Japan 'ready to discuss new UNSCmembership status'“Japan is ready to discuss theintroduction of semipermanentmembership on the U.N. SecurityCouncil, Japanese Ambassador tothe United Nations Tsuneo Nishidasaid Monday. Nishida was speakingat international negotiations onSecurity Council reform.Semipermanent status would belonger than the current two-year termof nonpermanent members. Japan'sconventional stance has been toseek permanent membership on theSecurity Council becausesemipermanent membership isconsidered less prestigious.Discussion on Security Councilreform ‘has not brought any tangibleresults" toward "real negotiations,’Nishida said. The intergovernmentalnegotiations on the Security Councilreform started in 2009. (…) Thesemipermanent membership statuswas originally proposed by countriessuch as South Korea and Italy whooppose the aspirations of the so-called Group of Four memberstates--Japan, Brazil, Germany andIndia--that are seeking permanentmembership on the Security Council.By showing a ﬂexible stance towardthe semipermanent option, Japan isseeking ways to cooperate withcountries that oppose its permanentSecurity Council membership,diplomatic sources said.”(Yomiuri)Clinton, Ban Ki Moon to visit for Afghan meeting in Tokyo“U.S. Secretary of State HillaryClinton and U.N. Secretary GeneralBan Ki Moon will visit Japan toattend an international ministerialconference Sunday on support for Afghanistan, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The conference, to be heldin Tokyo, will be hosted by theJapanese government.”(Yomiuri)REFLECTIONS ON LEADERSHIP--PART 2 / Consider past and future,too, not just present“(…) A historic new developmenthas been put off, at least for now. OnMay 13, Prime Minister YoshihikoNoda and South Korean PresidentLee Myung Bak agreed at a meetingin Beijing to conclude a generalsecurity of military informationagreement. The agreement toconclude the ﬁrst military cooperationaccord between Japan and SouthKorea since World War II is epoch-making. However, cautious viewswere expressed in some SouthKorean quarters later andpreparations to conclude the accordground to a halt. Some SouthKoreans harbor an aversion towardthe Self-Defense Forces as theKorean Peninsula was under Japan'scolonial rule in the early 20th century. There is a rift between the twocountries over historical perceptions,such as the so-called comfortwomen. In a summit meetingbetween the two countries inDecember, Lee toughened hisattitude over historical issues asSouth Korean public opinionhardened and he demanded Japanplace priority on resolving thecomfort women issue. As thesituations vis-a-vis North Korea andChina remain tense, Japan has theurgent task of bolstering securitycooperation with South Korea.Because of this, many Noda aidesand DPJ members suggest theprime minister ﬂexibly deal with thecomfort women issue and similarproblems and place priority onachieving substantial and strategicresults so his administration canscore high marks. While the primeminister is apparently consideringwhat course to take, he does notappear ready to deal with SouthKorea's demand, insisting that thecomfort women issue concerns thefundamentals of this country. (…) Asto why there are so few politicianstoday with ﬁrm state and historicalviews, Nakasone said: "Politicians of my age experienced World War II. Iattended international meetings [asprime minister] with the same senseof urgency as if I were a soldier sentoverseas. We thought about howJapan would be able to survive theCold War and what form our countryshould take. But many recentpoliticians are like salaried workers." Yamauchi said those who did notexperience the war should readclassics and foster viewpoints toconsider the relationship betweenJapan and other countries from ahistorical perspective. What do weexpect from Japanese leaders andwhat kind of leaders do we want tonurture? These are the questionsvoters should consider beforechoosing who should represent us.”(Yomiuri)Japan raps Medvedev's visit todisputed Kunashiri Island“Japan lodged a protest with Russiaon Tuesday after Russian PremierDmitry Medvedev visited thedisputed Kunashiri Island off Hokkaido, with Foreign MinisterKoichiro Gemba criticizing it aspouring ‘cold water’ on bilateralrelations.
The visit by Medvedevand several ministers came only twoweeks after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and RussianPresident Vladimir Putin agreed toreactivate bilateral talks on the long-standing territorial dispute in a calmmanner. Medvedev became the ﬁrstRussian head of state to visit one of the four disputed islands off Hokkaido claimed by Japan when hewent to Kunashiri as Russianpresident in November 2010. Afterthe visit, Japan's relations withRussia deteriorated to the lowestpoint in years. His two visits toKunashiri, despite warnings fromJapan, are widely seen by experts asdemonstrating Russia's strongresolve to show its effective control of the islands that lie northeast of Hokkaido. (…) Japan and Russiahave been at odds over thesovereignty of the four islands --Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and theHabomai islet group -- preventing thetwo countries from signing a postwarpeace treaty. The islands were seizedby the Soviet Union following Japan'ssurrender in World War II on Aug. 15,1945.”(Mainichi Daily News)Japan pledges 6 billion dollars inODA over next 3 years“Japan will provide a total of 6 billiondollars in ofﬁcial developmentassistance over three years from
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