TOKYO — The government said Friday that Japan will back the candidacy of Yuji Iwasawa in an election for a new judge at the International Court of Justice.Tokyo will seek other U.N. member states’ support for Iwasawa, 63, to replace 85-year-old Hisashi Owada, who told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week of his intention to resign.
Iwasawa is currently a professor of international law at the University of Tokyo graduate school.
“Professor Iwasawa is an internationally recognized authority on international law with considerable work experience in this field,” the government said in a statement released by the Foreign Ministry.
“In light of the importance of the ICJ, the continuous contribution of a Japanese judge to the ICJ coincides with the national interests of Japan,” the statement said.
The ICJ is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms by the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council. Each of the judges must be of a different nationality.
In line with the court’s rules, Iwasawa’s candidacy is not officially proposed by the Japanese government but by the four Japanese judges who are members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.