There is a strong possibility that Japan will become a permanent member on the U.N. Security Council as part of the body’s future reform, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan hinted May 12.

In a meeting with Juro Saito, president of the Upper House, Annan said two developed countries and three developing nations will probably be added to the roster of permanent council members. Annan told Saito it is possible Japan will be one of the two developed countries because of its political and economic importance. He also said this year will be the last in the three years of discussions on UNSC reform.

Saito told Annan that Japan wants to make international contributions within the parameters of its peace-abiding Constitution. He also asked Annan to remove the former enemies clause from the U.N. Charter at an early date.

The U.N. security general also met with Soichiro Ito, speaker of the Lower House, who told Annan that Japan is ready to fulfill its responsibility if it gains a permanent seat. Annan also held talks with Defense Agency chief Fumio Kyuma, who hinted that the Self-Defense Forces may continue serving as part of the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force in Golan Heights beyond next February.

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