Designing Resilient International
Legal Regimes for a Sustainable Arctic
and the Contribution of Japan
Providing stability and predictability in the society is the purpose of legal regimes. For Japan, as a non-Arctic nation, the international legal regimes form the basis when seeking social stability in the Arctic region.
This Research Program aims to show how the international legal regimes can adapt to the rapid natural environmental and socioeconomic changes and geopolitical tensions in the Arctic, and to provide stability and predictability to all stakeholders planning access to the Arctic. Maintaining and strengthening the rule of law in the Arctic region is a pillar of Japan’s Arctic policy.
This research aims to create a blueprint for resilient international regimes to support the sustainability of the transforming Arctic region, based on evidence-based research on international law and policy related to the Arctic.
To achieve this objective, we will firstly conduct research in order to construct and enhance international regimes that contribute to the promotion of international scientific cooperation in the Arctic, such as the Arctic Council and the Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation.
Secondly, we will study international law that promotes the sustainable use of the Arctic Ocean, including international law governing the Northern Sea Route and the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean.
Thirdly, we will pursue integrated research on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and related international law for the sustainable development of the Arctic region, and mobilize knowledge of international human rights law, international environmental law, and international economic/investment law for that purpose.
The above direction of this research will be reviewed and pursued in continuous consultation with the civil society by convening international symposia, and our research findings will be made widely available to stakeholders in Japan and international society through publications such as policy briefs.