September 8, 2017 Registration for the PCRC 3rd Symposium is Now Open

The PCRC 3rd International symposium is by invitation only. If you wish to attend the symposium, please make a registration as soon as possible at the symposium website. Please note that due to the limited seating availability, we may not accommodate all the requests.

September 8, 2017 PCRC 3rd International Symposium Website

A special website for the PCRC 3rd International Symposium is now open: <http://www.cscenter.co.jp/pcrc/>

July 7, 2017  PCRC 3rd International Symposium Call for Papers

The Polar Cooperation Research Centre is proud to announce its third international symposium "The Role of Non-Arctic States/Actors in the Arctic Legal Order-making" to be held at Kobe University, Japan on December 7–9, 2017. This symposium will critically examine the positive contribution that the non-Arctic States/actors can bring to the Arctic legal order-making, as well as challenges faced by them.

Confirmed speakers (as of September 8) are:
Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen (UiT The Arctic University of Norway; JSPS Invited Fellow, Kobe University (October-December 2017))
Dalee Sambo Dorough (University of Alaska Anchorage, USA; UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues (2011-2016))
Naomi Harada (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC))
Sebastian Knecht (Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies, Germany)
Timo Koivurova (Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland)
Erik Molenaar (Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea, Utrecht University; K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, UiT The Arctic University of Norway)
Joji Morishita (Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Japan)
Koji Sekimizu (Secretary- General Emeritus, IMO; Special Advisor and Professor, Kobe University, Japan
Won-Sang Seo (Korea Polar Research Institute, Republic of Korea)
Malgorzata Smieszek (Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland)
Florian Stammler (Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland)
Aki Tonami (Tsukuba University, Japan)
Jian Yang (Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, People’s Republic of China)

The sessions are (for details of each session, please see here ):
Session 1: Asian States/Actors in the Arctic Legal Order-making
Session 2: Arctic Shipping Governance
Session 3: Central Arctic Ocean Fisheries
Session 4: Policy-Relevant-Science in the Context of the Arctic
Session 5: Role of Observers in the Arctic Council
Session 6: Non-Arctic Influence on Arctic Customary Laws and Institutions

The PCRC welcomes papers from those who wish to attend the symposium as a discussant. The Centre may decide to provide financial support for international travel and accommodation to a few early career researchers from those who have submitted papers. We also welcome regular participants to the symposium with expertise on the issues to be discussed . For participation/discussant request, after reading Request for Participation/Call for Papers carefully, please fill out the application form and send it to <kobe_arctic_research2[at]diamond.kobe-u.ac.jp> no later than September 18, 2017.

June 19, 2017 Leilei Zou Joined the PCRC

On June 19, 2017, Leilei Zou, associate professor of Shanghai Ocean Universiy, joined the Polar Cooperation Research Centre. She will stay at the Centre as a JSPS post-doctoral fellow (standard) until June 2019. For her profile, see Who Runs the Centre.

June 8-13, 2017 PCRC members attended ICASS IX

On June 8-13, 2017, Directer Shibata and assistant professor Inagaki attended the ICASS IX held at Umeå, Sweden. At the conferecne, Inagaki made a presentation entitled "Legitimacy of the Arctic Council as a treaty-making forum." In this presentation, he examined the negotiation process of the Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation within the Scientific Cooperation Task Force of the Arctic Council.

April 18, 2017   PCRC’s 2017 Overview

Following Dr. Nikolas SELLHEIM, from mid June, Dr. Leilei ZOU, associate professor of Shanghai Ocean University, will join the PCRC as a JSPS post-doctoral research fellow (standard). From October, Ms. Marzia Scopelliti, Ph.D. candidate of Complutense University of Madrid, will start working for the Centre as a short-term research fellow.

In 2017, the PCRC plans to hold one international workshop in July and one international symposium in December. The workshop in July will examine the Arctic Council under US chairmanship and its prospects under Finnish chairmanship. The symposium in Decemeber will focus on the role of non-Arctic states in the Arctic legal order-making.

Furthermore, the memebers of the PCRC will attend important international conferences on circumpolar issues including ICASS IX (Umeå, Sweden in June), HASSEG Conference (Hobart, Australia in July) and 10th Polar Law Symposium (Rovaniemi, Finland in November).

