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    Axis: Bold as Love

    Another on-going issue is Japan’s bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council (those who like their kanji compounds long and turgid doubtlessly get off on seeing 国連安全保障理事会の常任理事国入り cropping up in news reports lately). In cooperation with other applicants, including Germany and Brazil, Japan has apparently solidified its actual proposal. Of course, Germany and Japan have more than just their increased prominence as world powers to think about:

    Japan’s Takashima welcomed the panel’s recommendation that the so-called “enemy state” clause be removed from the U.N. Charter.

    The clause, dating to World War Two, allows for military action against Japan and Germany, without any endorsement by the Security Council. Japan pays almost as much money as the United States into the United Nations’ coffers.

    Intriguingly, the Reuters article emphasizes the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s push for full veto power for potential new permanent members. By contrast, the Nikkei report is focused more on the slight but perceptible softening of its public stance:


    On the subject of how the veto power of permanent members, which Japan had sought until very recently, will be dealt with, [the Japanese government] has shifted to a way of thinking that will respond more flexibly [to the wishes of the governing body] and away from its hard-line demand that veto power be attached to new permanent membership.

    1 December 18:46 EST

    2 Responses to “Axis: Bold as Love”

    1. John says:

      One wonders why the clause was written into the Charter. Unless I misremember, the Charter was written after the unconditional surrender of both nations. Sounds like something Stalin had put in to make any land grabs he intended (Sakhalin?) seem legitimate.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      I thought you were right but didn’t remember, so I had to look it up. It turns out the charter was originally signed on 26 June 1945, so it was the month after Germany’s surrender but the Pacific War was still going. It still seems rather short-sighted and probably opportunistic.