Past News


  • April 14, 2021

    Invitation to graduate studies in international law at Kobe University, with Japanese government scholarship: deadline end of May

    PCRC welcomes students who would like to pursue graduate level studies (LL.M. and Ph.D. in Laws) specializing in the fields of Arctic legal issues, the Antarctic Treaty System, the law of the sea, and/or international environmental law, under the supervision of Professor Akiho Shibata, Director of the PCRC. For the enrollment in April or October 2022, it is strongly recommended to simultaneously apply for the Japanese government scholarship by the end of May this year. Please see the details in the attachment.


  • April 7, 2021

    Antarctic Treaty System Book Project online meeting was held to confirm the progress from chapter authors.

    Director Shibata and Dr. Julia Jabour (University of Tasmania) are co-editing a new book on Resilience of the Antarctic Treaty System to Future Challenges, and 12 chapter authors convened an online meeting to present their progress. Director Shibata presented on the progress on Chapter 6 on Jurisdiction, whereas Dr. Indi Hodgson-Johnston (University of Tasmania) presented on Chapter 5 on Sovereignty, Professor Kees Bastmeijer (Tilburg University) on Chapter 8 on Commercial challenges, and Professor David Leary (University of Technology Sydney) on Chapter 3 on Science and Cooperation. The Antarctic Treaty is celebrating its 60th birthday on 23 June 2021 after entering into force in 1961, and this Book will provide an evidence-based exposition of legal developments under ATS over the last 60 years to address several challenges the system has faced and is facing today.


  • AY 2020 (April 2020〜March 2021)
  • March 30, 2021

    We've just relaunched the PCRC website!


  • March 30, 2021

    Director Shibata made an oral presentation at the Iceland-Japan Joint Seminar on Arctic Research

    The aim of this seminar was to share recent activities and to initiate discussion among the research community on future cooperation between Japan and Iceland, as the 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial will be co-hosted by these two countries in May. At this seminar, Director Shibata and Professor Rachael Lorna Johnstone (University of Akureyri) jointly reported on the cooperative relationship in the Master's Program in Polar Law and related International Law between Kobe University and Akureyri University since 2015. During the Q & A session, there was an exchange of views on the possible joint research topics that researchers from both countries might work on under ArCS II. In particular, strong interest were expressed by the participants in the Arctic marine plastic problems.


  • March 26, 2021

    Volumes 2 and 3 of ArCS II International Law Briefing Paper Series and related press releases are published

    Briefing Paper Series (BPS) Volume 2 is a Fact Sheet in Japanese on Arctic marine plastic problems, and Volume 3 is a Policy Brief in Japanese on Japan’s engagement in the Arctic during ArCS project. This is the first Policy Brief of the Series and written by four early-career scholars from Belgium, Japan and the United States. The Policy Brief evaluates the effectiveness of Japan’s engagement in the Arctic Council meetings during the ArCS project 2015-20 and the successes and challenges in the implementation of Japan’s Arctic Policy announced in 2015. The press releases are published for both documents (Japanese only) and the original documents can be downloaded from the following sites: Volume 2 and Volume 3


  • March 26, 2021

    At Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) held online, Director Shibata and other members of ArCS II International Law made their academic presentations

    The annual Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) 2021 has been held entirely online hosted by Portugal from March 19-26. Director Shibata participated in the IASC Social and Human Working Group (SHWG) as a member, and, co-authored with Abe Kie (PCRC Research Fellow) and Professor Hiroyuki Enomoto (NIPR), made a poster presentation on “Connecting policy, law and science for better decision-making for the Arctic: Arctic Council, IPCC, Arctic Science Agreement and ASM-3”. Professor Kentaro Nishimoto made an oral presentation on “The BBNJ agreement and the implementation of ecosystem-based management in the Central Arctic Ocean”


  • March 19, 2021

    Research outcome report from 13th Polar Law Symposium: Issues discussed and lessons learned for future Arctic legal and policy research at PCRC

    For the first time in its 13-years of history , the annual Polar Law Symposium has come to Asia in November 2020, and, PCRC was proud to organize the Symposium, entirely online due to COVID-19, taking the initiative in convening several panels and live seminars. Among them was a Panel on Policy-Law-Science Nexus in Polar Regions, co-convened by Director Shibata and Professor Enomoto at NIPR. For a concise summary of the symposium, please see a conference report published (by Assistant Professor Furuhata of PCRC). Now, a detailed research outcome report is available: see here .


