Calling Shotgun: The History and Politics of Japan's Bid for a Permanent United Nations Security Council Position

by Holmes, Anthony Wayne

Abstract (Summary)
Since the founding of the United Nations and the establishment of the Security Council there have been no changes to the makeup of the permanent membership. Indeed, with the exception of one amendment to increase the size of the rotating membership from six to ten the Security Council has continued unchanged. In the fifty-plus years since the founding of the world body and the victory over the Axis Powers that served as the impetus for its creation, the world has changed dramatically. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has ceased to exist; the Republic of China has been exiled to Taiwan and undergone remarkable economic and democratic changes; the British Empire has morphed into the Commonwealth and the French Empire has collapsed. New states have come to the forefront to challenge the post-war status quo. Some, like Egypt and India, were colonial possessions of the imperial powers. Others, like Germany and Japan, were the defeated powers of the Second World War. Japan in particular has a unique economic, financial, political and military history that deserves special consideration as it relates to its ambition for a permanent United Nations Security Council position. Furthermore, the motives and justifications for why it pursues such a seat and the opposition it has received deserve just as much attention. This thesis traces the views of the leading figures in Japanese politics from the founding of the United Nations to the present and demonstrates that from the beginning Japan realized that the UN was a legitimizing force for their new place in the new post-war world. It also demonstrates clearly that lacking a clear definition of what a permanent UN Security Council contender looks like aspirant states are forced to create their own portfolios. Therefore Japan relies heavily on its strengths as an undisputed economic and financial power. Furthermore, it shows that despite strict Constitutional constraints on the use of the military Japans force is modern, well-funded and well-maintained. Finally, it catalogues opposition to expanding the Security Council into three distinct categories and explains them in their modern geopolitical context.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Richard Smethurst; Dr. Muge Finkel; Dr. Donald M. Goldstein

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:east asian studies


Date of Publication:09/26/2008

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