Japan To Wait Until 2032 to Seek Next UNSC Seat

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The U.N. Security Council meets in April.

NEW YORK — The Japanese government plans to run for a nonpermanent seat on the U.N. Security Council in 2032, U.N. diplomatic sources have said.

Japan just recently took a nonpermanent seat on the council in January, and it will serve its current term until the end of 2024. To ensure its election in 2032, it is aiming to secure the cooperation of other countries early on.

Of the 15 seats on the Security Council, the 10 nonpermanent seats are allocated by region, and two are assigned to the Asia-Pacific Group to which Japan belongs. One of the two seats allocated for the Asia-Pacific Group is up for election every year.

The Japanese government conveyed its 2032 bid to the members belonging to the group in the middle of this month. Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, has also announced its candidacy in the 2032 election.

Since 2000, Japan has served four two-year terms as a UNSC nonpermanent member, including the current one, at intervals of three to six years.

Japan initially intended to run for a nonpermanent seat on the council within a few years after completing its current term. However, the government has relinquished that plan, partly because “leading countries in the group, such as India and Indonesia, have already announced their bids for a nonpermanent seat,” according to one of the sources.

Even if Japan is chosen in 2032, it will have not served on the council for nearly 10 years at that point. Nonpermanent members have a strong voice in such matters as the formulation of sanctions against North Korea, which is carrying out nuclear and missile development.

There are concerns that Japan’s influence at the United Nations will decline due to its prolonged absence from the Security Council.