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My 1,000
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Date: April 2, 2005
Level: Intermediate +
Downloads: This Lesson (Word Doc) | Class Handout (Word Doc) | Class Handout (PDF)

THE ARTICLE

South Korea has thrown a spanner in the works of Japan’s efforts to join China, France, Russia, USA and UK as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). A top South Korean diplomat has declared Japan too untrustworthy a neighbour to warrant a Security Council seat. South Korea’s envoy to the UN said his government would block any Japanese attempts at permanent membership. Ambassador Kim Sam-hoon said: “We do not think Japan has the qualifications to become a UN Security Council member, and we will try to make sure it does not”. He added: “There are difficulties for a country that does not have the trust of its neighboring countries because of its lack of reflection on the past to play the role of a world leader.”

South Korea and Japan are set for a diplomatic war over this issue. Japan’s greatest international aspiration is to become a permanent member. It is the number two nation in bankrolling the UN. However, South Korea is angry over Japan's claim to a set of disputed islands between the two countries, currently under South Korean control; a new edition of a school history book that that critics say justifies Japan’s actions in World War II; and Prime Minister Koizumi's annual visits to the controversial Yasakuni shrine, which memorializes Japan’s top WWII soldiers. Japan, Germany, Brazil and India are part of a group known as the G4, which all have ambitions on a UNSC seat. America strongly supports Japan’s bid; China has yet to voice its expected opposition.

WARM UPS

1. CHAT: Talk in pairs or groups about South Korea / United Nations Security Council / Japan / neighboring countries / WWII disputes / forgetting the past / moving on / …

To make things more dynamic, try telling your students they only have one minute (or 2) on each chat topic before changing topics / partners. Change topic / partner frequently to increase conversation.

2. JAPAN BRAINSTORM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with Japan. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. UNSC MEMBERSHIP: Should Japan, along with Germany, Brazil and India, become get permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council? In pairs / groups, write down the pros and cons of these four countries joining the UNSC. Discuss what you have written. Which country has the greatest chance of membership? Which country should receive a seat?

4. JAPAN MEMBERSHIP OPINIONS: Read the following statements about Japanese aspirations to be a permanent member of the UNSC and express your opinion.

  1. Japan provides 20 per cent of the United Nations budget; more than the combined contributions of China (1%), Russia (1.1%) and France (6.5%).
  2. “Japan is a dangerous warlike state which is seeking overseas aggression going against the trend of peace.” – North Korean Government
  3. WWII finished 60 years ago. Why does South Korea still bring it up today?
  4. America, Japan’s greatest foe in WWII, supports Japanese (and German) membership.
  5. Japan needs to apologize for the atrocities it committed during WWII and pay compensation to its neighbours.
  6. If South Korea is worried about Japan, what does it think of China’s past aggression? Doesn’t it remember the Korean War?
  7. Japan is committed to promoting international disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. It has three non-nuclear principles of not possessing, not producing and not permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons into its territory.
  8. Japan really does need the support and trust of its neighbours to get a permanent seat.
  9. Japan has a pacifist constitution. Entry to the UNSC would mean having to abandon this by fighting UN-backed wars.
  10. Japan is an economically, politically and culturally important country. Its people are amongst the most peaceful in the world. Of course it should be a permanent member.
  11. Why should Japan get permanent membership and not South Korea?

 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. WORD SEARCH: Students look in their dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … of the words ‘permanent’ and ‘member’.

2. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the headline and guess whether these sentences are true or false:

  1. South Korea supports Japan’s bid to join the UN Security Council.  T / F
  2. There are only five members of the UN Security Council.  T / F
  3. A top South Korean diplomat thinks Japan is a good neighbour.  T / F
  4. The diplomat said Japan has the trust of its neighbours.  T / F
  5. Gaining UNSC permanent membership is not so important to Japan.  T / F
  6. Japan is the second largest financial contributor to the United Nations.  T / F
  7. South Korea is angry about a Japanese school history book.  T / F
  8. China has voiced opposition to Japan’s bid for permanent membership.  T / F

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

(a)

thrown a spanner in the works

condones

(b)

declared

hope

(c)

warrant

headed for

(d)

envoy

asserted

(e)

reflection

frustrated

(f)

set for

financing

(g)

aspiration

diplomat

(h)

bankrolling

express

(i)

justifies

contemplation

(j)

voice

deserve

4. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

(a)

thrown a spanner

a diplomatic war

(b)

too untrustworthy

the UN

(c)

a Security Council

in the works

(d)

its lack

known as the G4

(e)

play

seat

(f)

set for

of reflection

(g)

international

a neighbour

(h)

bankrolling

its expected opposition

(i)

part of a group

the role of a world leader

(j)

China has yet to voice

aspiration

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

GAP-FILL: Put the missing words under each paragraph into the gaps.

S. Korea to block Japanese Security Council bid

South Korea has thrown a __________ in the works of Japan’s efforts to join China, France, Russia, USA and UK as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). A top South Korean diplomat has __________ Japan too untrustworthy a neighbour to warrant a Security Council seat. South Korea’s envoy to the UN said his government would __________ any Japanese attempts at permanent membership. Ambassador Kim Sam-hoon said: “We do not think Japan has the qualifications to become a UN Security Council member, and we will try to make sure it does not”. He added: “There are difficulties for a country that does not have the __________ of its neighboring countries because of its lack of __________ on the past to play the role of a world leader.”

