Justice Carpio Explains Philippine Position in the WPS/SCS Dispute at JIIA Forum

Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonio T. Carpio discussed the position of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea (WPS/SCS) dispute at a forum organized by the Embassy and the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) on 25 September 2015 in Tokyo.

Justice Carpio delivered a lecture on the topic “China’s Land Reclamation In The South China Sea/West Philippine Sea, A Challenge to the Survival of the UNCLOS” at the JIIA forum held at the Bosei-no-ma, Tokai University Club, attended by some 120 participants from JIIA affiliated organizations, diplomatic corps, university professors and students, government officials and researchers.

Organized in 1959 as a private, non-partisan policy think-tank focused on foreign affairs and security issues, the JIIA is Japan’s premier think-tank institution that aims, among other objectives, to conduct research on international affairs and scientifically examine Japan’s foreign policy in order to provide a constructive framework for formulating such policy, disseminate knowledge and information on international affairs, and encourage research on international affairs by universities and research groups throughout Japan.

In his one hour lecture, Justice Carpio discussed the implications of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other principles of international law on the aggressive assertion by China of its 9-dash line claim over the entire WPS/SCS and the importance of the peaceful resolution of the conflicting maritime and territorial claims on the basis of the rule of law. Justice Carpio pointed out that “the root cause of the South China Sea dispute is China’s 9-dash lines claim, which gobbles up large areas of the Exclusive Economic Zones of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.” Click here for the full text of the lecture by Justice Carpio.

Justice Carpio has been delivering lectures before think-tanks and universities in various countries on the WPS/SCS dispute in an effort to provide the international community with a clearer understanding of the conflicting maritime and territorial claims in the South China Sea and on the position of the Philippines in the arbitration case against China being heard by a 5-member arbitral panel organized under the compulsory dispute settlement procedures of UNCLOS. Before his lecture in Japan, Justice Carpio spoke at symposiums on the WPS/SCS dispute held in New Zealand and Europe. He is scheduled to speak at similar fora in the United States and Canada next week.

Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez hosted a dinner for Justice Carpio on 24 September 2015 at the Ambassador residence where the Senior Associate Justice presented a snap shot of his lecture before a select audience of the diplomatic corps, members of the Diet and other Japanese officials. Amb. Lopez thanked Justice Carpio for visiting Japan for his lecture which gave the Japanese audience with a clear perspective on the dispute. Justice Carpio also held a press conference at the Japan National Press Club (photo above).