats to every country, based on population and adherence to these, scrap the veto, and make the one-seat-per-country General Assembly effectively the second chamber of a worldwide democracy”, but I think I’ll just wait for the 22nd or 23rd century to roll around.

Maybe I should have including something in the OP referring to the best interests of the United States and maintaining our status as the only remaining superpower.

Oh, well, if each individual member is acting solely in its own interest then the “ineffectiveness of the UN” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. For any co-operative body to work, from a local council through a state government through to a united federation of states, the individual members must place moral principle alongside absolute self-interest.

FWIW, I currently view China a little like 1850’s Texas. I would hope that a USEarth came about without the analogous civil war.

Good points, SententMeat, and I apologize for coming across as self-centered.

It was my point in the OP, but I will still welcome all opinions on the matter.

Oh, and for the record, it’s my typing sucks right now, not my spelling. Perhaps my grasp of world politics.



No apology necessary whatsoever. It is difficult to put aside a portion of absolute self-interest in order that co-operative body “works”. Heck, that’s why not all UN members are democracies in the first place.

If we’re looking at making changes to the Security Council, I think you’d have to get rid of England and France as permanent members and replace them with a member representing the EU.

Japan is a close ally of the US, a free democracy and an economic power. Having them at any seat of power is a good thing for the world.

That said, they’re not a military power and they don’t seek to become one. I’d like to see them put another few points of GDP into their military before they get a permanent seat on a body whose only real power lies in its ability to enforce its resolutions with military force. If they did that but limited their involvement solely to self defense and to matters which have been specifically endorsed by the Security Council, I’d be OK with that and it would be very good for the power and credibility of the UN, too.

The lack of a large organized military is a source of pride for the Japanese, who by and large do remember the horrors which they had perpetrated under the banner of rabid nationalism. They are constitutionally bound to constrain the size of their military, and would have it no other way. So far as I’m aware, everyone in the world community is happy with this arrangement.

Oh, sure. And I ought to have made it clear that I don’t particularly object to them keeping it that way, so thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify that. I’m just saying that their current philosophy is, in my view, inconsistent with having a permanent seat on the Security Council. Countries which have a permanent ability to commit armed forces to enforce the Security Council’s will ought, I think, be able to contribute significant manpower to the efforts they are authorizing.

It’s worth reconsidering the constitution of the Security Council anyway. The five permanent members are there simply because they were the major victorious allies in WW2. The world looks a bit different today, though - the hot spots aren’t Europe or east Asia anymore and probably won’t be again for a great while to come. Several of the largest countries aren’t anywhere close to being members, much less with veto power.

How about letting countries bid their way in for specific terms, perhaps by committing certain numbers of troops and funding and other military support to peacemaking and peacekeeping operations as the price of their participation? That would let both the most economically-developed and the most populous nations be able to exercise both the authority and the responsibility that their power entails. Japan, for instance, couldn’t commit many troops to a major operation but could certainly help pay for, say, India to do so; why not let them both apply for the job if they’re willing to accept it?

Asterion: “If we’re looking at making changes to the Security Council, I think you’d have to get rid of England and France as permanent members and replace them with a member representing the EU.”

Care to expand on WTF you are on about? Also ‘England’ isnt a permanent member AFAIR.


England is not, though the United Kingdom is. Is this what you’re getting at? I don’t imagine many dopers lost something significant in the translation.

It might be worth pointing out that Japan has the second largest military budget in the world after the United States. Way, way behind the U.S., but still #2 :).

  • Tamerlane

Perhaps that’s because Godzilla keeps wreaking havoc on it every couple of years.

The Security Council ‘reform’ proposal I’ve heard was most popular included adding:India,
Germany &
Brazilas permanent members (without veto power). But there are almost as many different proposals out there as there are members of the G.A.

Look at the permanent members of the UNSC. US, UK, France, Russia, China. If you guys actually manage to pull off the EU, wouldn’t it make more sense to pull the English and French seats, replace one of them with an EU seat, and fill the fifth with another large country, preferably with a strong player in the world?

The problem is, what would make a country worthy to be a permanent member with a veto? Economic power? Sheer size? Military ability to back up a UNSC resolution? The EU would have the first two, but I’m doubtful about the third. India has the size, but not the power. Japan’s got the economic power but has limited its military power. Israel would simply piss too many people off. And of course, there’s the question of what, besides inertia, would keep Russia and China on as permanent members with a veto. If you’re going to justify China in some way, I think you’d have to justify India the same way. What about South America and Africa? Australia and New Zealand?

How about other ways to fix it? Do you remove veto power entirely (making the UNSC, in my opinion, about as relevant as the general assembly) or do you expand it out? To how many countries? 10 with veto? 15? Permanent status or non-permanent? How about a veto to any country on the UNSC, but only permanent status to 5?