March 30, 2017 A New Publication

A new article "An Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation: Only for the Eight Arctic States and Their Scientists?" co-authered by Director Shibata and Maiko Raita, a PhD candidate of GSICS Kobe University, has been published in Yearbook of the Polar Law Vol. 8 (2016), pp. 129-162. Focusing on the Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation, the third legally binding agreement negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council, this article examines its possible effect on the non-Arctic states and their scientists. This paper was developed based on the presentation made by Kobe International Law Team in the Polar Law Symposium in 2015.

March 13, 2017

New PCRC working papers are now available! Please see PCRC Working Paper Series.

●Working Paper No.6 Alexander Sergunin “Russian Approaches to an Emerging Arctic Ocean Legal Order”
●Working Paper No.8: Ambassador Kazuko Shiraishi “Japan’s Arctic Policy and Its Challenges”
●Working Paper No.9: Betsy Baker “Large Marine Ecosystems and a Neighborhood Approach to Ecosystem-Based-Management in the Arctic”

March 2,  2017

On February 28, Dr. Nikolas Sellheim joined Polar Cooperation Research Centre! He will stay in Kobe as a JSPS post-doctoral fellow (short-term) until the end of February 2018. For his profile, please see Who runs the centre.

December 22, 2016

New PCRC working papers are now available! Please see PCRC Working Paper Series.

●Working Paper No.4: Kamrul Hossain "Indigenous Peoples and Norm Making in the Arctic Ocean Legal Order"
●Working Paper No.5: Viatcheslav V. Gavrilov "Future Legal Development in the Arctic: Prerequisites and Prospects"

November 24, 2016

Director Shibata is on mission to Antarctica from November 2016 to March 2017, accompanying the 58th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition, executing his research project entitled “Antarctic Treaty System on the Ground: Interface between Science and Law”. Director Shibata will be onboard the icebreaker “Shirase” and visiting Syowa Station, Yukidori Valley ASPA, and other offsite geological and biological survey areas using CH-120 helicopters. During his absence, Acting Director Osamu Inagaki will be heading the PCRC.

November 8, 2016

On November 15 (Tue), 2016, PCRC will hold an international seminar, inviting Ms. Malgorzata Smieszek, researcher of the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland. For details, please see the flyer for the seminar.

November 1, 2016

On October 5-9,2016 Director Shibata and Sakiko Hataya, M1 student of GSICS attended 9th Polar Law Symposium and Arctic Circle 2016 Assembly held in Iceland. For details, please see related research activities .

September 26, 2016

On October 5-9,2016 Director Shibata, Research Fellow Lindsay Arthur Tamm and Sakiko Hataya, M1 student of GSICS will attend 9th Polar Law Symposium held in Akureyri and Reykjavik, Iceland. Lindsay and Sakiko will make a presentation as Kobe University team entitled "The Role of Law in Japan's Arctic Policy." Director Shibata and Sakiko will also attend the International Conference on the Arctic Council held at Univerisiy of Southern Denmark on October 11-12, 2016.

August 31, 2016

On August 21-27, 2016 Director Shibata, Research Fellow Lindsay Tamm and Sakiko Hataya, M1 student of international law program attended SCAR Open Science Conference (OSC) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For details, please see Related Research Activities.

August 8, 2016

The series of papers from PCRC's kick-off symposium "Emerging Arctic Legal Orders" have been published in Journal of International Cooperation Studies, vol.24 No.1 (July, 2016) in Japanese. These articles are available here .

August 8, 2016

PCRC's 2nd international symposium "The Future Design of Arctic Ocean Legal Order " has been successfully completed. The distinguished speakers and discussants including Japanese Arctic ambassador Kazuko Shiraishi with more than 30 participants discussed various legal issues concening future Arctic Ocean legal order-making. The summary of the symposium will be soon available at PCRC's events.

July 13, 2016

On July 13, 2016, the PCRC convened an international seminar by Professor Alexander Sergunin entitled "Arctic Cooperation: Challenges and Opportunities ." For details of the seminar, please see PCRC's events.

