The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Home > Education > People



Hot battle based on the law!
Long-waited first victory in Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition!

Chisa Shibata/Yuka Niimi

The Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition is an event to set up a dispute that can happen between companies in reality and compete with arbitration and negotiation skills. The team of 17 members of the International Trade Law Seminar (Takashi Kubota Seminar) of the School of Law participated in the 10th Competition participated by 19 famous universities and won for the first time in the history of WASEDA.

Chisa organizing the team as chief secretary says, "The last time, we ended up 5th, and I felt really angry. As I considered the reason for our failure was poor presentation skills, we had thorough training," explaining her commitment to the competition. On the other hand, Yuka, her junior, wanted to overcome a complex she had through the event. "I have been told since childhood that I have little self-assertiveness, so I wanted to take this competition as an opportunity to be able to boldly state my opinions in front of people."

Can't help feeling deeply moved with the long-awaited trophy in their hands

The Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition is carried out in two categories: arbitration on the first day and negotiation on the second day. The matter to be debated at the competition is announced in advance and is mainly about a legal issue between companies. Participants play roles of virtual company executive and other important employees and compete with each other in terms of how they can develop a debate advantageous for their company. As the matter is disclosed beforehand, is it difficult to find a difference between universities? "During the competition, you need to be able to debate ad-lib with the rival university. So not only knowledge about the matter but also an understanding of laws we learn every day is critical," Yuka says. "The judges are legal specialists in service. During the Q&A after the discussion, they asked poignant questions that don't usually come up and I sometimes became flustered."

Yuka Niimi making a comment at the closing ceremony

Team WASEDA concluded the first day's arbitration with a good response. However, arbitration is a field WASEDA is good at, but the main hurdle was the second day's negotiation. After the joint dinner party of participating universities that night, the members met to discuss the details until three in the morning, including a review of the first day. On the second day, targeting a first championship they had longed for, the members were engaged in heated discussions. "Though we had difficulties in the matter that had many discussion points, as all members deeply understood it, we could clearly state opinions. When a speaker did not know how to answer, other members followed up. We had excellent teamwork," Chisa says. They did everything in their power, and they waited for the results. "5th place, the University of Tokyo." When this announcement was made, there was a general stir in the audience as the University of Tokyo had won the competition for four consecutive years. The announcements for 4th, 3rd and 2nd places were given, but WASEDA had not been called, making the members almost give up hope. When they heard, "The winner is WASEDA," they cried tears of joy and embraced each other. When asked about the moment of victory, Chisa said, "Looking back, I was so moved, as everyone made the utmost effort and did his or her best." Yuka adds, "As WASEDA wasn't called in second place, I thought there was no hope. I couldn't stop crying at the moment of victory, and many different thoughts came to me. WASEDA won the championship for the proper negotiations to the point and good teamwork.

As a legal staff member of a company, Chisa started her business career in April 2012 and leaves the rest to Yuka who worked together for the championship. "When I met Yuka for the first time, she appeared a bit wishy-washy, but now I fully rely on her (laughing). With inner mounting enthusiasm and quick wit, I hope she achieves victory for two consecutive years." Yuka, who was entrusted by Chisa says, "As Chisa was a perfect and flawless leader, honestly speaking, I feel uncertain. Still, by exerting teamwork, we want to win again next year!" With different targets, the two of them have taken new steps.

Team WASEDA members looking good

Memorial photo with competitors and judges, mutually praising strenuous efforts


Chisa Shibata (left)

Born in Aichi. Graduate of Nanzan High School. Graduated from School of Law in March 2012. She is a hard-working person who while spending most of her campus life at seminars, worked part-time at a law firm and studied at a dance school. Her interest is studying English and Korean. She is a devoted fan of the Chunichi Dragons. "I love Kenshin Kawakami. I was so glad he came back to the Dragons. She has joined SONY (in charge of legal affairs) in April.

Yuka Niimi (right)

Born in Aichi. Graduated from Okazaki Senior High School. 4th year of the School of Law. To change herself as she was thought to be quiet, she aggressively tackled what she is interested in with a hot spirit. As she grew up in Nagoya, she is crazy about SKE48. "My favorite member is Akane Takayanagi. She is so cute." As she is in 4th year now, she is striving to prepare to win the "Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition" for two consecutive years.