A senior Japanese diplomat accused the United States of taking a cowboy approach to bringing peace to South Sudan.

Yoshifumi Okamura, Japan's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said Washington's move to strengthen sanctions against the war-torn country is not the answer.

“Japan is making steady efforts (to bring about peace) by sending Self-Defense Forces members to South Sudan. But U.S. involvement is all mouth,” Okamura told The Asahi Shimbun in an interview.

Without sending troops to assist in peacekeeping operations, the United States tried to strengthen sanctions against South Sudan by adopting a United Nations Security Council resolution, including an arms embargo. Washington fears that continuing ethnic conflict could lead to a genocide.

However, the resolution was shot down at a UNSC meeting on Dec. 23 after eight countries, including Japan, Russia and China, abstained from the vote.

Okamura was in charge of the negotiations with other countries on whether or not to support the resolution.

“It is doubtful whether an arms embargo will be effective. It is not the panacea to stop conflicts,” Okamura said. "What is necessary now is to support nation-building led by the South Sudanese government.”

The UNSC resolution also called for freezing assets held by high-ranking officials of the South Sudanese government.

“The resolution is nothing but a cowboy-like idea that if we punish villains, justice will be realized,” Okamura said.

The diplomat cited the presence of SDF troops in South Sudan as a reason for Japan abstaining from the resolution.

He noted that Japan has cooperated with the South Sudanese government through the dispatch of SDF troops, adding that these relations "must not collapse due to sanctions.”