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Koizumi calls for cooperation in U.N. Security Council reform.

ADDIS ABABA, May 1 Kyodo

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Monday called for cooperation with African countries in their bids to win permanent seats in the U.N. Security Council during a speech delivered at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia.

''We must realize U.N. Security Council reform without delay...We would like to strengthen collaboration with our African colleagues,'' Koizumi said, apparently referring to Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the council and the African Union's campaign to win membership for two African countries.

Referring to the increased number of independent African countries and the role Japan has been playing toward achieving world peace since the end of World War II, Koizumi said, ''The United Nations, including the Security Council and its structure, has not adapted to these changes.''

On providing support to African countries, Koizumi said that Japan will promote an action plan to tackle infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria and that it will continue to assist the African Union's efforts to address the serious humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan.

Koizumi also encouraged African countries to conduct political and economic reforms, citing the achievements of the structural reform in Japan which he has led since becoming premier in 2001.

''Carrying out reforms is not an easy task to complete...However, the Japanese people have supported my reform programs, and the economy is now on a sustainable recovery track,'' Koizumi said.

''Africa is reaching a new stage where it has to institute its own political and economic reforms,'' he said.

Koizumi arrived in Ethiopia on Saturday on the first leg of his weeklong three-nation trip. After Ethiopia, Koizumi will visit Ghana and Sweden.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:May 1, 2006
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