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    19.47%

    Kaoru Yosano on Japan’s plan to reduce contributions to the UN:

    There is nothing wrong with Japan’s reduction in financial contributions to the United Nations, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s top policymaker said Wednesday.

    “I don’t have the exact figure with me, but Japan covers roughly 17 or 18 percent of total contributions made by all U.N. member countries. So it’s not that strange at all that the share is cut by a few percentage points,” Kaoru Yosano, the LDP’s Policy Research Council chairman, said in his speech at the Yomiuri International Economic Society in Tokyo.

    Actually, Japan covers 19.47 percent of total contributions, or 37.1 billion yen, second only to the United States.

    Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura made a proposal to hold a review of member countries’ contributions last month in his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, seeking to lower Japan’s spending.

    Rough going is expected for such a review as some prominent countries, including China and Russia, likely will be asked to increase their shares.

    But Yosano’s remarks Wednesday reflect a widely shared frustration among Japan’s political and business circles that Japan is asked for a too large contribution while not being given significant roles to play in the U.N. framework.

    Almost one fifth of the total. And the US kicks in more. Of course, China’s not going to be eager to kick in more. (The Mainichi, BTW, just conducted a new poll, the shocking results of which are that a lot of Japanese people are unhappy with China.)

    Yosano also discusses the proposed revisions to Article 9 of the constitution.

    3 Responses to “19.47%”

    1. dmm says:

      Man, it is pretty decent that 31% of Japanese still like Chinese.

      Anti-Japanese movement disgusted me, too. And this lead to next

      question? “Who the hell likes Chinese around the world?”. Especially

      in Korea/China, kids are educated to kill Japanese in the future.

    2. Zak says:

      I don’t understand why they don’t say “Make us a security council member or you get nothing next year.” It would work. Instantly.

      It would not result in Japan being liked, but that’s the price of gaining power, is it not? This weird delusion that the other security council members are going to just somehow voluntarily dilute their power by giving Japan a seat is one of the most unrealistic notions I’ve seen in a long time.

    3. Sean Kinsell says:

      dmm, I think every major world culture has megalomania issues. It may be impossible for a people to achieve on the grand scale that the US, Japan, and (historically) China have. Also, Japan’s government does, in fact, send mixed signals about how well it has dealt with its forebears’ actions during the occupation. Even taking that into account, though, things in the PRC go over the top very frequently. The Sinologists I know don’t go as far as you, but they agree that the CCP is doing its best to encourage anti-Japanese sentiment at a level carefully calibrated to provide an outlet for anger that would otherwise be directed at the PRC regime itself without allowing it to spill over into anarchy.

      Zak, that’s a delicious image, but I think at least one problem with it is that the UN bureaucracy itself has a lot of Japanese in it. I don’t know whether any one of them is particularly influential in the federal ministries, but I’d bet that if they pooled resources to defend their imperiled careers, they’d have quite a bit of leverage. I mean, you’re right that it wouldn’t come to their actually losing their jobs, but the threat of a cutoff would require their cooperation in acting ready to pack up and come home. I’m not sure they’d be willing to play along.

      As far as the expansion goes, I think banding together with India, Brazil, and Germany (have I missed anyone?) was a pretty clever idea. No one permanent member would feel as if only its bitterest enemy were being added. That doesn’t mean it will succeed–the PRC, as you know, routinely makes hypocritical noises about Japan’s inability to deal with its history–but it’s probably the best shot they have.

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