The Asahi Shimbun, 03/22/2005
Japan on Monday welcomed U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's weekend report stipulating a September deadline for members to decide on U.N. reform, including expansion of the Security Council. Annan's report said he wanted a decision reached before the scheduled September U.N. summit meeting.
``The Japanese government welcomes the resolve of the secretary-general to promote discussion among member states,'' Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said. Japan can now create a specific schedule in pushing for a permanent seat on the Security Council. A senior Foreign Ministry official noted, ``What was significant was that it includes a deadline of reaching a conclusion by September.'' Annan's report, ``In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All,'' is the most comprehensive paper urging reform since the United Nations was established. In it, Annan addresses poverty, economic development, Security Council reform, human rights and other vital issues.
In an earlier report released in November, Annan's panel described two options for achieving UNSC reforms, models A and B. Although Japan backs model A, which creates six new permanent members and three new nonpermanent members, the senior ministry official said he was not surprised that Annan's Sunday report did not expand further on the proposed models. Annan was careful to not indicate which model he supported in his Sunday report.-------------