The Japanese Society of International Law (JSIL) was established in 1897. It is one of the oldest academic societies in Japan in the field of law, and one of the oldest societies in the world in the field of international law. The Kokusaiho Gaiko Zassi (Journal of International Law and Diplomacy), the Society’s journal, was launched at the beginning of the 20th century in 1902. Thus, our Journal is one of the oldest in the world as an academic journal specializing in international law.
One of the important contributions the JSIL made in its early years was the study it conducted in the 1920’s in connection with the codification work of the League of Nations. The contribution made by the Society was highly appreciated in the League.
Japan has encountered a number of difficulties during the period of 120 years since the JSIL was founded. Even today, Japan and the world are faced with numerous problems and challenges in international law in various fields such as sources of law, territories, jurisdiction, the law of the sea, the environment, human rights, criminal law, trade, investment, dispute settlement, the use of force, collective security, international humanitarian law, etc. In 2010, in the case of Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand Intervening), Japan became a party before the International Court of Justice for the first time. While the judgment rendered by the Court in 2014 was not necessarily favorable to Japan, the Government of Japan immediately announced that “Japan will abide by the Judgment of the Court as a State that places a great importance on the international legal order and the rule of law as a basis of the international community.” The JSIL intends to contribute toward clarifying and solving these and other problems and challenges facing Japan and the world today.
Because of the particular circumstances in which the JSIL was founded, it comprises members specializing not only in public international law but also in private international law and international politics/diplomatic history. Members range from researchers affiliated with research institutions (including universities) in Japan and abroad, to officials of the Government of Japan (including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice), to attorneys, and to graduate students. The JSIL has more than 900 members and is thus one of the largest national societies of international law in the world. It holds an annual meeting for three days in autumn at a convention center in various parts of Japan. A program of the annual meeting is available on this homepage; if you are interested in attending, please contact our Secretariat.
Professor Masahiko Asada
President, Japanese Society of International Law