Japan's chief Cabinet secretary says his countrymen want to know why Japan is not a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council when it pays such a large part of the organization's budget.
Shinzo Abe said Thursday that, while his government does not directly link the two issues, the taxpayers that bear the burden have a right to know.
On Wednesday, U.N. Security-General Kofi Annan's told reporters that no linkage should be made between contributions and council membership.
Tokyo pays about 19 percent of the U.N. budget, more than four of the five current permanent members (more than Britain, France and China combined). Only the United States pays more (about 22 percent of the cost).
In addition to a seat on the security council, Tokyo wants the United Nations to remove its designation of Japan as an enemy state. The designation is a holdover from World War II.
Some information for this report provided by AP.