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Japan roots for Asian as UN Gen Secy

Japan pledged to support an Asian to succeed Kofi Annan as UN Secretary General when his term ends on December 31.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2006 20:19 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Japan on Tuesday pledged to support an Asian to succeed Kofi Annan as United Nations secretary general when his second five-year term ends on December 31.

"We consider that the next secretary general should be selected from Asia," Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said after South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Ban Ki Moon declared his candidacy for the top UN post.

"In the election, we will make an overall assessment of such points as the candidates' capability, experience and approach to UN reform," the top government spokesman told a regular news conference.

Abe added that Japan was not considering recommending its own candidate.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he had no specific candidate on his mind. "It may be still too early. I have not yet set criteria for supporting a specific candidate."

Ban is the third Asian to declare the candidacy after Thai Deputy Premier Surakiart Sathirathai and Sri Lanka's Jayantha Dhanapala, an adviser to President Mahinda Rajapakse and a former UN undersecretary general for disarmament.

Annan, a Ghanian, has said he should be replaced by an Asian to conform with regional rotation of the top UN job. Asia has not had a UN chief since Myanmar's U Thant finished his second term in 1971.

First Published: Feb 14, 2006 19:10 IST