AbstractIn May 2023, Josuikaikaiho published a summary of the lecture by Yumiko Nakanishi, Professor at the Graduate School of Law, titled "Human Rights and environmental due diligence in the European Union." The lecture explained the measures taken by the European Unioin (EU) and the role of businesses and society regarding environmental protection and respect for human rights. Professor Nakanishi provided an overview of the EU's adoption of action plans, documents for the steady implementation of environmental and human rights initiatives, and laws that impose legal obligations on member states. She also mentioned mechanisms to ensure compliance with established laws by businesses and highlighted how NGOs and citizens are initiating lawsuits against countries. Professor Nakanishi emphasized that consumers and investors are responsible for human rights and environmental protection and must act with the future generation in mind.
AbstractOn April 28, 2023, Asia Democracy Research Network published a paper by Professor Maiko Ichihara at the Graduate School of Law, titled "Japan's Gradual Move to Address Technological Challenges to Democracy." Digital technology is not necessarily always beneficial to democracy, and this paper examines recent Japan's efforts to address this issue. Professor Ichihara pointed out that the advancement of technology has led to problems such as citizen mistrust, infringement of personal data protection, and facilitation of government repression. She explained that the Japanese government is taking measures such as export regulations, initiatives for human rights, and establishing a position to counter misinformation and regulations on Huawei. Lastly, Professor Ichihara argued that a new narrative capable of countering misinformation is necessary. She concluded that Japan must first identify the strategies of authoritarian actors and then create and disseminate proactive narratives.
Development of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between Japan and EU: Focus on Environmental and Energy Issues [in Japanese]
AbstractIn March 2023, the Japan Energy Law Institute published a paper by Professor Yumiko Nakanishi at the Graduate School of Law titled "Development of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between Japan and EU: Focus on Environmental and Energy Issues." This report examines the significance and prospects of the two agreements concluded between Japan and the EU - the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). The agreements discuss topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and the conflict in Ukraine. Professor Nakanishi explained that the EPA is a sign of cooperation, promoting energy efficiency and fighting climate change. Also, she mentioned some provisions that establish a legal framework and provide roles and legal binding in the SPA related to climate change and the conflict in Ukraine. Finally, Professor Nakanishi concluded that there had been concrete and substantive discussions on implementing both agreements in the recent Japan-EU Summit Meetings. In other words, these meetings symbolize a fundamental cooperative framework to address the most pressing energy-related issues.
(My Perspective) Significance of the Hiroshima Vision: Embracing Leaders, the Power of the Atomic-Bombed City [in Japanese]
AbstractOn June 2, 2023, Asahi Shimbun published an article by Professor Nobumasa Akiyama, Dean of the School of International and Public Policy, Hitotsubashi University, titled "(My Perspective) Significance of the Hiroshima Vision: Embracing Leaders, the Power of the Atomic-Bombed City.” In this article, the significance of the G7 Summit in the context of nuclear disarmament was discussed. Professor Akiyama analyzed the G7 Hiroshima Summit from the nuclear disarmament perspective, focusing on norms and responsibilities. He explained that the joint statement by the G7 members opposing nuclear war reaffirms the importance of the norm of non-use of nuclear weapons, which has been always upheld in the postwar era. Moreover, he argued that political leaders have the responsibility to protect national security and achieve a "world without nuclear weapons." Lastly, Professor Akiyama suggested that immediate policy changes following the Hiroshima Summit are improbable. However, the awareness of norms and responsibilities should eventually become a significant force for change.
The European Union’s Competence and Procedures for Ratifying the Istanbul Convention on Preventing Violence and Domestic Violence against Women [in Japanese]
AbstractIn May 2023, Jichikenkyu published a paper titled "The European Union's Competence and Procedures for Ratifying the Istanbul Convention on Preventing Violence and Domestic Violence against Women" by Professor Yumiko Nakanishi at the Graduate School of Law. The paper discusses a court opinion regarding the European Union's (EU) competence concerning the Convention on Preventing Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, commonly known as the Istanbul Convention. The court expressed the view that the EU can enter international treaties independently, even in areas where the EU has shared competencies. In other words, the EU can sign treaties in areas without exclusive competence. Furthermore, Professor Nakanishi evaluates the court opinion, suggesting the possibility of concluding mixed agreements where not all EU member states participate. As a result, this possibility may increase the number of ratifications of similar treaties.