  • March 9, 2021

    Two conference reports from 13th Polar Law Symposium on Antarctic studies led by Director Shibata being published in Polar Journal , announced through SCAR website .

    Dr. Zia Madani, prospective JSPS postdoctoral research fellow at Kobe PCRC, and Gustavo Ramirez Bushheister, a fellow of the Policy-Law-Science Nexus Panel at 13 PLS, have published their conference reports in a very influential peer-reviewed journal, The Polar Journal. Zia and Gustavo are early-career scholars engaged in SCAR SC-HASS Action Group on PoLSciNex and Antarctic Treaty System Resilience book project, both led by Director Shibata. For details, see here.


  • February 28, 2021

    First volume of Briefing Paper Series under ArCS II published!

    The Research Program on International Law under the ArCS II project (2020-2025) will publish briefing papers on topical issues of Arctic international legal and policy interests, their main readers being Arctic stakeholders and general public, so as to feed our research results into the related public debates. The first volume is a Fact Sheet on “Arctic Marine Plastic Problems: Potential collaborative research between international law and marine sciences”. This Fact Sheet is based on academic presentations given during the 13th Polar Law Symposium in November 2020 and on further elaborations through collaborative research undertaken by the Research Programs on International Law and Marine Sciences under the ArCS II project and the Ocean Policy Research Institute. See the press release here .


  • January 10, 2021

    Polar Record Special Issue on Arctic Sustainable Resource Development is completed! Guest editors: Romain Chuffart, former PCRC fellow, and Director Shibata.

    Ten papers exploring the sustainability of Arctic resource development have been published online as a special issue of Polar Record, a prestigious polar research journal from Cambridge University Press. It contains research articles and commentaries by international law scholars, a political scientist, a glaciologist and an expert working for a Japanese Resource Development Corporation. This is the first time that so many interdisciplinary research papers by Japanese researchers have been published together under a unified theme in Polar Record. See the press release here from ArCS II .


  • December 31, 2020

    Yearbook of Polar Law Vol.12 published with Director Shibata as co-editor-in-chief and three articles by PCRC researcher and former fellows, and GSICS student.

    Director Shibata has joined G. Alfredsson, J. Jabour and T. Koivurova in co-editing the one and only international legal journal on polar law, The Yearbook of Polar Law published from Brill. In volume 12 with all contributions being peer-reviewed, Osamu Inagaki, PCRC researcher, has published an article on Antarctic airlink DROMLAN and its legal challenges. Sakiko Hataya, GSICS doctoral student, has published an article analyzing the controversial Chinese ASMA proposal at its Kunlun Station in Dome A, Antarctica. Both Osamu and Sakiko were joined by Romain Chuffart and Lindsay Arthur, former PCRC research fellows, in publishing an article assessing Japan’s Arctic engagement during the ArCS Project 2015-20.


  • December 4, 2020

    Book project on “The Resilience of Antarctic Treaty System to the Future Challenges” online meetings are held, with several prospective authors participating from around the world.

    Director Shibata, with Dr. Julia Jabour of University of Tasmania and Invited Professor, Kobe University (2019 and 2020), is leading a book project that will investigate the normative and institutional components of the Antarctic Treaty System, by themes, to test their legal strength and resilience against a range of perceived or actual challenges that have been claimed by some international relations scholars as well as in media. The team of legal experts as authors represents a wide geographical scope as well as a variety of perspectives, with substantive engagement from many early-career scholars. The book is due to be published in 2021, the 60th commemorative year of the Antarctic Treaty entering into force. See the reports from previous meetings here.


