Japan wants Russia and China to boost UN dues
* Tokyo plans to cut its payout to UN budget from 2007
TOKYO: Bitter over its stalled bid to win a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, Japan plans to seek hikes in contributions to the world body by China and Russia while cutting its own, a report said Tuesday.
Tokyo has decided to seek a cut from 2007 in Japan’s payout to the UN budget and hikes in the contributions of China and Russia, which are far lower than those of other permanent council members, the Sankei Shimbun said.
Japan shoulders 19.5 percent of the budget, the second largest after the United States which pays 22 percent under the current funding agreement that runs through 2006 and is set to be renegotiated early next year. Contributions by China and Russia are at 2.1 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.
The government doubts voters will continue to accept the current payout if Tokyo’s power in the United Nations does not increase, the conservative newspaper said.
“We cannot explain to the people why we face the (demand): ‘You should put up money although we give you no voice’,” the daily quoted an anonymous foreign ministry official as saying.
The foreign ministry would not confirm the reported plan to demand higher payments by China and Russia but reiterated Japan wanted to lower its share.
“Japan’s share is 19.5 percent, larger than a combined 15.3 percent paid by the four other permanent members (excluding the United States),” a ministry official in charge of UN administrative affairs said. “We have the recognition that Japan’s share is too heavy,” he said. “This is a so-called zero-sum game ... if Japan’s share falls, shares of other countries would rise,” he said. “But we do not know yet whether we should target China and Russia.”
The contributions by the two other veto-wielding permanent members - Britain and France - are 6.1 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively. Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura warned in July his country would face mounting domestic pressure to cut its contribution if it was denied a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
A bid by Japan and its partners in the so-called G4 group - Brazil, Germany and India - to secure permanent council membership has stalled in the face of opposition from the United States and China and insufficient support from the 53-member African bloc. afp