• Kyodo

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Japan is ensured of a nonpermanent seat on the U.N. Security Council as the Asia-Pacific group comprising 54 countries decided at a meeting Thursday to endorse Tokyo as its candidate for the vote in October.

The two-year post starting next January will be the 11th time for Japan to serve on the powerful body. It last had a seat in the 2009-2010 period.

“In the roughly one-year window given us, we hope to prepare ourselves so that we will be able to speak up for Japan on issues when we join the Security Council in January,” Ambassador to the U.N. Motohide Yoshikawa said.

He also said that joining the Security Council will help a bid by a group of countries including Japan to push for reform of the top decision-making body, which they believe has become outdated since its inception 70 years ago.

The Security Council comprises five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — and 10 non-permament members.

The Asia-Pacific region, which also includes countries in the Middle East, has a quota of two seats. Africa has three, while Latin America has two. Two spots are available for the Western European and other group, and one for Eastern Europe.

In the October election, one of the Asia-Pacific seats, currently held by Jordan, will be up for grabs. Bangladesh had shown interest in the seat, but it withdrew its bid in September and expressed support for Japan’s candidacy.

Japan has long pushed for structural reform of the Security Council.

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