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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

International Law II

Considering issues facing Japan from the perspective of international law

Toshiki Hayama
2nd-Year Student at the School of Law

International law may seem like an unfamiliar subject to students who study domestic law such as civil law and criminal law. It’s true that the field of international law exists in a different dimension from domestic law. However, countries throughout the world comply with international law in a variety of situations. This includes Japan. In the course International Law II taught by Professor Hiroyuki Banzai, students engage in a systematic study of international law in an actual practice.

One feature of this course is the process of first studying various fields of international law and then watching videos of current news which are actually related to those fields. This allows students to study international law in an actual practice. For example, after studying the law of the sea, students learned how the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) set by China is related to principle of freedom on the seas. After engaging in this method of study, watching international news has taken on a whole new meaning to me. I am now conscious of how the actions of certain countries are in violation of international law and I can learn the field as an actual practice.

Professor Banzai uses charts and outlines to give detailed explanations for the complicated concepts of international law. For example, when studying the law of the sea, it was difficult to completely understand the demarcation of the seas under international law from the textbook explanation alone. Professor Banzai gave an easy-to-understand explanation including the history of establishing demarcations.

My dream is to work as a member of the Japanese government, negotiating with foreign countries and solving international disputes in East Asia. After entering university, my experience in classes and club activities have taught me that resolving disputes is not an easy task. However, International Law II has given me the fundamental ability to use international law to consider resolutions when faced with international issues.

Furthermore, I now realize that it is inappropriate to focus solely on the resolution of disputes. Instead, it is important to take a different perspective and search for opportunities to improve relations between East Asian countries such as Japan, China and Korea.

Professor Banzai explains material while students are watching a news video in class.