New York Convention Roadshow in Tokyo, Japan
Report written by Yoshimi Ohara.
In response to a request from ICCA´s Judiciary Committee, Professor Shunsuke Kakiuchi of the University of Tokyo took the lead in a project to publish a Japanese version of ICCA’s Guide to the Interpretation of the 1958 New York Convention. With the support of a Supreme Court justice of Japan, Prof. Kakiuchi successfully involved a judge in the project, along with esteemed law professors, Prof. Keisuke Takeshita of Hitotsubashi University, Prof. Hirotoshi Uchiumi of the University of Tokyo, and Yoshimi Ohara.
Following the publication of the Japanese version of the ICCA Judges’ Guide in June 2023, the Tokyo District Court organized lectures for judges on international arbitration and the New York Convention (NYC), featuring Honorable Dominique Hascher, Prof. Kakiuchi and Yoshimi Ohara as lecturers. During his keynote speech, Hon. Dominique Hascher encouraged judges to actively participate in the global dialogue, emphasizing the reciprocal influence they can have on the development of arbitration as a global dispute resolution system. Prof. Kakiuchi introduced ICCA and its Judges’ Guide, while Yoshimi Ohara discussed the interaction between the court and arbitration, highlighting the expectations of the arbitration community towards the court. The lectures garnered significant attendance and received high praise from the judges, including a Supreme Court Justice, as well as judges from the Tokyo District Court and the Osaka District Court.
The Tokyo District Court and the lecture participants discussed strategies for propagating the ICCA Judges’ Guide to judges who will apply the NYC through the Arbitration Act. The court graciously supported the publication of articles on the ICCA Judges’ Guide in Hanrei Times, a highly esteemed law journals widely read by judges. In this publication, Prof. Kakiuchi provided an overview of the lectures held at the Tokyo District Court. Prof. Takeshita contributed insights from the perspective of private international law, Prof. Uchiumi shared perspectives from civil procedural law, and Yoshimi Ohara shared her insights as an arbitration practitioner.
The publication of the Japanese version of the Guide came at a particularly opportune moment. In 2023, the Arbitration Act of Japan underwent amendments, expanding the jurisdictions of the Tokyo District Court and the Osaka District Court to hear arbitration-related cases, aiming to accumulate expertise in arbitration among judges from these districts. In light of these changes, the Tokyo District Court was eager to deepen judges’ understanding of the NYC. They played a crucial role by organizing the lectures and assisting the publication of articles on the ICCA NYC Guide in Hanrei Times.
The ICCA Judges’ Guide is currently available in 29 languages.