Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said Friday he is unconcerned by media reports that a U.N. advisory panel on reforming the world body will not propose Japan as a candidate for permanent membership of the U.N. Security Council in its recommendation report.

Machimura told a news conference: “There is no need for us to comment as we have not seen it. But in general, I don’t think it is the nature of the document to say whether certain countries should or should not become permanent Security Council members.

“I can imagine that it could sum up the general idea that the permanent members should be increased, but I don’t think it is a document for recommending which country to include.”

Asked whether Japan plans to continue its bid to obtain a permanent Security Council seat with the same powers as the current five members, Machimura cited Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s remarks to a Diet session earlier this week that there should be no differences between the permanent members.

It is reportedly being suggested that new permanent members could be admitted to the Security Council, but without the veto power of the current five.

Japan and Germany are among a number of countries lobbying to join Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S. as permanent members with veto rights, by expanding the 15-nation UNSC.

The 10 others are nonpermanent members that hold two-year terms on a rotational basis.

In a draft of its report to be submitted to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in December, the U.N. reform panel does not recommend Japan and Germany as candidates to obtain permanent UNSC membership, said a source.

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