Japan is considering a new draft resolution for expansion of the United Nations Security Council and is expected to consult other G-4 members, including India, on it.
The draft will be presented in the UN General Assembly in September, in the hope of it being adopted by the end of the year, news agency Kyodo, quoting government sources, reported on Thursday.
The new document would possibly contain an element of concession to the African Union. It would seek an extra non-permanent seat in the expansion plan, in an effort to gain support of the resolution from African nations, the sources said.
The move comes as chances for the General Assembly to adopt a framework resolution submitted by G-4 countries -- Japan, Brazil, Germany and India -- aimed at expanding the Security Council membership, have become grim.
The prospects for the G-4's framework resolution to be adopted by the General Assembly hit a dark patch after the 53-member AU decided in early August not to pursue a joint proposal with the four nations.
The key to whether the new draft resolution is approved depends on the AU, the largest grouping in the United Nations, but the sources said it is difficult to estimate how many AU members would agree to supporting a new document.
The outcome of the general elections, scheduled in Japan and Germany, is also crucial for the smooth adoption of the new resolution.
The G-4 members plan to continue their efforts to solicit votes in order to try to secure a majority until September 12, when resolutions which have not been adopted by then are scrapped with the end of the current General Assembly session, the sources added.
But if their efforts are not fruitful, they will probably give up on the framework resolution and then submit a new draft resolution for consideration in the new session, they said.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had last week hoped that the issue of UN security council reform was resolved by December, although he would still like to see the solution reached by the time of the special UN summit in September.
Although both the G-4 and the AU want to alter the current composition of the Security Council and agree on adding 6 new permanent seats, which would include the G-4 and 2 African countries, they have differing views on veto rights and the number of non-permanent members to be added.
While the Africans are pushing for veto rights for the new permanent members, the G-4 is calling for a 15-year freeze.
The G-4 initially proposed increasing the number of non-permanent members by 4, while the Africans have called for 5 new non-permanent seats.
There are now 5 permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- all of which hold veto powers, and 10 non-permanent members elected on a rotational basis.