Japan is qualified to secure a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, in view of the political and economic role it has played within the organization, visiting Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said Thursday.

Ukraine is among the 23 nations that jointly submitted a resolution to expand the UNSC, in conjunction with the so-called Group of Four nations that aspire to become permanent members of the council — Japan, Germany, India and Brazil.

During a lecture in Tokyo, Yushchenko thanked Japan for expressing support for granting a rotating UNSC seat to an Eastern European nation, such as Ukraine.

“It will not be permissible to ignore the position of these countries in forming the history of the modern world,” he said.

Yushchenko added that Ukraine had in the 1990s abandoned its nuclear weapons program, a legacy of Soviet rule, as a means of boosting democracy. European countries, as well as Japan, provided financial support for Kiev’s efforts to dismantle its nuclear arms.

The president, who is on a four-day visit to Japan, met with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi later Thursday and is scheduled to leave Japan on Saturday.

Stock exchange tour

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko visited the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, saying he wants to foster cooperation with TSE officials as a means of bolstering the infrastructure of the securities market in Ukraine.

Yushchenko told reporters “technical cooperation and advice from Japan” would be essential to improve the Ukrainian stock market environment.

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