  • November 30, 2020

    13th Polar Law Symposium will be held online in November and Kobe PCRC will host the 14th Polar Law Symposium in 2021!

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and after careful consultation with the advisory committee, Kobe PCRC will now host the 14th Polar Law Symposium in the fall of 2021. The details will be provided later. For the 13th Symposium, it will be held as a Special Online Session and the online presentation opportunities will be provided during November this year. For details including the treatment of abstracts already submitted, please see the homepage . Abstract submission portal is closed on 5 June 2020.


  • November 26, 2020

    A highlight of the 13th Polar Law Symposium: Open Lecture on “Plastic Arctic: How does law deal with the emerging threat of Arctic plastic pollution?”

    With an expert lawyer from Finland, Dr. Seita Romppanen, and a scientist, Dr. Junko Toyoshima from OPRI, moderated by PCRC Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Kie Abe, the panelists dissussed the current situation surrounding plastic pollution in the Arctic and the existing legal framework to address it. It came to be clear that the Arctic marine plastic pollution poses particular challenges and requires tailored-made legal responses. The marine scientists from the audience injected information on recent scientific collaborative efforts to more precisely identify the problems and emphasized the need for strengthen international efforts to tackle the Arctic marine plastic problems.


  • October 20, 2020

    Kobe PCRC-JSPS fellowship for 2021

    Kobe PCRC is now offering to host a few scholars who are interested in collaborative research on Arctic and/or Antarctic legal and policy issues starting in the second half of 2021 academic year (arrival date between August/September 2021 and March 2022). The Centre particularly welcomes fellows whose stay in Kobe coincide with 14th Polar Law Symposium to be held in November 2021 in Kobe, Japan. The deadline for a notification of interest is 04 December 2020. For details, please refer to announcement.


  • October 1, 2020

    PCRC further promotes Antarctic Treaty System research now with funding from Mitsubishi Foundation Large-scale Societal Issues Research Fund scheme.

    Director Shibata has again succeeded in obtaining a research fund from Mitsubishi Foundation totaling 7,500,000JPY from October 2020 to March 2022 on “The Future of the Antarctica: A Comprehensive Research in Preparation for 2025 ATCM in Japan”. This is an interdisciplinary and inclusive dialogue-oriented research on legal, policy, scientific and logistical challenges the Antarctic Treaty System will face in the near future, to prepare for the agenda items of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) expected to be hosted by Japan in 2025.


  • June 12, 2020

    Call for Research Fellowship at PCRC in 2020-2021 (CLOSED)

    Kobe PCRC is offering one research fellowship for a maximum of three months in the period from October 2020 to March 2021. For details, please refer to the announcement. The deadline for application is 30 July 2020. Pleases note that the accepted fellow must be based physically in Kobe, and Kobe PCRC cannot take any responsibility for possible cancellation of international travels due to immigration and other governmental policies.


  • June 1, 2020

    Director Shibata as the Principal Investigator (PI) for Research Program on International Law, Arctic Challenge for Sustainability II (ArCS II) starts!

    Designing Resilient International Legal Regimes for a Sustainable Arctic and the Contribution of Japan: 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. Maintaining and strengthening the rule of law in the Arctic region is a pillar of Japan’s Arctic policy. Director Shibata is leading a team of about 15 Japanese lawyers to implement this research program with annual budget of about 20,000,000JPY for five years until March 2025. Please see the dedicated webpage for research results .


  • April 20, 2020

    PCRC Working Paper No.12 is now available

    New PCRC Working Paper No.12 by Mr. Andreas Raspotnik, Andreas Østhagen & Charles Colgan “Discussing the Blue Arctic Economy - A Case Study of Fisheries in Alaska and North Norway”, based on the presentation at the PCRC 17th International Law Seminar Series, is now available. Please see PCRC Working Paper Series.


