Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Tuesday underlined Japan's willingness to contribute to global governance as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council as he made a case for reform of the world body's 15-nation decision-making organ.
In a statement to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Motegi called for the number of permanent members to be expanded to make the council "an effective and representative organ" that reflects the realities of the international community in the 21st century.
Expressing Tokyo's willingness to take a leadership role in tackling pressing issues such as the global coronavirus pandemic, Motegi said, "Japan is fully prepared to fulfill such responsibilities as a permanent member of the Security Council and contribute to ensuring peace and stability of the world."
U.N. member states "cannot be complacent with the status quo," he said in a video message, calling for "serious steps" to be taken to reform the council for the post-COVID-19 era.
At present, the Security Council has five permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- reflecting the world's power structure at the time of the United Nations' creation after World War II.
Japan has held one of the 10 rotating Security Council slots for 11 terms since joining the United Nations in 1956.
"I'm convinced that member states having the capacity and willingness to take on major responsibilities should hold seats on an expanded Security Council," Motegi said.
The foreign minister noted 2020 is also the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and vowed to cooperate with other countries to avoid repeating the tragedies of war.
Motegi spoke a day before he and his counterparts from India, Germany and Brazil hold an online meeting on Security Council reform.
The four countries -- collectively known as the Group of Four -- are expected to reaffirm their commitments as aspiring new permanent members of a reformed council, according to Japanese Foreign Ministry officials.