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By Agnes M. Abrau

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, June 7) – Japan has thanked Palau for co-sponsoring its application for membership on the United Nations Security Council.

Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nobutaka Machimura told Minister of State Temmy Shmull of his government’s appreciation.

"On behalf of the government of Japan, I would like to let you know that we do appreciate very highly your country’s prompt and important decision," Machimura said.

The message was relayed to Shmull by Naotake Yamashita, chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Japan here.

The draft framework resolution is a call to expand the U.N. Security Council by including India, Japan, Germany and Brazil as permanent members.

The four countries call themselves "G4."

The draft framework resolution calls for increasing the number of Security Council members from 15 to 25.

Under the resolution, Asia and Africa will each have two permanent members on the council, Latin America and the Caribbean will have one, and West Europe and others will also have one.

The council’s current permanent members are the U.S., Russia, Great Britain, France and China — the five victorious allies in World War II.

The council’s 10 other member nations are elected for two-year terms.

The Security Council is the U.N.’s most powerful body. It has "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security."

Since 1990, the council has dramatically increased its activity and now meets in nearly continuous session. It dispatches military operations, imposes economic sanctions, mandates arms inspections, deploys human rights and election monitors.

June 7, 2005

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