• Kyodo

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Seventy of the countries attending the U.N. Millennium Summit and General Assembly in early September supported Japan’s call for increasing the number of permanent and rotating seats on the U.N. Security Council, Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations Yukio Sato said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters at the U.N. building, Sato also said he believes Japan’s quest for permanent UNSC membership “made progress and showed promise.” In addition, 155 countries want the council reformed, he said.

Kings, presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers from most of the 189 member countries attended the Millennium Summit, which began Sept. 6, while representatives of 84 countries attended the General Assembly, which started on the eve of the summit.

Japan has been calling for the number of permanent Security Council seats to be expanded from five to 10 to include Japan, and rotating seats to rise to 14 from the current 10.

Tokyo also wants developing states to be made eligible for permanent membership.

Sato said 17 countries supported Japan’s bid to become a permanent member of the council. Of them, three named only Japan as a possible permanent member.

At the General Assembly in December, only 41 states backed Japan’s call for both the permanent and rotating seats in the UNSC to be increased, Sato said.

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