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Old sins cast long shadows
Japan will be ensconced as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for another two-year term (the last one was five years ago). This should help with its bid for permanent membership, especially since Kofi Annan is supposedly kicking around ideas for major reform in 2005. My favorite part of the article was the end:

There is a view in the government that Japan's nonpermanent membership of the Security Council will make it easier for the country to gather intelligence.

On the other hand, Japan's status as a nonpermanent member means the country will come under pressure to make difficult decisions on a range of issues.


Damn and blast those difficult decisions on a range of issues! They'll be the death of us all yet. In case you're wondering whether the Yomiuri is referring to, you know, anything in particular, the Taipei Times is a little less vague. On the other side of the Formosa Strait, The People's Daily slyly but pointedly compares Japan's and Germany's respective willingness to reckon with their WWII behavior. Guess--just guess--who comes out looking better.

The issues surrounding Japan's bid for permanent membership haven't really shifted much in the last several months, from what I can tell. Japan, China, and the Koreas are still dancing around each other, and the interpretation of Article 9 of the constitution is still subject to debate, though we're not hearing much about it at the moment. Two years is a long time in diplomatic terms, though; there's plenty of time for Japan, China, the Koreas, and the US to nettle each other in unpredictable ways. Fun for the whole North Pacific family!

Oh, and this isn't exactly the same topic, but it's related: Nathan posted again the other day about what he sees as distortions in Americans' views of the PRC. I'm not convinced by everything he says, but I am convinced by his overall point that it's as bad to treat China as if it were still under Mao as it is to figure its economic liberalization has made its past sins all better.

Posted by Sean on 2004-10-16 17:16:33
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