The first Japan-AALCO Training Course on Public International Law, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Government of Japan was held from 08 December to 15 December 2019 at Tokyo and Kyoto. The Training Course saw participation from Brunei Darussalam, Arab Republic of Egypt,Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, State of Kuwait, United Republic of Tanzania, Democratic Socialistic Republic of Sri Lanka, Republic of South Africa, Republic of the Philippines, Kingdom of Thailand, Republic of Turkey, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Mr. Abraham Joseph, Legal Officer, AALCO represented the Secretariat in the Training Course.
In the Opening Session, H.E. Prof. Dr. Kennedy Gastorn, Secretary-General, AALCO delivered the Inaugural Address, which was followed by an Opening Lecture by Mr. Okano Masataka, Legal Adviser and Director-General, International Legal Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan. Prof. Dr. Gastorn in his address highlighted the important role played by AALCO in the progressive development and codification of international law from an Afro-Asian perspective and thanked the Government of Japan for hosting the Japan-AALCO Training Course on Public International Law. Mr. Okano in his lecture highlighted the importance of organizing the Japan-AALCO Training Course on Public International Law, noting Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s announcement to this effect during the Fifty-Seventh Annual Session of AALCO held in Tokyo in October 2018. The Opening Session was followed by a session on the ‘Role of Legal Adviser’s Office’ by Mr. Mikanagi Tomohiro, Deputy Director-General, International Legal Affairs Bureau Ministry of Foreign Affairs explaining the working of the Legal Advisers Office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. In the afternoon, Mr. Yamauchi Yoshimitsu, Assistant Vice-Minister of Justice, Japan and Prof. Iokibe Kaoru from University of Tokyo made lectures on ‘Legal History of Japan’ and ‘Diplomatic History of Japan’ respectively and the day concluded with a visit to the office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and a reception hosted by, Mr. Okano, Legal Adviser and Director-General, International Legal Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan.
The second day of the Training Course began with two sessions on the Law of the Sea by Prof. Nishimoto Kentaro of Tohoku University, Japan. The two sessions gave a strong overview of the law of the Sea and its specific practice in the Japanese context. The sessions for the day concluded with back-to-back presentations by Prof. Hamamoto Shotaro of Kyoto University on the ‘World Trade Organization’ and the ‘National Implementation of International Law’. The two lectures were deeply informative and grounded in the practical working of the WTO and issues pertaining to the domestic implementation of international law.
The third day began with a session on the ‘Practical Aspects of Treaty Making’ by Mr. Hayashi Yujiro, Director, Social Treaties Division followed by a session on the ‘General Course on the International Law Commission’ by Prof. Dr. Murase Shinya, Member, International Law Commission. Both the sessions witnessed in-depth, high quality discussions on innovative aspects of international law and practice. At the end of the day, the participants of the Training Course paid a courtesy visit to the Mr. Suzuki Keisuke, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan.
The fourth day began with a comprehensive session on ‘Inter-State Litigation and Arbitration before International Courts and Tribunals’ by Mr. Yuri Parkhomenko, Associate, Foley Hoag LLP which elaborated on the practical dimensions of inter-State litigation and arbitration before the ICJ, ITLOS, Annex VII Tribunals and Investor State Dispute Settlement Forums. The session was followed by a comprehensive lecture on ‘Evidence on International Courts and Tribunals’ and ‘Investment Law and Arbitration’ by Dr. Aniruddha Rajput, Member, International Law Commission.
The fifth and sixth days were dedicated to visiting the city of Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. The participants visited various historical and culturally significant monuments and places of Kyoto including the Fushimi Inari Shrine, the Tenryuji Temple, Kinkakuki-ji Temple, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and the Nijo-jo Castle among others.