France backs Japan for UN Security Council

1st March 2004, Comments 0 comments

FUKUOKA, Japan, March 1 (AFP) - France supports Japan's desire to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said here Monday, also urging North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme.

FUKUOKA, Japan, March 1 (AFP) - France supports Japan's desire to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said here Monday, also urging North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme.

"For France, Japan is naturally cut out to become a member of the Security Council...," de Villepin said on his first visit to Japan since he took up the post of foreign minister in 2002.

This would be a "reflection of the weight, the influence and responsibilities" that Japan holds internationally, he said.

Japan wants to join the elite Security Council, which groups China, the United States, France, Britain and Russia, arguing its hefty UN dues have earned it the right.

Japan's share of UN funding was last year set at 19.5 percent for 2004-2006, just behind 22 percent for the top contributor the United States.

The other permanent members of the Security Council contribute less than 10 percent of the UN budget each.

Addressing several hundred students at Fukuoka's Kyushu University, de Villepin also said Japan should work to persuade North Korea to drop its nuclear weapons program.

The nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula threatens the strategic balance in the region, he said.

"We would like to see the rules of non-proliferation applied without exemption and are waiting for North Korea to undertake the complete, irreversible and verifiable dismantling of its nuclear programmes," he said.

He said a lasting solution to the crisis over North Korea's nuclear program lay in the finding of a global set of rules that included security and economic assurances, particularly addressing countries' energy needs.

De Villepin is due to meet Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Japan's Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi Tuesday for talks likely to focus on Iraq, where Japan is involved in reconstruction efforts.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

0 Comments To This Article