Japanese Society and Culture


International Law, Arbitration, EEZ, UNCLOS, South China Sea

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On 12 July 2016, the decision of the South China Sea Arbitration1 (The Republic of the Philippines against the People’s Republic of China) by a tribunal created under Annex Ⅻ to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was a near-complete victory for the Philippines. This arbitration concerned the role of historic rights and the source of maritime entitlements in the South China Sea, the status of certain maritime features and the maritime entitlements they are capable of generating, and the lawfulness of certain actions by China that were alleged by the Philippines to violate the Convention. In light of limitations on compulsory dispute settlement under the Convention, the Tribunal has emphasized that it does not rule on any question of sovereignty over land territory and does not delimit any boundary between the Parties.

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