Event Report

Conference on Oceans Law & Policy: Peaceful Maritime Engagement in East Asia and the Pacific Region

  • twitter
  • Facebook

The Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), the Stockton Center for International Law at the U.S. Naval War College, the World Maritime University--Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, and the Ocean Policy Research Institute at The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF) co-hosted a webinar titled "Conference on Oceans Law & Policy: Peaceful Maritime Engagement in East Asia and the Pacific Region" from 10 to 12 May 2021.

Recently, shifting strategic landscape is having a grave impact on the maritime issues and the rule of law of the region surrounding Japan. The international community also faces various maritime challenges, which requires rule-based responses.

This year, at the 44th Annual Conference on Oceans Law & Policy, 44 leading scholars from the world discussed subjects ranging from East China Sea maritime boundaries, baselines and archipelagic states, navigation rights and law enforcement, and maritime security issues concerning small island states; the issues discussed from legal point of view also include Arctic shipping, preservation of the marine environment including the hazard of plastic debris, and the issues arising out of climate change. Approximately 1200 viewers registered to this year's conference.

Program at this year's conference were:

Opening: Introduction

Opening: Keynote Speech

Opening: Policy Speech

Panel 1 "Baselines and Archipelagic States"

  • Masaharu Yanagihara Professor, The Open University of Japan (Moderator)
  • Clive Schofield Professor, Head of Research, WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute
  • David Freestone Professor, George Washington University Law School
  • Dai Tamada Professor, Kobe University
  • Henry S. Bensurto, Jr Consul General of the Philippines in San Francisco
  • Richard Barnes Professor, University of Hull

Panel 2 "Navigation Rights/Law Enforcement"

  • Jin-Hyun Paik Judge, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Moderator)
  • David Goddard Assistant Legal Adviser, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Robert Beckman Emeritus Professor, National University of Singapore
  • David Letts Associate Professor, Australian National University
  • Kyo Arai Professor, Doshisha University

Panel 3 "Arctic Shipping"

  • Douglas Burnett Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (Moderator)
  • Aldo Chircop Professor, Dalhousie University
  • Kentaro Wani Associate Professor, Osaka University
  • Evan T. Bloom Senior Fellow, Wilson Center Polar Institute, and former Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State
  • Zhen Sun Research Officer, WMU - Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute

Panel 4 "East China Sea Maritime Boundaries"

  • James Kraska Chairman and Rear Admiral Charles H. Stockton Professor of International Maritime Law, US Naval War College (Moderator)
  • Hironobu Sakai Professor, Kyoto University Graduate School of Law
  • Yann-huei Song Professor Dr., Academia Sinica (retired)
  • LEE Keun-Gwan Professor, Seoul National University
  • Stuart Kaye Professor, University of Wollongong

Panel 5 "Maritime Security Issues Concerning Small Island States"

  • Raul "Pete" Pedrozo Professor, Stockton Center for International Law, USNWC (Moderator)
  • Cleo Paskal Associate Fellow, Chatham House
  • Dominique Bourgnon de Layre Lieutenant-Commander, ALPACI
  • Masahiro Kurosaki Associate Professor of International Law, National Defense Academy of Japan

Panel 6 "Preservation of the Marine Environment, Including the Hazard of Plastic Debris"

  • Havas Oegroseno Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Republic of Germany (Moderator)
  • Aleke Stöfen-O'Brien Associate Research Officer, WMU - Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute
  • Tomofumi Kitamura Associate Professor, The University of Tokyo
  • Joanna Mossop Associate Professor, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Laurent Parenté Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Vanuatu to the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO), Government of Republic of Vanuatu

Panel 7 "Issues Arising Out of Climate Change"

  • Ronán Long Professor, WMU - Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute (Moderator)
  • Davor Vidas Professor, The Fridtjof Nansen Institute
  • Pierre-Jean Bordahandy Professor, University of the South Pacific
  • Naoki Iwatsuki Professor, Rikkyo University
  • Karen Scott Professor, University of Canterbury


  • Atsuko Kanehara Professor, Sophia University, Faculty of Law / President, Japanese Society of International Law / Councilor, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation

→More details available at the event website.