• Kyodo

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Japan has presented its candidacy for a seat on the newly formed U.N. Human Rights Council.

Japan is the latest Asian country seeking to secure one of 13 slots that have been allotted for the region. Others include Bangladesh, Bahrain, China, India, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan, South Korea and Sri Lanka.

Last week the United States declined to seek a seat on the council, the creation of which was approved overwhelmingly last month. The U.S. had voted against it, saying “not enough was done to prevent abusive countries becoming members.”

The council’s predecessor, the Human Rights Commission, has often drawn criticism because Sudan and other states with questionable human rights records were among its members, prompting some nations not to work with it.

Under the new structure, 47 members are to be elected to the council based on regional representation.

Besides Asia, 13 seats are designated for Africa, six for Eastern Europe, eight for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the remaining seven for “Western and other” groups, under which the U.S. would be classified.

So far, nine countries have applied for the latter group, including Canada, France, Germany and Britain.