The exclusion of West Germany's chancellor from D-Day celebrations in Normandy has rekindled an old debate about the ''second class'' status of West Germany, Italy, and Japan at the United Nations.
Some Western and third-world delegates to the UN were ''shocked'' that Chancellor Helmut Kohl was not invited to the D-Day anniversary celebrations.
Ambassadors from many democratic countries say it is ''preposterous'' that, nearly 40 years after the founding of the UN, West Germany, Japan, and Italy are still treated by the UN Charter as second-class citizens. Articles 53 and 107 specify that the rules of the Charter, like the nonuse of force, do not apply to ''enemy states.''
Any initiative by Germany, Italy, or Japan that displeases one of the victorious Allies (the Soviet Union, France, Britain, and the United States) could, theoretically, justify their use of force against any of the ''vanquished nations'' of World War II.
''How can Japan, West Germany, Italy be invited to the economic summit . . . while at the same time they continue to be discriminated against by their partners inside and outside the United Nations,'' a Western European diplomat asks.