  • April 1, 2020

    PCRC succeeded in obtaining research fund from Mitsui&Co. Environment Fund to promote legal studies into Arctic sustainable resource development

    The objective of this research is to study how to achieve sustainable use of Arctic resources (e.g. oil & gas development, fisheries in the CAO and the Arctic Ocean as a sea route) from an international legal perspective with particular attention to indigenous peoples and environmental protection. This research attempts to discuss not only with researchers but also with private companies who are involved in developing resources in the Arctic. The funding is for two years from April 2020 to March 2020, with total budget of 6,000,000JPY.

  • AY 2019 (April 2019〜March 2020)
  • [Rescheduled]

    PCRC International Law Seminar Series

    Due to the coordination with a special seminar on Arctic law and policy to be held on 5 March, Professor Sergunin's seminar on "Russia's Arctic Strategies: The Prospects for International Cooperation” has been rescheduled from 13 March to 5 March. This seminar will be convened in conjunction with the 17th PCRC international law seminarpdf-icon. For details, please see the seminar flyerpdf-icon.


  • January 17

    Reports on the PCRC Special Panels at the PLS12

    PCRC held four special panels at the 12th Polar Law Symposium in Hobart, on December 3, 2019. Reports on the panels are now available at the links below: PCRC-ArCS Special Session and Resilience of the Antarctic Treaty System to Future Challenges.


  • January 17

    The report of the special session on Antarctic Treaty System Resilience at PLS12, organised by Kobe PCRC, is now available: Kobe PCRC Special Session – Antarctic Treaty System Resiliencepdf-icon.


  • December 5

    PCRC Special Panels at the PLS12 was successfully concluded!

    PCRC Special Panels at the 12th Polar Law Symposium in Hobart, Tasmania, was successfully completed. At the panels, 15 presentations are given by distinguished scholars and early-career researchers from all over the world.


  • December 3

    12th Polar Law Symposium, Abstracts Updated

    At 12th Polar Law Symposium held in Hobart, Tasmania, 1-4 December 2019, the PCRC four special panels: Two on Post-ArCS research agenda for Arctic legal and policy studies, and two on Antarctic Treaty System Resilience/Policy-Law-Science Nexus in Antarctica  was successfully completed. Expanded abstracts are now available from the above links.


  • December 3

    Kobe PCRC organized two special panels, in collaboration with the SCAR-SCHASS Action Group on PoLSciNex, at the 12th Polar Law Symposium .


  • November 26

    PCRC International Law Seminar Series

    On November 26, 2019 PCRC convened the 16th PCRC international law seminar. In this seminar, Professor Brooks Kaiser , from University of Southern Denmark, and Associate Professor Chris Horbel , from University of Southern Denmark and Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, gave a presentation on "Sustainable Arctic Marine Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities". For details, please see the seminar flyerpdf-icon.


  • September 6

    Extended abstract of the presentations at the PCRC-ArCS Special Session on Antarctic are now available.


  • August 2

    PCRC Working Paper No. 11 is now available

    New PCRC Working Paper No.11 by Mr. Bruce Harland “Arctic Economic Council: A Resource for Business Development in the Arctic”, based on the presentation at the PCRC 4th Symposium, is now available. Please see PCRC Working Paper Series.


  • July 12

    PCRC International Law Seminar Series

    The Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) was pleased to receive as our main speaker, Professor Donald Rothwell of Australian National University, one of the leading experts in international polar law and the law of the sea, in our 15th international law seminar entitled “Dispute Settlement under the Antarctic Treaty System” to be held on 12 July 2019. For details, please see the seminar flyerpdf-icon.


  • July 10

    PCRC-JSPS fellowship for 2020 (first recruitment CLOSED)

    Kobe PCRC is offering a few collaborative research positions funded by the competitive Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellowship program for the academic year 2020 (arrival in Kobe between April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021). For details, please see the announcement.
    Please note particularly that Kobe PCRC will be hosting the 13th Polar Law Symposium on 23-25 November 2020. Thus, we particularly welcome those fellows whose stay coincides with the Kobe symposium in November 2020. The deadline for a notification of interest is 30 July 2019.


