In yet another effort to promote Japan’s quest for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori will write most of the U.N. member nations as early as next week to reiterate calls for UNSC reforms, government sources said.

In letters to be sent to 165 of the 189 U.N. member countries, Mori will specifically stress how important Japan feels it is to increase the number of both permanent and nonpermanent council members, the sources said Monday.

This is the second installment of Mori’s letter-writing campaign. In August, he sent letters saying the same thing to the same 165 nations ahead of the U.N. Millennium Summit, which was held in New York. The summit was attended by kings, presidents and prime ministers from most of the U.N.’s 189 member countries. Some U.N. member nations, however, oppose increasing the number of permanent UNSC members. The Security Council is composed of five permanent members and 10 rotating nonpermanent members. The permanent members — the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China — each have the power of veto.

Japan believes Mori’s first wave of letters bore fruit.

Yukio Sato, Japan’s ambassador to the U.N., said at a press conference last week that 70 of the countries attending the U.N. Millennium Summit and the U.N. Millennium Assembly expressed support for Japan’s position. Sato said he believes Japan’s quest for permanent council membership “made progress and showed promise.”

The sources said that in his letters, Mori will express gratitude to the 70 countries who supported Japan’s position while repeating to the other 95 its opinion that UNSC reforms through an increase in the number of both permanent and nonpermanent members are needed.

A majority of the 95 countries that did not support Japan called for UNSC reforms anyway, but they did not explicitly state that the number of permanent and nonpermanent council members needs to be changed.

Japan believes it should be granted permanent UNSC membership because financially, it is the second-largest contributor to the U.N., after the U.S., Japan’s money accounts for 20 percent of the U.N.’s regular budget and exceeds the combined contributions of Russia, Britain, France and China.

Japan wants the number of permanent UNSC seats to be expanded from five to 10, with one reserved for Japan, and for the number of rotating nonpermanent seats to be raised to 14 from the current 10.

But the U.N. member countries are so sharply divided over how much the U.N. Security Council membership should be expanded and how new members should be elected that a specific agreement on how it should be reformed is unlikely in the near future.

One government source said that, even if some progress is to be made on the council-reform issue, it will have to wait until the next U.S. president takes office in January.

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