July 4, 2016

Announcement of the PCRC International Seminar. On July 13 (Wednesday), 2016 at 4 p.m. the PCRC will convene Professor Alexander Sergunin's seminar entitled "Arctic Cooperation: Challenges and Opportunities." This seminar will be conducted in English and is open to the public. For the details, please see the flyer for the seminar .

July 4, 2016

On July 6-8, 2016, Director Shibata will attend the 9th meeting of the Scientific Cooperation Task Force (SCTF) to be held in Ottawa, Canada as a Japanese delegation.

July 4, 2016

On July 1, 2016, Professor Tore Henriksen, Professor of UiT Arctic University Norway,  Professor Alexander Sergunin, Professor of St. Petersburg State University and Research Fellow Lindsay Arthur Tamm, University of Akureyri joined the Polar Cooperation Research Centre! For their profiles, see Who Runs the Centre.

June 9, 2016

The PCRC will convene its 2nd international symposium entitled "The Future Design of the Arctic Ocean Legal Order" on 28-29 July at Kobe University, Japan, inviting distinguished Arctic scholars and practitioners including Kazuko Shiraishi, Ambassador in Charge of Arctic affairs, MoFA Japan. The symposium will focus on the legal analysis of the future Arctic Ocean governance. For the details, please see the draft program (English, Japanese).

June 9, 2016

On June 2-3, 2016, Director Shibata attended Japan-Norway Arctic Science & Innovation Week 2016 held in Tokyo and made a keynote speech entitled “Legal Framework for Arctic Scientific Cooperation: Bilateralism,‘AC-ism’ or Universalism?” in the horizontal session on policy/legal issues (Photo left and middle). Director Shibata also had a meeting with Dr.Bjørn Haugstad, Deputy Minister, The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research during the conference (Photo right).

May 22, 2016

On May 20, 2016, PCRC has invited Dr. Zia Madani , Assistant Professor of Iranian National Institute for Oceanology & Atmosphere Science, and held an international seminar entitled "The 34-Year-Old Law of the Sea Convention & Non-member States:Case Study of the Persian Gulf Region." In the presentation, Dr. Madani explained how the Islamic Republic of Iran, a non-party state to the UNCLOS, sees the provisions of the UNCLOS and how it domestically implements the law of the sea, especially forcusing on the passage issue of strait of Hormuz. After the presentation, the participants were actively engaged in discussions with Dr. Madani.

May 13, 2016

An announcement of the international seminar organized by PCRC. On May 20th, 2016, from 3:30 p.m., Dr. Zia Madani , Assistant Professor of Iranian National Institute for Oceanology & Atmosphere Science, will speak on the topic "The 34-Year-Old Law of the Sea Convention & Non-member States:Case Study of the Persian Gulf Region." This seminar will be conducted in English. For the details, please see the flyer for the seminar.  

April 25, 2016

On June 2-3, 2016, Director Shibata will attend Japan-Norway Arctic Science & Innovation Week 2016 and will make a keynote speech provisionally entitled “Legal Framework for Arctic Scientific Cooperation: Bilateralism,‘AC-ism’ or Universalism?” in the horizontal session on policy/legal issues .

April 8, 2016

On March 30-31, research fellow Inagaki attentded the roundtable on the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) issues hosted by Korean Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) in which participants discussed various issues concerning future fisheries in the CAO including how to co-ordinate scientific research on the ecosystems and living resources in the Ocean area. In the roundtable, research fellow Inagaki made a presentation entitled "Non-Arctic Coastal States' Participation in the Emerging Fisheries Regime in the CAO: An International Law Perspective".

April 8, 2016

On March 3-4, 2016, Director Shibata attended the 8th meeting of the Scientific Cooperation Task Force (SCTF) of the Arctic Council held in Washington DC, USA (photo left). On March 9-19, 2016, Director Shibata and Research Fellow Inagaki participated in the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) 2016 including the Model Arctic Council (MAC) in Fairbanks, Alaska USA (photo middle: Director Shibata with graduate students of Akureyri University, Iceland). Director Shibata also attended the meeting of the IASC Social Human Working Group held during the ASSW (photo right).

