STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. JUN YAMAZAKI
AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF JAPAN
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON AGENDA ITEM 72:
REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
26 OCTOBER 2011
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Mr. President of the International Court of Justice,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure and honour, on behalf of the Government of Japan, to address this eminent Assembly under the Presidency of Your Excellency Ambassador Al-Nasser. I would like to express my gratitude to President Hisashi Owada for his in-depth report summarizing the current situation of the International Court of Justice. As a State resolutely devoted to peace, and firmly dedicated to the promotion of the rule of law and respect for the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes, Japan appreciates the strenuous efforts and work of the Court as presided over by Judge Owada, to deliver decisions and opinions based on exhaustive deliberation.
We are especially impressed by the wide regional range of Member States seeking to resolve international legal disputes by referring cases to the ICJ. This fact illustrates the universality of the Court and the great importance that Member States attach to it. The variety of subject matter of recent cases, from territorial and maritime delimitation to interpretation and application of international conventions and treaties, also demonstrates the significant role played by the ICJ in solving international disputes between States and providing opinions on important questions in international law. While dealing with the variety and complexity of such cases, the Court has taken effective measures to conduct its activity at a sustainable level. The Government of Japan commends the Court for its continuous efforts to re-examine its procedures and working methods.
In the present international community, where we continue to witness armed conflicts and acts of terrorism, the firm establishment of law and order is indispensable. Indeed, there has been an increasing recognition in the international community of the necessity of establishing and maintaining the primacy of international law as well as the importance of settling disputes through peaceful means. In this regard, the role of the International Court of Justice, as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, is paramount and cannot be exaggerated. We believe that the ICJ must bring to bear not only a profound knowledge of international law but also a farsighted view of the international community, given that the world is now experiencing rapid change. Japan respects the Court’s ability to meet this requirement and continues to fully support its work. Japan has accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ since 1958, only two years after becoming a Member State of the United Nations. We urge Member States that have not yet done so to accept the Court’s jurisdiction in order to facilitate establishment of the rule of law in the international community.
In concluding my remarks, I wish to reiterate the great importance the international community attaches to the lofty cause and work of the International Court of Justice, as well as to draw your attention to the importance of strengthening the functioning of the Court. Japan, for its part, will continue to contribute to the invaluable work and the efficient and effective operation of the ICJ.
I thank you.