Japan seeking permanent UN security council seat

It is not immediately obvious that maintaining our status as the only remaining superpower is in the best interests of the United States.

Perhaps not, but anyone who did think that the two were synonymous might have missed the chance of having a little bit of factual ignorance fought.

Actually, they pretty much are synonymous, if no Irish, Scots or Welshmen are in the room.

You think America should freely, purposefully even, give up its power and influence? Let themselves be weakened and others strengthened?

Is there a historical precedent where giving up such an overwhelming military and economic advantage to other potential enemy nations with conflicting interests has shown to be beneficial?

I’d suggest the formation of the United States of America itself: the most powerful original states could have viewed the others as potential enemies with conflicting interests, but instead chose a course of co-operation.

In other words, make the SC as irrelevant and ineffectual as the GA is. Or else a legitimizing body for whatever China wants.

Yes they are; don’t let the pacifist constitution fool you as to their capability.

With nearly 240,000 military personnel and an annual budget of close to $50 billion, Japan’s military outstrips Britain’s in total spending and manpower, while its navy in particular scores high among experts for its sophistication.

They’re not #2 in spending, but they’re close
As to the OP: yes, and India too.

I don’t know what to think about the situation, but I want a better explaination for why Japan should get a seat besides “hoo boy, more votes for us.” What are the specific attributes of Japan that warrent a permanent seat?


They are the second largest contributer (money-wise) to the UN. For that kind of dough, they should get a good seat.

asterion - thanks for expanding on that. I hadnt thought of that as a possible way forward - the problem is it is looking increasingly unlikely that a unified Europe will be along in the near future. Anyway - not wanting to divert the thread further - i give way.

Regarding saying England when you mean GB or UK: its just wrong factually. Why not just use the correct word?


Actually, make the SC as irrelevant and ineffectual as the US Senate is to America (with the GA corresponding to the US House of Representatives), neither of which are merely legitimizing bodies for what, say, Texas or California want.

Maybe next century, maybe the one after, maybe never.

Actually, this isn’t true. The consitutition, as currently interpreted, allows for the possession of armed forces so long as they are for the purpose of self defense and not for “the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.” I personally believe this interpretation of Article 9 is a bit of a stretch, myself, but there’s some evidence to support it. In any case, there is no limit on the size of the Japanese military.

Also, polls show that the Japanese people have over the last few decades become more and more acceptant of their military. The LDP has begun plans for the creation of a new consitution (a Diet committee just released a report on this) and revision of Article 9 is widely believed to be one of their chief goals.

The dissolution of the British Empire when we decided we couldn’t afford to pay for it any more. Big success.

Big success for Britain you mean? And did you have a choice? Or did it really amount to accepting fait accompli as if the Danish state benevolently relinquished its claim for all North American territory. Fighting a war you had little chance of winning or profiting by is not wilfully giving up economic and military power, it is merely accepting the inevitable.

Now if you had given it up in the 18 or 19 century you would have had a case. Kindly handing over half your colonies to the French for instance. Of course you wouldn’t have been Great Britain then, or at least not very Great and likely not the cradle for the industrial revolution. (And president Bush would have been known as Le Monsieur Bush.)

Yes, and, in most cases also for the countries that we freely gave independence to.

Yes, we could have fought in, say, India in the way that France did in Algeria and Indo-China. Not doing so was wise.

I didn’t know that the Danish state had claimed all North America, thought it was just Greenland and the Virgin Islands. When was this?

In any case I think the British Empire was somewhat more serious than the Danish one, no offence.

Perhaps you are being funny in your first point. I was not talking about handing over to another colonial power but giving countries back to the people we took them from originally.

And of course the ‘Great’ in Great Britain distnguishes the island from the peninsula of France known in English as Britanny, and was in use many hundreds of years before the Industrial Revolution.

But of course, you knew that and were trying to be funny, right?


If Britain had made a deal with Hitler and allowed him a free hand in Europe, there’s a good chance it could have held on to it’s empire, or at least most of it, for a lot longer than it did.

Absolutely. And there were plenty on both sides of the Atlantic who would have been very happy with that outcome.



Thanks for the education on the Japanese military, folks. I’d still like to see a higher number as a percent of GDP, but I’m sold – let 'em on.