”The Principle of The Primacy of EU Law and the Right to Request Preliminary Rulings from Domestic Courts” [in Japanese]
AbstractOn February 2023, the Journal of Local Governance Studies published the paper" The Principle of The Primacy of EU Law and the Right to Request Preliminary Rulings from Domestic Courts" by Professor Yumiko Nakanishi at the Graduate School of Law. The paper describes the significance of the principle of EU law's primacy and domestic courts' preliminary ruling procedure. The case raised concerns about the rule of law and disciplinary liability for judges and others in Romania. Professor Nakanishi explains that the judgment obliged ordinary domestic courts to disregard the decisions of higher instances, such as the Constitutional Court, if they do not comply with the EU law. Similarly, the judgement determined that lower instance ordinary courts have the right to request preliminary rulings from the judicial court regardless of the Constitutional Court's decisions. Ordinary courts should respect their collaborative relationship with the judicial court as an "EU" court, but the supremacy of EU law itself is not based on specific provisions. Therefore, the exclusive jurisdiction of the judicial court is also subject to interpretation.
AbstractOn May 31, 2023, Springer published a book by Professor Hitomi Takemura, Professor at the Graduate School of Law. The book, titled The Rohingya Crisis and the International Criminal Court, analyzes the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its relationship with the Rohingya crisis. The book highlights the contemporary challenges faced by the ICC, focusing on its connection to the Rohingya issue. The complex relationship between the Rohingya crisis and the ICC involves various challenges, including the relationship between non-State Parties and high-ranking government officials. Professor Takemura addresses this relationship through a literature review, providing up-to-date information. She also develops her argument by explaining the history of the Rohingya crisis. Moreover, she examines the Gambia v. Myanmar case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and its connection to the ICC progress. Lastly, she provides a final assessment of the ICC's legitimacy, effectiveness, and efficiency.
AbstractIn April 2023, the Review of European Law published a paper authored by Professor Yumiko Nakanishi at the Graduate School of Law, Hitotsubashi University, titled "The Principle of The Primacy of EU Law and the Right to Request Preliminary Rulings from Domestic Courts." The paper discusses the ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) regarding Poland's challenge to the annulment of the conditionality rules. The rules regarding the EU Recovery plan raised concerns about the mechanism assuming respect for the rule of law. Professor Nakanishi analyzes the judgment as the second chamber ruling establishing a mechanism obligating compliance with the rule of law. She also confirms that this measure is in line with EU law. The ECJ explains that Article 2 of the EU Treaty covers the principle of the rule of law and it relies on it as a legal reasoning. The ECJ also emphasizes the need for measures to protect its value in various situations, stating that EU member states should uphold this value. Professor Nakanishi says this case is significant, revealing the EU's identity for the first time in the judicial field. She also notes that this ruling is essential for developing EU law, facilitating judicial decisions to reaffirm the rule of law.
AbstractOn May 22, 2023, Asahi Shimbun published an article based on an interview with Professor Maiko Ichihara at the Graduate School of Law, titled "Integration of the Emerging Countries: A Double-Edged Sword.” This article discusses the importance of cooperation with emerging and developing countries known as the "Global South" in the G7 Summit. Professor Ichihara evaluated that while the setting of practical and collaborative agendas as a demonstration of consideration for these nations, the G7's approach appeared to forcibly incorporate the Global South into the "West." The processor noted that this approach has garnered mixed opinions and has the potential to provoke backlash. Additionally, Japan's involvement may have led to an increased perception of Japan as part of the West, and Japan needs to delicately manage its relations with the Global South more than ever.
AbstractOn November 30, 2022, Springer published the book Micro-evidence for Peacebuilding Theories and Policies, co-authored by Professor Kazuhiro Obayashi at the Graduate School of Law, Hitotsubashi University. In this book, multiple researchers provide insights into theories and policies of post-conflict peacebuilding. The analysis is based on micro-level evidence, considering civil norms and values. Professor Obayashi and his co-authors’ chapter studies the relationship between violence during war, risk and time preferences, and participation in sociopolitical organizations in the northwestern region of Pakistan. His findings reveal that war-related violence increases victims' risk-averseness, influencing their social activities. However, local organizations function as safety nets, mitigating the impact of violence.