Japan has been elected to the UN Security Council to succeed India as a non-permanent member for a two-year term starting next year.
Japan was one of the five countries that were elected on Thursday, 9 June, through secret ballots.
The seats are allocated by region and Japan was the unopposed choice of the Asia Pacific group, with no formal rivals.
However, it received 184 votes out of the 192 votes that were cast, with three going to Mongolia – which was not a candidate – as a passive-aggressive sign of opposition to Japan, and the other five presumably being blank votes.
Switzerland, which joined the UN only in 2002, was elected for the first time to the Council.
The other member States elected were Malta, also from the Western European group, Mozambique from Africa, and Equador from Latin America.
Japan's Priorities for Its UNSC Tenure
Japan, which was elected for the 12th time, will be joining the United Arab Emirates which began its term in January and is the other Asian nation on the Council.
India will be completing its two-year term at the end of December – the month during which it will be the Council's President for the second time in its current tenure.
Like India, Japan is an aspirant for a permanent seat on the Council; With Brazil, currently an elected member, and Germany, they form the group known as G4 that lobbies for Council reform to expand permanent member slots and mutually support their candidacies for permanent seats.
Japan's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Odawara Kiyoshi said after the election that his country will push the Council to deal with the situation in North Korea, which has resumed missile tests.
The Council has been deadlocked on the North Korea issue because of Chinese and Russian vetoes.
Japan's other priorities on the Council would be "security, including energy and food," Kiyoshi added.
(This post has been published in an arrangement with IANS.)