Election of Dr. Yamazaki, Professor, the University of Tokyo’s Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, in the Election of Members of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS)
June 15, 2017
1. On June 15 (June 14 EST), an election of the members of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) was held at the 27th Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), convened at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Japan's candidate, Dr. Toshitsugu Yamazaki, Professor, the University of Tokyo’s Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, was elected as a member of the Commission. The 5-year term of the members elected at this election is from June 2017 to June 2022.
2. The CLCS is an organ established under UNCLOS, consisting of 21 experts in the fields of geology, geophysics and hydrography. The function of the Commission is to consider the submissions made by coastal States concerning the outer limits of the continental shelf extended beyond 200 nautical miles, and to make recommendations from the scientific point of view in accordance with UNCLOS. The CLCS plays a paramount role in the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf by coastal States in line with international law.
3. As a major maritime State, Japan is committed to promoting the legal order at sea and has contributed to the promotion of work by coastal States to establish the outer limits of the continental shelf by producing pre-eminent member to the CLCS. Professor Yamazaki is one of Japan's most distinguished experts in the areas of marine geology with rich experience in international seabed research projects, and is expected to contribute substantially to the work of the CLCS as its member.
(1) UNCLOS Article 76, paragraph 8.
Information on the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured shall be submitted by the coastal State to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf set up under the Annex II on the basis of equitable geographical representation. The Commission shall make recommendations to coastal States on matters related to the establishment of the outer limits of their continental shelf. The limits of the shelf established by a coastal State on the basis of these recommendations shall be final and binding.
(2) UNCLOS Annex II. Article 2, paragraph 1.
The Commission shall consist of 21 members who shall be experts in the field of geology, geophysics or hydrography, elected by States Parties to this Convention from among their nationals, having due regard to the need to ensure equitable geographical representation, who shall serve in their personal capacities.
(Reference 2) Dr. Toshitsugu Yamazaki’s Professional Background
Dr. Toshitsugu Yamazaki is one of Japan's leading marine geologists, and is currently a Professor at the University of Tokyo’s Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute. He served at the Geological Survey of Japan from 1981 to 2001 in various important positions. He then served as a Group Leader at the Institute of Geology and Geoinformation, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology from 2002 to 2012. He has also served as a guest professor at the Chiba University Graduate School and the University of Tsukuba. Dr. Yamazaki assumed his present position at the University of Tokyo in 2012. Education: Ph.D., Kyoto University.
The current CLCS member from Japan is Dr Tetsuro Urabe, Professor Emiritus, the University of Tokyo (2011-). Former members from Japan are Dr. Kazuchika Hamuro, First Secretary of the Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament (Title at the time of election.) (1997-2002) and Dr. Kensaku Tamaki, Professor of the University of Tokyo (Title at the time of election.) (2002-2011).