Hirofumi Oguri - Inseparable Pairs?: Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Society of International Law, 1880-1914

Durée : 00:21:59 -Réalisation : 17 septembre 2021 -Mise en ligne : 17 septembre 2021
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The reception of European international law in the Meiji era(1868-1912) in Japan is characterised as full of ‘pragmatism’, based on theprimary foreign policy adopted by the government. For modernisation of statesystem, the government employed hundreds of foreigners as teachers and advisers(Oyatoi Gaikokujin; employed foreigner specialists) in almost allfields. In legal affairs Gustave Emile Boissonade de Fontarabie (1876-1879) andKarl Roesler (1878-1893) are well-known. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hiredOyatoi Gaikokujin as legal advisers, while recognizing the importance ofhuman resource development of Japanese international lawyers. The Ministry tookthe initiative in establishing Kokusaiho Gakkai (Japanese Society ofInternational Law) in March 1897.

As studied so far, the Ministry and the Society contributedcapacity-building of international legal scholars who later invented Japaneseconceptions of international law such as the Greater East Asian Sphere thatjustified Japanese aggression in East Asia. However, studies on institutions,specifically on the role of legal advisers in the Ministry and the process offounding the academic society, remain to be discussed. In my presentation, witha particular focus on Henry Willard Denison (1880-1914) as a legal adviser atthe Ministry, I will explore a plurality of the actors involved in the process andwhether there was tension or cooperation between legal advisers in the Ministryand Japanese scholars in academia.


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