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Epilogue

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 January 2023

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Summary

In September 2001, I was asked by the Waseda University Graduate School of Law to give a lecture to graduate students as a part-time lecturer. As the Director of the Legal Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I was working on everyday diplomatic issues from the perspective of international law, so giving a weekly lecture to graduate students of the leading private university in Japan was an extremely challenging invitation. At that time, I was in charge of “connecting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Law Society”, so there were many opportunities to exchange opinions with professors, like chairing the International Law Study Group at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs four times a year, and monthly international law study sessions with a limited number of professors. There were many heated arguments about diplomatic issues at such meetings. Still, those were discussions of international law practitioners facing daily diplomatic issues and differed from the scholar’s point of view conducting the theory and judicial precedent studies.

From the fall of that year to the next spring, and from the fall of the following year to the spring of 2003, I visited Waseda University every Saturday and organized a seminar with more than a dozen graduate students. At the seminar, I assigned each student a diplomatic issue that Japan was facing and asked them to present the case, the government’s judgment, its background, and their evaluation under international law while I was giving comments on the presentation. However, those discussions with graduate students turned out to be unexpectedly shocking to me. There is no problem if the evaluation of cases under international law and the student’s arguments are different from those of the government. Because that is the discussion that should be held in a free academic institution, and it is the only way to enhance each other. However, as a problem before such arguments, the students had no understanding at all of how the government perceived the issues under international law and what kind of logic it had created to handle the case.

Naturally, my initial reaction was, “Don’t young people these days study anything?” However, as the discussions continued, I was struck by the question of how graduate students could get to know the government’s thinking.

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Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Epilogue
  • Hidehisa Horinouchi
  • Book: Japan’s Practice of International Law
  • Online publication: 12 January 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9789400604414.008
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  • Epilogue
  • Hidehisa Horinouchi
  • Book: Japan’s Practice of International Law
  • Online publication: 12 January 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9789400604414.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Epilogue
  • Hidehisa Horinouchi
  • Book: Japan’s Practice of International Law
  • Online publication: 12 January 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9789400604414.008
Available formats
×