January 30, 2016

The Centre’s kick-off symposium is successfully concluded. Ambassador Halinen (Finland), Professor VanderZwaag (Canada), Professor Johnstone (Iceland), Professor Nishimoto (Tohoku University), Professor Hirawake (Hokkaido University), and Director Shibata (PCRC), with more than 25 participants from all over Japan, discussed the current and future legal and policy issues facing the Arctic Council, Arctic environment, Arctic ocean, Arctic science, and Arctic shipping. Symposium’s dedicated homepage is now available, with useful links to relevant Arctic law material. The papers from the symposium in their original English version will soon be available as PCRC Working Paper Series and their Japanese translated versions in GSICS’s Journal of International Cooperation Studies (日本語English).

December 10, 2015

The updated program of the Centre’s kick-off symposium: “Emerging Arctic Legal Orders in Science, Environment, and the Ocean” is now available. On 9 December, the Centre has sent to all registered participants via e-mail relevant information. There are a few seats still available, and the Centre welcomes commentators at panel discussions. Please send your request to the Centre ASAP.

December 1, 2015

Director Shibata’s article: “Japan and100 Years of Antarctic Legal Order: Any Lessons for the Arctic?” is now published in Volume 7 of Yearbook of Polar Law (2015), pp.3-54. This paper sets the fundamental themes and approach of Centre’s research into the Arctic Legal Order-making. For those interested in reading this article, please contact the Centre.

Contents: 1. Introduction 2. The Principle of Territoriality 2.1 Historical Developments 2.2 Extended Continental Shelf Claims 2.3 Whaling in the Antarctic 2.4 Antarctic Territoriality 2.5 Arctic Territoriality - The Case of Svalbard 3. The Foundational Principles of Process Legitimacy 3.1 International Public Values as Driving Force for Cooperation 3.2 Science-Based Approach 3.3 Consensus among the Interested Parties 4. Flexibilities in Regime Operation 4.1 Norm-Development 4.2 Institution-Building 4.3 interrelationship with Outer-Worlds 5. Conclusion

November 12, 2015

PCRC will convene, on 18-19 December, Centre’s kick-off international symposium entitled , with main speakers from Finland, Canada, Iceland, and Japan. See the provisional program. 

November 10, 2015

November 10, 2015

PCRC has become a partner organization of Arctic Law Thematic Network under the University of Arctic. This is a result of Director Shibata’s visit to the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland in October 2015. Photo: after a seminar with Centre’s Director, Prof. Koivurova (2nd from left) and his Arctic law team.

October 31, 2015

Director Shibata attended the 3rd Arctic Circle Assembly  in Reykjavik, Iceland, and visited and discussed possible research collaboration at Polar Law Institute, University of Akureyri , Iceland and Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, the Arctic University of Norway in October 2015.

October 28, 2015

October 28, 2015

Director Shibata visited the Secretariat of the Arctic Council (AC) in Tromsø, Norway, and requested information sharing on AC activities. Photo: with Director of the AC Secretariat, Mr. Magnus Johannesson.

October 1, 2015

Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) is established to implement the Japanese government funded Arctic Challenge for Sustainability (ArCS) project.
Professor Akiho Shibata , as its Director, leads the Centre’s research activities, with Osamu Inagaki as research fellow.

Circumpolar News

August 8, 2016

The SCAR Open Science Conference (OSC) will be held on August 22-26, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Director Shibata and research fellow Lindsay Arthur Tamm will attend the conference and make presentations.

August 8, 2016

On July 6-8, 2016, 3rd Arctic 5+5 meeting on Arctic high seas fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean was held in Iqaluit, Canada. The chairman's statement of this meeting is now available here .

May 9, 2016

On April 19-21, 2016, the meeting on the high seas fisheries in the central Arctic Ocean (CAO) was held in Washington D.C. with the participation of Canada, China, Denmark, the EU, Iceland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Norway, Russia and the U.S. (5+5). In the meeting, the delegations discussed the scientific workshop to be held in Tromso in September 2016 and the possible future measures to prevent unregulated commercial fishing in the high seas of the CAO based on the updated US proposal for an international agreement. The Chairman's Statement of this meeting is now available here . The next meeting will be held on 6-8 July in Iqaluit, Canada.