 

 

trust
declared
reflection
block
spanner

South Korea and Japan are __________ for a diplomatic war over this issue. Japan’s greatest international aspiration is to become a permanent member. It is the number two nation in __________ the UN. However, South Korea is angry over Japan's claim to a set of disputed islands between the two countries, currently under South Korean control; a new edition of a school history book that that critics say __________ Japan’s actions in World War II; and Prime Minister Koizumi's annual visits to the __________ Yasakuni shrine, which memorializes Japan’s top WWII soldiers. Japan, Germany, Brazil and India are part of a group known as the G4, which all have ambitions on a UNSC seat. America strongly supports Japan’s bid; China has yet to __________ its expected opposition.

 

 

controversial
set
justifies
voice
bankrolling

2. TRUE/FALSE: Students check their answers to the T/F exercise.

3. SYNONYMS: Students check their answers to the synonyms exercise.

4. PHRASE MATCH: Students check their answers to the phrase match exercise.

5. QUESTIONS: Students make notes for questions they would like to ask the class about the article.

6. VOCABULARY: Students circle any words they do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find the meanings.


 
 

POST READING IDEAS

1. GAP-FILL: Check the answers to the gap-fill exercise.

2. QUESTIONS: Students ask the discussion questions they thought of above to their partner / group / class. Pool the questions for all students to share.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT-GENERATED SURVEY: Pairs/Groups write down 3 questions based on the article. Conduct their surveys alone. Report back to partners to compare answers. Report to other groups / the whole class.

5. ‘PERMANENT’ / ‘MEMBER’: Students make questions based on their findings from pre-reading activity #1.

6. DISCUSSION:

  1. What was interesting in this article?
  2. Were you surprised by anything in this article?
  3. Were you angry about anything in this article?
  4. Should Japan become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council?
  5. There are currently five permanent members. Should this be expanded?
  6. Why do you think small countries like France and Britain are permanent members?
  7. Germany, Brazil and India also want to be permanent members. Is this OK?
  8. Japan finances twenty per cent of the UN. Isn’t this enough to warrant permanent membership?
  9. Is the South Korean ambassador’s argument about Japan lacking the trust of its neighbours a fair one?
  10. America has forgiven Japan for WWII. Shouldn’t Japan’s neighbours do the same?
  11. Is South Korea’s attempt to block Japanese membership a thing a good neighbour would do?
  12. Do you think Japan is a peaceful country?
  13. Do you think China is a peaceful country?
  14. Do you think the USA is a peaceful country?
  15. Is it right to bring up the Second World War when Japan now has a pacifist constitution and leads the world in arguing against nuclear proliferation?
  16. All of the UNSC permanent members have nuclear weapons. Is this right?
  17. Would Japanese permanent membership upset the regional balance of power in Asia?
  18. Should your country become a permanent member of the UNSC?
  19. Did you like this discussion?
  20. Teacher / Student additional questions.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find information on the UNSC. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. JAPAN’S BID: Write a letter to the head of the UNSC about your feelings on Japan’s membership bid. In your next class other students will reply to your letter.

4. MY COUNTRY: You are the foreign minister / secretary of your land. You have to convince the United Nations that your country should be a UNSC permanent member . Write down some brief notes explaining these reasons. In your next class your classmates will vote on whether to accept your membership bid.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

  1. South Korea supports Japan’s bid to join the UN Security Council.  F
  2. There are only five members of the UN Security Council.  T
  3. A top South Korean diplomat thinks Japan is a good neighbour.  F
  4. The diplomat said Japan has the trust of its neighbours.  F
  5. Gaining UNSC permanent membership is not so important to Japan.  F
  6. Japan is the second largest financial contributor to the United Nations.  T
  7. South Korea is angry about a Japanese school history book.  T
  8. China has voiced opposition to Japan’s bid for permanent membership.  F

SYNONYM MATCH:

(a)

thrown a spanner in the works

frustrated

(b)

declared

asserted

(c)

warrant

deserve

(d)

envoy

diplomat

(e)

reflection

contemplation

(f)

set for

headed for

(g)

aspiration

hope

(h)

bankrolling

financing

(i)

justifies

condones

(j)

voice

express

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

thrown a spanner

in the works

(b)

too untrustworthy

a neighbour

(c)

a Security Council

seat

(d)

its lack

of reflection

(e)

play

the role of a world leader

(f)

set for

a diplomatic war

(g)

international

aspiration

(h)

bankrolling

the UN

(i)

part of a group

known as the G4

(j)

China has yet to voice

its expected opposition

GAP FILL:

S. Korea to block Japanese Security Council bid

South Korea has thrown a spanner in the works of Japan’s efforts to join China, France, Russia, USA and UK as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). A top South Korean diplomat has declared Japan too untrustworthy a neighbour to warrant a Security Council seat. South Korea’s envoy to the UN said his government would block any Japanese attempts at permanent membership. Ambassador Kim Sam-hoon said: “We do not think Japan has the qualifications to become a UN Security Council member, and we will try to make sure it does not”. He added: “There are difficulties for a country that does not have the trust of its neighboring countries because of its lack of reflection on the past to play the role of a world leader.”

South Korea and Japan are set for a diplomatic war over this issue. Japan’s greatest international aspiration is to become a permanent member. It is the number two nation in bankrolling the UN. However, South Korea is angry over Japan's claim to a set of disputed islands between the two countries, currently under South Korean control; a new edition of a school history book that that critics say justifies Japan’s actions in World War II; and Prime Minister Koizumi's annual visits to the controversial Yasakuni shrine, which memorializes Japan’s top WWII soldiers. Japan, Germany, Brazil and India are part of a group known as the G4, which all have ambitions on a UNSC seat. America strongly supports Japan’s bid; China has yet to voice its expected opposition.

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