International Law and Treaties

October 20, 2023

From August 21 to 24, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan organized the first Tokyo International Law Seminar at the United Nations University, Tokyo.

1. Purpose

  • (1) The Tokyo International Law Seminar provides lectures in the field of international law, for officials and legal experts from Asia and Africa. Through the exchanges between the participants, the seminar aims to contribute to the peace guided by the rule of law.
  • (2) The seminar is also designed to foster professionals in the fields of international law by opening the door to lawyers and international law researchers from Japan.

3. Overview

Minister's message
Group photo
  • (1) Approximately 50 people attended the seminar. The participants included 12 government officials from Asia and Africa, namely Bangladesh, Brunei, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Oman, Philippines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Thai, Vietnam, and Secretariat of AALCO, as well as lawyers from Japanese law firms that sponsored the seminar and young researchers in the field of international law. During the seminar, prominent international law experts from abroad and international law scholars from Japan gave lectures on various areas of particular importance in the practice of international law, as well as on practices related to international litigation.
  • (2) At the inaugural lecture on 21st August, a video message by H.E.Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, was presented to the participants.
  • (3) On the first day of the seminar, 21st August, H.E. Mr. TAKEI Shunsuke, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, hosted the welcoming reception at the United Nations University.
  • (4) The list of lecturers is as follows (video recording are available for some lecturersOpen a New Window):
    • (a) Key Note Lecture “Immunities of State Officials and Prosecutors for International Crimes: Where does the Law Stand?” , Prof. Dapo AKANDE, University of Oxford, ILC member
    • (b) “Rule of Law”, Mr. MIKANAGI Tomohiro, Legal Adviser, Director-General, International Legal Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • (c) “International Litigation”, Mr. Paul REICHLER, International Lawyer, 11KBW
    • (d) “International Law Commission”, Prof. ASADA Masahiko, Doshisha Univeristy, ILC Member
    • (e) “Responsibility of States”, Prof. HAMAMOTO Shotaro, Kyoto University
    • (f) “Immunity and Diplomatic/Consular Relations”, Prof. Philippa WEBB, King’s College London
    • (g) “International Humanitarian Law”, Prof. Kubo MAČÁK, University of Exeter
    • (h) “International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations”, Prof. Kubo MAČÁK, University of Exeter
    • (i) “Law of the Sea, Territories”, Prof. NISHIMOTO Kentaro, Tohoku University
    • (j) “International Criminal Law”, Ms. KAWASHIMA Saeko, Former Legal Officer of UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)
    • (k) “International Environmental Law”, Prof. TAKAMURA Yukari, University of Tokyo
    • (l) “Current Challenge to International Law: the Role of AALCO”, Dr. Kamalinne PINITPUVADOL, Secretary-General, Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO)
    • (m) Special Lecture “Enforcement of International Law”, Judge IWASAWA Yuji, International Court of Justice (ICJ)
    • (n) “Capacity Building of Legal Systems”, Mr.MORINAGA Taro, Director, United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI) and Mr.SUDA Hiroshi, Deputy Director, International Cooperation Department (ICD), Research and Training Institute, Ministry of Justice
    • (o) “Effective Written and Oral Advocacy in International Arbitration”, Mr. Gary BORN, Partner, WilmerHale
    • (p) “ISDS and International Investment Law”, Prof. TAMADA Dai, Kyoto University
    • (q) “Domestic Application of WTO Agreement”, Prof. FUKUNAGA Yuka, Waseda University
    • (r) “Treaty Making and Domestic Application”, Mr. KATAHIRA Satoshi, Director-General, Economic Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • (5) On 24th August, the completion ceremony was held and the certifications were handed over to qualified participants.
  • (6) The seminar was:
    • (a) organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan;
    • (b) co-organized by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and the Japanese Society of International Law;
    • (c) supported by the United Nations University and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO); and
    • (d) sponsored by Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, Nishimura & Asahi, TMI Associates, Atsumi & Sakai, Baker & McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise), City-Yuwa Partners, Kitahama Partners, Koga & Partners, Momo-o, Matsuo & Namba, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, and Shinwa Law.

4. International Law Moot Court “Asia Cup”

The seminar was accompanied by the “Asia Cup”, one of the largest international law moot court competitions in Asia. “Asia Cup” has been held annually in Japan since 1999 for students from Asian countries. This year, the team from Bangladesh won the championship.

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