Current Developments

Future of whaling vis-à-vis Japan’s withdrawal from IWC

Japan conducted its first successful commercial whale hunt on July 1, 2019 since thirty years, against significant resistance from the international community, after it had formally withdrawn from the International Convention on the Regulations of Whaling (ICRW) in December 2018 by exercising the ‘opting out’ clause. The recommencement of hunting poses pertinent questions for international law: What legal impact will the withdrawal have on the work of the International Whaling …


BofaxeCurrent Developments

The international whaling regime – a law with no teeth?

Hosting the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan has been at the center of international attention lately. Less prominent than the G20 summit, but not less noteworthy is the reintroduction of commercial whaling in Japan. Beginning on Monday, 01 July 2019, it will be legal to hunt whales for openly economic reasons in Japan’s coastal waters and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for the first time in more than 30 years. While …


South and East Asian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

A Japanese approach to international law

Territorial disputes and investment dispute settlements

In Japan, only a few academic scholars are aware of the plurality of academic scholarly perspectives. Most others do not think that their methods are different from the Western methods. This phenomenon is visible in international law study too. Such an attitude is not groundless. Japanese international law scholars are more internationalized than domestic law scholars. Most of them understand two or three European languages well, have experience of studying …



Transnational Science-Based Standards on Radiation: A Japanese Experience

‘Dose limits’ after Fukushima

The readers of this blog might have heard of “millisieverts” or “becquerel”. These are the units of radiation dose and emission. While these notions are primarily the commodities of scientific experts in radiology and related fields, the German political debate might not be unfamiliar to such terms. Germany is currently experiencing a transition away from nuclear power, and nuclear energy has been publicly debated since the 1970s. Yet in Japan, …