  • July 1

    Kobe PCRC, in collaboration with SCAR-SCHASS Action Group on PoLSciNex, will convene two special panels at the 12th Polar Law Symposium , to be held in Hobart, Tasmania, 1-4 December 2019. See details here.


  • June 18

    Professor Shibata gave a plenary speech on “The Antarctic Treaty System: Its Achievements and Future Challenges” at 8th Malaysian International Seminar on Antarctica (MISA-8) , held at University Putra Malaysia.


  • June 11

    PCRC International Law Seminar Series

    On June 11 PCRC convened the 14th PCRC international law seminar. In this seminar, Dr. Christoph Humrich, Visiting Associate Professor, GSICS, Kobe University, and Assistant Professor for International Relations and Security Studies, and Associated Researcher at the Arctic Centre of the University of Groningen, will give a presentation on "The politics of marine protected areas in the Arctic: What drives (or: drove not) the process?". For this presentation, Dr. Leilei Zou, Professor of Shanghai Ocean University, JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow and Dr. Osamu Inagaki, PRCR Researcher, will serve as a commentator. For details, please see the seminar flyerpdf-icon.


  • May 23

    PCRC International Law Seminar Series

    On May 23, 2019 PCRC convened the 13th PCRC international law seminar. In this seminar, Dr. Barry Zellen, from Center for Arctic Study and Policy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy and research fellow at University of Connecticut, will give a presentation on "Cold War in the Warming Arctic? The Return of Westphalian State Competition to the High North, and the Consequences for 'Arctic Exceptionalism'". For details, please see the seminar flyerpdf-icon.


  • April 30

    Call for Presentations for PCRC-ArCS Special Session at 12th Polar Law Symposium

    At the 12th Polar Law Symposium in Hobart, Tasmania (1-4 December 2019), PCRC will establish a special session comprising of two panels: “International law for the Arctic: The future agenda for post-ArCS legal and policy research 2020-25” and “The resilience of the Antarctic Treaty System to the current and future challenges”. The travel funding will be available for successful presenters. For details, see the symposium website .


  • April 17

    Emerging Legal Orders in the Arctic: The Role of Non-Arctic Actors, edited by Director Prof.Shibata was published

    A new book under the ArCS, Emerging Legal Orders in the Arctic: The Role of Non-Arctic Actors , edited by Professor Shibata, Director of the Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC), Kobe University with young PCRC young foreign fellows, has been published from Routledge as the first volume the Routledge Research in Polar Law series.


  • April 12

    PCRC welcomes new fellow

    Dr. Christoph Humrich, Assistant Professor for International Relations and Security Studies, and Associated Researcher at the Arctic Centre, University of Groningen, The Netherlands will assume as a visiting associate professor of GSICS and PCRC fellow from April 15 - July 5, 2019. Please see “Who Runs the Centre?” for further profiles.


  • April 3-5

    Prof. Shibata, Director of the PCRC, attended the Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS) under Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research (SCAR), held in the Antarctic gateway city of Ushuaia, Argentina, 3-5 April 2019). See the details from here.

  • AY 2018 (April 2018〜March 2019)

  • February 5

    PCRC International Seminar Series

    On February 5, PCRC convened the 11th and 12th international law seminar. In this seminar, Mr. Romain F.R. Chuffart, LL.D. Candidate, University of Lapland (Finland) and Research fellow at PCRC, gave a presentation on "Pan-Arctic Collaboration: Toward a More Integrated Region?", and Mr. Tony Cabus, LL.D. candidate, GSICS, Kobe University, gave a presentation on "The Due Diligence Obligation of States in Environmental Law". For details, please see the seminar flyers: 11th seminarpdf-icon, 12th seminarpdf-icon.