May 2, 2016

Arctic cooperation among Japan, China and South Korea. On April 28, 2016, the 1st high high-level dialogue among these three states on the Arctic was held in Seoul, South Korea with the participation of Arctic Ambassodor Kazuko Shiraishi from Japan. The high level dialogue issued a joint press release in which the heads of the delegation "shared the view that ...... scientific research is among the most promising areas for their joint activities and trilateral cooperative activities in this area need to be encouraged" (para.5). Moreover, they "decided to report the discussions of this Dialogue to the Arctic Council through appropriate channels" (para.6). The 2nd high-level dialogue is to be hosted by Japan. The joint press release is now available in English and in Japanese .

April 13, 2016

On March 14, 2016, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) published an important report on the Arctic Council entitled "An Arctic Redesign: Recommendations to Rejuvenate the Arctic Council." The report identifies several challenges which the Arctic Council is now facing, including the issue of observer states, and provides recommendations for Arctic Council's institutional reforms in order for it to overcome these challenges. The report is available here .

April 13, 2016

Japan-Finland cooperation on the Arctic. On March 10, 2016, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe held a summit meeting with President of Finland Sauli Niinistö in Tokyo. The two leaders made a joint statement in which they shared the determination to enhance cooperation on various Arctic issues within the Arctic Council and other fora, noting Finland's upcoming chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017-2019 (para.13), and confirmed their commitment to advance cooperation in their shared interest in futher unilization of Northern Sea Route (NSR) (para.14). The Joint Statement is available here .

April 2, 2016

Recent two important conferences on the Arctic: On March 12, 2016, the Fletcher School held the Fletcher Opening Arctic V Conference in which distinguished panelists including Japanese Arctic Ambassador Kazuko Shiraishi discussed the various Arctic issues from Arctic diplomacy to sustainable Arctic development. On February 29, 2016, the Wilson Center's polar initiative organized IMO Polar Code Roundtable which discussed the issues concerning forthcoming implementation of IMO Polar Code.

January 6, 2016

Two recent articles on the Arctic and the Antarctic: the article of Science & Diplomacy entitled "Cold War in a Warming Place" examines how scientific cooperation in the Arctic can be achieved; the article of New York Times dated December 29, 2015 highlights heated competition among states in the Antarctica.

December 10, 2015

Two important meetings on the Arctic legal order-making have been convened. First is the 7th meeting of the Scientific Cooperation Task Force (SCTF) under the Arctic Council, held on 1-2 December in Reykjavik. It has made good progress on the draft Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation. Second is the Meeting on High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean, with the participation of Canada, China, Denmark, EU, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Norway, Russia and the USA, on 1-3 December in Washington DC (Chair’s statement is available here).

November 19, 2015

Two recent Japanese newspaper articles on the Arctic. The article of Sankei newspaper dated November 14, 2015 (in Japanese) reports that the Japanese Government has determined to build Arctic research vessel for the first time in its history, and it will operate in 2020.The Article of the Japan News dated November 18, 2015 (in English) examines the various challenges to Japan's new Arctic Policy determined in October.

November 12, 2015

On 9-11 December, in Singapore, there will be a symposium on Governance of Arctic Shipping , co-organized by Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, UiT, and Professor Kentaro Nishimoto, a member of Kobe Arctic Legal Order Studies Forum, is one of the speakers.

November 5, 2015

November 5, 2015

Professor Timo Koivurova has been elected as the Director of the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland. PCRC has already established close collaboration in Arctic legal research and education with his Centre. Photo: Professor Koivurova speaking at Kobe Arctic Seminar in April 2015.

October 16, 2015

October 16, 2015

Japanese government announced its Arctic Policy. Among others, it emphasizes the rule of law and the promotion of international cooperation in the Arctic region. According to the Policy, Japan will actively participate in the formulation process of international rules for the Arctic. Photo: Arctic Ambassador of Japan, Shiraishi, announcing Japan’s Arctic Policy at the Arctic Circle Assembly, 16 October.

October 1, 2015

Some previous news interesting for Arctic legal studies: July 16, 2015: Oslo declaration concerning prevention of unregulated high seas fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean; August 3, 2015: Russia’s revised submission on its extended continental shelf in the Arctic region to CLC; August 19, 2015: SCTF continues to negotiate an international treaty on international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

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