Japan to Join the ICC?

by Kevin Jon Heller

The Daily Yomiuri Online is reporting that Japan intends to join the ICC in 2007. The article quotes a senior Foreign Ministry official as saying that the government made the decision “partly because the government aims to participate in the review of the treaty and an election of judges to be held in 2009.”

If the report is correct, it’s great news for the ICC. Japan’s membership would significantly increase the prestige of the Court and encourage other countries in Asia — currently the most under-represented region — to do likewise.

The ICC seems to be on something of a roll. Court insiders at the international criminal law conference I attended in Christchurch said that China is seriously considering becoming a member in the next couple of years and that India may not be far behind.


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