NEW YORK (Kyodo) Japan has given up plans to submit a new draft resolution on U.N. Security Council reform this spring, U.N diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

It is the first formal notification of Tokyo’s internal decision to other members of the so-called Group of Four — Brazil, Germany and India — that were jointly working to become the new permanent UNSC members, the sources said.

“(The Japanese side said) they are going to drop (the plan)” at a meeting Monday at Japan’s permanent mission to the United Nations, said one of the sources, who asked not be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

The sources said Japanese Ambassador to the U.N. Kenzo Oshima indicated no future Japanese strategy.

According to those sources, Oshima told delegates of Germany, India and Brazil that Japan has no plans to submit a new draft U.N. resolution based on the basic idea drawn up in January to expand the council to 21 members.

Under the new draft resolution, Japan was seeking an expanded Security Council membership from the current 15 to 21, instead of 25, in line with the desire of the United States for a smaller council.

It has become effectively impossible for Japan to achieve on its own the goal of achieving the expansion of the Security Council by September if Tokyo does not submit the draft resolution this spring, as addressed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the U.N. summit last September.

“Only a scant chance exists for the Security Council reform,” a senior Foreign Ministry official said last week.

Tokyo may be forced to change its course on the expansion of the council, originally targeted for September.

Under the proposal, the status of new permanent member would be given to candidate countries with support from at least two-thirds of the U.N. membership, or 128 countries, but they would be given no veto power.

Other candidates, through renewed elections, would become semipermanent members with renewable terms longer than the two years for current nonpermanent members.

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