President Biden indicated Monday that he supports Japan becoming a permanent member of a “reformed” United Nations Security Council.
Biden met one-on-one with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, where the two discussed the Japan-U.S. alliance and ways to ensure security and cooperation on the international stage.
Kishida said in opening remarks at a press conference he detailed the “necessity to reform and strengthen the United Nations, including the security council, which bears an important responsibility for the peace and stability of the international community,” and that Biden was supportive.
“The president stated that the United States will support Japan becoming a permanent member of a reformed security council,” Kishida said.
The United Nations Security Council carries significant influence within the global body. The council can approve new members and changes to the U.N. charter, and it can approve peacekeeping missions, military action and enact sanctions, which has become particularly important in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The body has five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The rules allow any permanent member on its own to block the adoption of any resolution, which has led to strife between members at times.
Adding Japan to the security council would add another nation from the Indo-Pacific region that could provide a counterweight to China. International officials have raised concerns about China’s human rights violations, as well as aggression toward Taiwan.