Japan secured a nonpermanent seat on the U.N. Security Council for a record 12th time in a General Assembly election on Thursday, with its two-year term set to start next January.

Tokyo's return comes as the council, in charge of ensuring international peace and security, has appeared dysfunctional, particularly with Russia, one of the five permanent members, exercising its veto power over its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Japan joined the United Nations in 1956 and has long expressed its ambition to become a permanent member of a reformed Security Council. The country last served a nonpermanent term in the 15-member council in the two years through December 2017.

The U.N. Security Council votes on a resolution that sought to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea in New York on May 26, 2022. China and Russia vetoed the resolution. (Photo courtesy of the United Nations)(Kyodo)

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said in a statement that the Security Council is facing a "challenging time" because it has been "unable to effectively function" in dealing with the Russian aggression, and North Korea's nuclear and missile activities despite its repeated violations of council resolutions.

"Japan will aim to maintain and strengthen the international order based on the rule of law, by cooperating with other nations through close communication and careful dialogue so that the Security Council can play its expected role," Hayashi added.

Four other new members were approved in the annual election for half of the 10 nonpermanent seats. To secure a seat, each country must gain at least two-thirds of the votes in the General Assembly comprising 193 countries.

Japan, which garnered 184 votes, was selected from the Asia-Pacific region, Mozambique from Africa, Ecuador from Latin America, and Switzerland and Malta from the category of Western Europe and other states.

The five countries will join Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates, replacing India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway.

The United Nations has been unable to take effective steps since a U.S.-led draft Security Council resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine was vetoed by Moscow a day after its military campaign began on Feb. 24.

Eleven members of the council voted for the resolution while three, including China, abstained. The council's five veto-wielding permanent members, all of which are nuclear-weapon states, include the United States, China, Britain and France, in addition to Russia.

In yet another symbolic move highlighting the global body's dysfunction, China and Russia last month vetoed a resolution aimed at toughening sanctions on North Korea. It was drafted by Washington following an intercontinental ballistic missile launch by Pyongyang in March after a series of missile tests since the start of this year.

The Security Council had passed resolutions aimed at reining in North Korea's missile and nuclear development programs since 2006.

Japan has been calling for U.N. reform while at the same time expressing its desire to become a permanent member of the Security Council. Washington supports Tokyo's bid.

In December 2017, Japan announced its bid for nonpermanent membership for a term starting in 2023, saying it was important to secure a seat on the council "as frequently as possible until a U.N. reform is realized."

Japan will occupy the rotating chair of the council for January, according to the Foreign Ministry.