Background of the Private International Law Association of Japan −until 2014.06
Japanese |English
@General Background of the Association

The Private International Law Association was formed as an academic organization on November 4, 1949 for the purpose of "enhancement of the study of private international law and promotion of cooperation with similar academic bodies overseas, as well as coordination among researchers of private international law" (Association Charter, art. 3). Thus, the Association consists of regular members who "are engaged in the study of private international law or its related subjects" (Charter, art. 5(1)). Moreover though, the Association is not limited to persons associated with educational research organizations such as universities and in fact includes many persons from the legal world such as practicing attorneys.

Though the members are primarily in research and education, there are a number who are directly involved with the administration of practical matters. For example, some members are qualified as official conciliators and advisors to the family court specializing in foreign family affairs, while others act as committee members and secretaries for the Ministry of Justice's Deliberation Council on Private International Law (homusho shingikai kokusai shiho bukai). Furthermore, from the membership comes the Japanese government's representative to and current vice-chairperson of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, an inter-governmental organization aimed at the unification of private international law.

From an international academic exchange perspective, the Association has had a long relationship with researchers from the United States, and honorary members of the Association include such persons as Professor Arthur T. Von Mehren of Harvard University. Beyond this, the Association has had extensive exchanges, including jointly hosting international symposia, with academics from Germany, France, and Italy from the outset and more recently with scholars from Korea and China.

In short, the membership centers on academic research without estranging those in practical fields. Thereby, the Association is able to bring together scholars for a lively international exchange.

At present (October 1999), the Association has 200 General Members and one Supporting Member. From within this, 131 (67.5%) are university academics, 23 (11.5%) are graduate students, 37 (18.5%) are from the legal world, and there are 9 (4.5%) others. Further, 34 members (17%) are women, 7 members are registered from abroad (including those in US, Brazil, and Korea), and 14 members are foreign nationals.

The Association was formed when private international law specialists in Japanese Association of International Law (est. 1896) sought an autonomous organization. Because of this, the Association has maintained an extremely close relationship with the Association of International Law since its independent establishment. Even today, 142 General Members (71%) are also members of the Association of International Law where they continue to play an important role and contribute to the administration of that organization in various forms.

Reflecting this background, private international law scholars have continued to play an important role in the Association of International Law's general board of directors. Association members Professors Saburo Yamada, Hidebumi Egawa, Sueo Ikehara, and Jun'ichi Akiba have all served as president of the Association of International Law. Private international law scholars have also consistently maintained a deep connection with the Association of International Law in the writing and editing of its journal-The Journal of International Law and Diplomacy-which continues to publish a number of contributions on the developments in private international law.

Because of such close involvement, it might even be said that there is actually no need for the Association to have its own autonomous journal. Nonetheless, the Association established the independent Japanese Yearbook of Private International Law in 1999 when it celebrated its 50th anniversary. Since then, as a general rule, the reports of the Association are published in the Yearbook.

@General Activities and Administrative Structure of the Association

The Association's executive decision-making organization is the Board of Councilors. The Board consists of sixteen (16) members-the President and fifteen (15) Councilors-who execute the Association's work. The Association's audit is done by two Auditors selected from the Association's General Members. Further, an Internet Management Committee is assigned to administer this web site.

Since its formation, the Association has also consistently hosted conferences twice a year each May and October. The planning and management for this is done by the Research Planning Committee (present chairperson-Professor Koresuke Yamauchi). Recent and planned conferences are noted on the Association's activities page.

By coincidence, 1998 was the 100th anniversary of the passage of Japan's primary private international law legislation-Horei (Horei, Law No. 127, 1898)-and the year before the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association. Seizing this opportunity and hoping to promote even more development, the Association formed a Committee for the 100th Anniversary of the Horei(chairperson-Professor Hiroshi Matsuoka). Pursuant to its purpose, the committee successfully planned and hosted international symposia in the fall of 1998 on international family law and in the spring of 1999 on international transaction law. For a more detailed account of these see the Association's Activities page.

President Yamauchi, Koresuke
Councilors Aoki, Kiyoshi ; Okano, Yuko ; Okuda, Yasuhiro ; Kidana, Shoichi ; Kunitomo,Akihiko ; Kouno, Tosiyuki ; Sakurada, Yoshiaki ; Satou, Yayoi ; Sano, Hiroshi ; Taki, Hiroshi ; Dogauchi, Masato ; Nakano, Shun'ichiro ; Nomura, Yoshiaki ; Hayakawa, Shin'ichiro ; Yamauchi, Koresuke ; Yokoyama, Jun
Auditors Deguchi, Kouji ; Watanabe, Satoshi
Address Private International Law Association of Japan
Chuo University Faculty of Law
742-1 HIgashinakano Hachioji-shi,
Tokyo 192-0393
Tel:+81-42-674-3154 Fax:+81-42-674-3133
Establishment November 4, 1949
Members (as of May 2005) Regular Member (244); Supporting Member (2)
Conferences twice a year (May and October)


b Return to Home b Background b Information bActivities bLaws and Conventions bRelated Links b