At UN, Japan's Month Starts with
N. Korea Confusion, Somalia Short Shrift, Seikos
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, February 3 -- As
Japan through its Ambassador Yukio Takasu took over the Presidency of
Security Council for February, many issues were left of its program of
until acknowledged in response to questions. North Korea, for example,
But when Inner City Press asked about that nation's break of relations
with its southern neighbor and renewed saber or missile rattling,
Takasu said that, "putting on his Japanese chapeau," these issues are
of concern and may arise this month. When asked about reports
in the Japanese
press that Japan is moving to limit the UN Development Program's
North Korea, Ambassador Takasu responded as if he had not seen the
launching into a justification of supporting UNDP's re-entry. So are
In describing the footnotes of his program, Amb.
Takasu said that
"peace and security in Africa" meant the Djibouti - Eritrea conflict.
But when Inner City Press asked why Zimbabwe was not listed, Amb.
that the phrase included Zimbabwe as well.
mention was made of the Council's
endorsement of the Congolese - Ugandan and South Sudanese offensive
Resistance Army, which has gone afoul and led to a slew of massacres by
And at the stakeout on Tuesday, after Takasu recited that the Council
condemns violence in Somalia against the AMISOM force, Inner City Press
if for a response to reports
that AMISOM peacekeepers just killed at least 25
civilians. That did not come up, Ambassador Takasu said.
At the UN's noon briefing on Tuesday, Inner City
Press asked UN Deputy
Spokesperson Marie Okabe if Ban Ki-moon or his envoy to Somalia had any
on this killing of civilians. I don't have anything on that today, Ms.
said. We'll be waiting.
Amb. Takasu after Japan was elected to
Council, now the test begins
Earlier in the month, Takasu held an hour-long
briefing about Japan's
goals on this Security Council. None of the other four new members held
briefing; in fact, they've yet to even speak at the stakeout.
In his January 9 briefing, Ambassador Takasu said
that the Council
should first of all be efficient, and transparent only in the service
Some have an ideology of transparency, he said, adding "I'm not
sure." Inner City Press asked about the scandal at
the UN Information
Center in Tokyo. Video here,
from Minute 37:39. Ambassador Takasu said "we
are very concerned by the report of the board of auditors, we want a
investigation and conclusion [and] full accountability." Video here,
But in the weeks since, nothing has been said. Nor
about a similar
scandal at another UN center in Japan. The analysis is, Japan so wants
permanent seat on the Security Council, it will allow or cover-up
and even the theft of its taxpayers' money, in order to play nice with
Ambassador Takasu is articulate, and has seen the UN
from a variety of
position, including with UN Peacekeeping from 1993 to 1997. He's set
for February, to be timed by the Seiko watches he gave Tuesday to all
members. We'll monitor progress on the goals.
on UNIC from Tokyo: There was an important development regarding
irregularities of UNIC Tokyo at the Parliament, House of
Standing Budget Committee on 13 January.
The issues of UNIC Tokyo were taken up in the
Representative Mr. Nobuto Hosaka to which the Foreign Minister expressed “regret” over UNIC Tokyo’s keeping a 5
million yen time deposit for many years, which originated from Japanese
contribution to UNIC Tokyo, and announced that the Japanese government
decided to cut approximately 10 million yen from next year’s voluntary
contribution to UNIC Tokyo’s Trust Fund, PJA.
Nobuto Hosaka, Member of the House of Representatives of the Social
Party of Japan also raised the issue of procurement of plane tickets by
Tokyo for DPKO from 1999 to 2007. The
tickets were for Japanese PKO travelling to UNDOF in which every bid
million yen annually) was granted to the same travel agent by UNIC
As noted, Amb. Takasu working in UN DPKO from 1993
to 1997. If he wants
to get to the bottom of this one, and to be transparent, this would be
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
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