Letter: Worldly influence

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Sir: Regarding the proposal by the US to make Germany and Japan permanent members of the UN Security Council (report, 27 January), these two countries already exert significant economic and political influence in world affairs.

As leading exporters and potential benefactors of political stability, they need to take a more active role in the peacekeeping activities of the UN. Mercedes, Volkswagens, Toyotas and Nissans seem to dominate the background in television news footage from Sarajevo, Somalia, etc. Both countries need to change their constitutions to allow them to project power abroad as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,


Bracknell, Berkshire

27 January