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In July 1993, the Japanese government stated, in an official response to the UN Secretary General s enquiry about Security Council reform, that Japan is prepared to do all it can to discharge its responsibilities on the Security Council 1 This was to be followed by other similar statements which were meant to express Japan s candidature for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Since that Japan s quixotic quest for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council has been pursued with more vigor than success for close to four decades. Undeterred, Tokyo is pressing harder than ever this year. It has formed a tactical alliance with three other aspirants for permanent seats-Brazil, Germany and India in the hopes of getting a General Assembly vote in September this year on expanding both permanent and nonpermanent seats. But the closer Japan gets to its cherished goal, the higher the obstacles become and the more distant it begins to appear. Chinese street demonstrations, United States recent opposition to the Security Council expansion and the official statements opposing this step suggest that Japan is nearer to, and farther from, its goal then ever. Once again, the smart money says that this will not be Tokyo s year.