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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines international law in Japan. It begins by looking at Japan’s embroilment with international law in the course of its efforts to revise the unequal treaties which had been concluded with about a dozen Occidental states while Japan was categorized as one of the ‘barbarian’ states in the world. After gradually overcoming this unequal status, it became a late-coming big power around the end of World War I. This big power then plunged into World War II, with the result that it was then branded an aggressor state and was penalized in an international tribunal. After that defeat, it turned into both a serious complier of new—that is, post-World War II—international law and a state deeply obedient to the United States. These factors have brought about complex international law behaviour as well as serious constraints in Japan’s choice of international law action.

Keywords: international law, host state law, Japan, unequal treaties, conformism

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