By Roy Mabasa
The Philippines will “unconditionally” support the election of Japanese Judge Yuji Iwasawa to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) elections to be held next year, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Thursday.
Locsin made this announcement during the two-day 7th Biennial Conference of the Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL), which was attended by international legal luminaries, including Iwasawa who was the keynote speaker of the event.
In supporting the Japanese judge who once served as vice president of the Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal in Manila Locsin said the Philippines is not asking for anything in return in exchange for its vote.
“We do not seek any quid pro quo for our vote; because we are casting it for the best of the interest of the world — and therefore of our country,” he said.
Iwasawa was first elected as ICJ judge on June 22, 2018 filling the vacancy left by fellow Japanese Hisashi Owada who retired on June 7 of the same year at the age of 85.
Currently a professor of international law at the University of Tokyo graduate school, Iwasawa also served chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, a group of independent experts which monitors countries’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The AsianSIL was established in 2007 as a region-wide forum for interaction among scholars and practitioners of public and private international law either based or interested in Asia.