Japan is the latest Asian country seeking to secure one of 13 slots that have been allotted for the region. Others include Bangladesh, Bahrain, China, India, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan, South Korea and Sri Lanka.
Last week the United States declined to seek a seat on the council, the creation of which was approved overwhelmingly last month. The U.S. had voted against it, saying "not enough was done to prevent abusive countries becoming members."
The council's predecessor, the Human Rights Commission, has often drawn criticism because Sudan and other states with questionable human rights records were among its members, prompting some nations not to work with it.The Japan Times April 13, 2006