West Africa Rising: Can Japan check China's clout in Africa?(Read article summary)
At a meeting in Dakar, Senegal this week, Japanese diplomats laid out Japan's proposal for a permanent African seat on the United Nations Security Council.
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At a dome-topped conference hall not unlike the United Nations General Assembly, Japan's top dignitaries addressed leaders of Africa's 53 nations and laid out Japan's proposal for a permanent African seat on the United Nations Security Council.
Since the mid-1990s, Japan's government has sought a permanent seat for itself at the all-powerful deliberative body, but Asian rival China has used its clout as one of the five permanent members to block the bid.
Now, for the second time in decade, Japan is trying to dilute China's power on the council by demanding the UN pull up a chair for Africa.
"In the UN, 60 to 70 percent of the conversation is about Africa, but there is no representation for Africa on the UN security council," Japan's Secretary of State Chiaki Takahashi told reporters in Dakar. "Africa is getting a stronger voice in international affairs, so we think it's natural to see Africa gain membership on the Security Council."
Japan's Africa conference this week in the Senegalese capital comes six years after its first attempt to finagle a permanent seat for Africa.