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Law and/or Justice in Island Disputes in East Asia

This discussion includes possible solutions to the Island Disputes best fit to the sense of justice in the region

February 11, 2013 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Tetsuya Toyoda, Associate Professor, International Law, Akita International University

Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), Center for Japanese Studies (CJS), Center for Korean Studies (CKS), Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)

The remaining three major territorial disputes in East Asia are over small islands, the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute between the Republic of Korea (and DPRK) and Japan, the Senkaku/Diaoyutai dispute between Japan and China (and Taiwan), and the Paracel and Spratly dispute between China (and Taiwan), Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines. With the rise of nationalism in East Asia, the disputes over those islands have become serious impediments to regional cooperation. One of reasons of unease comes from the fact that the rules of modern international law for territorial demarcation are not fit to the sense of justice of the peoples in East Asia.

My presentation is about possible solutions best fit to the sense of justice, and thus least unacceptable, in the region, with particular attention to Art. 121(3) of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea which provides that rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf., 510-642-3156