  • January 9

    The summary report on the PCRC 4th International Symposium is now available!

    The summary report on the PCRC 4th International Symposium is now available in both English and Japanese.


  • December 25

    PCRC 4th International Symposium successfully concluded!

    The PCRC 4th International Symposiumpdf-icon was held at the Kobe University on 17 - 18 December 2018, and was successfully concluded.


  • December 19

    Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) convenes International Workshop on The Resilience of the Antarctic Treaty System to Future Challenges

    The Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) convened an international workshop to discuss the future of the Antarctic Treaty System on 19 December 2018. Further information and the summary report is now available.


  • December 17-18

    PCRC 4th International Symposium

    The PCRC 4th International Symposium will be held at the Kobe University on 17 - 18 December 2018. The overall theme of the 4th symposium is "International Law for Sustainability in Arctic Resource Development:Integrating Economic, Social, Environmental and Scientific Dimensions".


  • December 12

    4th Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) International Symposiumthe on the Arctic Economic Council (AEC) News

    Our symposium gain the attention of circumpolar business stakeholders. Please visit the AEC News for further informations.


  • October 4

    Polar Law Symposium comes to Kobe in 2020

    At 11th Polar Law Symposium (PLS) being held in Tromso, Norway, PCRC Director Shibata officially announced that PCRC will be hosting 13th PLS in Fall of 2020 in Kobe, Japan. It is the first time PLS is being hosted in an Asian country. With Sakiko Hataya, Ph.D. student at Kobe, and Leilei Zou, PCRC fellow, Director Shibata visited Arctic Council Secretariat and Arctic Economic Council Secretariat in Tromso (photos).



  • October 1

    2018 PCRC welcomes new assistant professor and fellows

    Yusuke Honda assumed an assistant professorship at PCRC from October 1. PCRC will receive two fellows, Marzia Scopelliti and Romain Chuffart, from mid-October. Please see “Who Runs the Centre?” for their profiles.


  • September 11

    PCRC International Law Seminar Series

    On September 11, 2018 PCRC will convene the 10th international law seminar. At this seminar, Sakiko Hataya, a Ph.D. student at Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies at Kobe University, will give a presentation on "The Establishment of a Permanent Secretariat for the Arctic Council and Its Evolving Functions". For details, please see the seminar flyerpdf-icon.


  • July 24 and July 27

    PCRC International Law Seminar Series

    PCRC will hold two special sessions of its international law seminar series in the late July. Professor Julia Jabour from University of Tasmania will deliver a presentation entitled “What does the future hold for long-peace in Antarctica?” at the 8th seminar on July 24. A panel discussion will be conducted on “The future of the Antarctic Treaty System” at the 9th seminar on July 27. For details, please see the 8th seminar flyerpdf-icon and the 9th seminar flyerpdf-icon.


  • Invitation to JSPS Fellowship application at Kobe PCRC 

    PCRC is now offering to host JSPS fellows for the academic year 2019. Those interested to pursue Arctic and Antarctic legal studies at Kobe should express her/his interest as soon as possible. The details are indicted in this announcement pdf-icon.


  • Invitation to Doctoral Course in International Law at GSICS, Kobe University 

    The Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS) of Kobe University is now recruiting the doctoral and master students who are to start off course in April or October 2019. Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) at GSICS particularly welcomes those students who would like to pursue doctoral degree (Ph.D. in Laws) specializing in the Arctic legal issues, the Antarctic Treaty System, the law of the sea, and the international environmental law. English course is offered at GSICS and thesis can be submitted in English. Students are strongly recommended to apply for Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship for the degree pursuit at GSICS. The scholarship application will start soon and its deadline is between late May and early June 2018. For the details of the degree course and scholarship application, please refer to Invitation to Doctoral Courses at Kobe for 2019.


