NEW YORK (AFP, REUTERS) - Japan was among five countries elected on Thursday (June 9) to hold a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2023 and 2024.
Switzerland, Mozambique, Malta and Ecuador will also take up two-year positions from Jan 1 next year.
The five will succeed India, Norway, Kenya, Mexico and Ireland.
The Council, which is charged with maintaining international peace and security, is made up of 15 members, five of whom are permanent, veto-wielding members: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
The other 10 positions are filled by other countries for two-year stints, five of which are announced each year.
Japan, Switzerland, Mozambique, Malta and Ecuador were voted in by the UN General Assembly in a secret ballot.
Out of the assembly's 193 members, Japan obtained 184 votes.
Deputy Foreign Minister Odawara Kiyoshi said Tokyo's priorities would be "security, including energy and food".
Mozambique was elected to the Council for the first time in its history with 192 votes. Ecuador received 190 votes, Malta 185 and Switzerland 187.
To ensure geographical representation, seats are allocated to regional groups. But even if candidates are running unopposed in their group, they still need to win the support of more than two-thirds of the General Assembly.
The Security Council is the only UN body that can make legally binding decisions such as imposing sanctions and authorising use of force.