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Japan, Germany to Insist on Veto Power with UN Security Council Seats

Japan and Germany have jointly declared they want permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council with the veto power of the five current permanent members.

At a news conference, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said it is time to expand the U.N. Security Council.

Mr. Koizumi says any nation joining the five permanent members should have veto power, otherwise it would be discriminatory.

The German chancellor says Japan, Germany, Brazil and India - countries bidding for permanent seats - will discuss the matter.

Mr. Schroeder says Japan and Germany also agree that Africa, as an important part of the world, should also have permanent representation on the Security Council.

In a speech to business leaders earlier in the day, the German Chancellor said all new council members should have the right of veto.

The United Nations is considering expanding the number of permanent council members. Under a format instituted shortly after World War II, the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France have the only permanent seats. That grants them the power to veto U.N. resolutions. The 10 rotating Security Council members have no veto.

Reform advocates say the current format does not give enough weight to the voices of the developing world and to major economic powers such as Japan and Germany.

Earlier, the chancellor spoke at a business symposium in the Japanese capital. He told hundreds of German and Japanese business leaders that he remains concerned about the recent rise of the euro against the dollar.

Mr. Schroeder says lessons can be learned from what he calls the superb monetary policies of Japan's central bank.

Although he did not elaborate, analysts say the comment was a criticism of the European Central Bank and its reluctance to lower interest rates even when inflation is moderate.

Mr. Schroeder also called on German exporters to increase their sales efforts to reduce the country's trade deficit with Japan.

Germany posted economic growth of a mere 0.1 percent in the third quarter of this year, which economists say is due in part to sluggish exports.

Mr. Schroeder arrived Wednesday in Tokyo after a visit to China and leaves Friday.