  • April 24

    PCRC International Seminar Series

    On April 24, 2018 PCRC will convene the 7th international law seminar. In this seminar, Mr Ian Trites, the deputy director of Circumpolar Affairs at Global Affairs Canada, will give a presentation on "Canadian Foreign Policy Relating to the Arctic". For details, please see the seminar flyer.pdf-icon


  • AY 2017 (April 2017〜March 2018)

  • February 9

    Launch of PCRC  3rd Symposium Webpage  

    On February 9, 2018 PCRC 3rd symposium webpage is available to the public. Such information is accessible on the webpage as the symposium program, abstracts for all symposium sessions, and biographies of speakers and discussants. <http://www.research.kobe-u.ac.jp/gsics-pcrc/3rdsympo/20171207.html >


  • January 30

    PCRC International Law Seminar Series

    On February 13, 2018, PCRC will convene the 6th international law seminar of its International Law Seminar Series. In this seminar, invited Associate Professor Zou Leilei will make a presentation "Arctic Fishery Regime-building: Review and Prospect." For details, please see the flyer for the seminarpdf-icon.


  • November 24, 2017

    PCRC International Law Seminar Series

    PCRC will hold a special session of its international law seminar series on December 1, 2017. In this session, Professor Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen will deliver a presentation entitled “Thinking and Working Across Disciplines, Sectors and Borders on Global Challenges: Experiences from the Harvard Kennedy School, United Nations University, COP15 and COP21”. This seminar is open to the public and advanced registration is not required. For details, please see the flyer for the seminarpdf-icon.


  • November 22, 2017

     Registration for PCRC 3rd International Symposium

    The Centre is still accepting a few more registration for PCRC 3rd International Symposium "The Role of Non-Arctic States/Actors in the Arctic Legal Order-making" on December 7-9, 2017. Please register as soon as possible through the symposium website . For more information on the symposium, please see the flyer for the stmposiumpdf-icon and the symposium website .


  • November 14, 2017

    PCRC International Law Seminar Series

    PCRC is please to announce the 3rd and 4th seminar of its international law seminar series. On November 21, Dr. Nikolas Sellheim will deliver a presentation "An Introduction to International Climate Change Law". On December 18, Ms. Marzia Scopelliti will give a presentation "The Participation of Non-State Actors in International Environmental Governance: Learning from Arctic IPs". For details, please see the flyer for these seminarspdf-icon.


  • October 20, 2017

     Professor Rasmus Bertelsen joined PCRC

    On October 20, 2017 Professor Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen joined PCRC. He will stay in Kobe until mid-December 2017. For his profile, please see Who Runs the Centre.





  • October 16, 2017

     Ms. Marzia Scopelliti joined PCRC

    On October 16, 2017 Ms. Marzia Scopelliti joined PCRC as research fellow. She will work for PCRC until mid-February 2018. For her profile, please see Who Runs the Centre.





  • October 12, 2017

     PCRC International Law Seminar Series

    PCRC is pleased to announce its international law seminar series to be held in October to December 2017. In the inaugural seminar on 27 October 2017, Associate Professor Maria das Neves will deliver a presentation entitled “The Legal Status of Svalbard’s Maritime Zones: Testing the Waters’ for a Future Dispute”. This seminar is open to the public and advanced registration is not required. Please also find the flyer pdf-icon for the seminar.The second seminar is planned on 7 November (Tue), the third on 21 November (Tue) and the Fourth on 18 December (Mon).


  • October 6, 2017

     New Publication

    PCRC Senior Rsearch Fellow Nikolas Sellheim's new book "A Pocket Guide to Academic Publishing" has been out. For details, please see Related Rsearch Activities.





  • 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 pdf-icon):
    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 pdf-icon 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).

  • AY 2016 (April 2016〜March 2017)

  • 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 seminarpdf-icon.


  • 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 pdf-icon" 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 pdf-icon." 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 (Englishpdf-icon, Japanesepdf-icon).


  • 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 pdf-icon 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 seminarpdf-icon.  


  • 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).

  • AY 2015 (April 2015〜March 2016)

  • 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


  • 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.