Singapore, Japan Holds First High-Level Joint Legal Conference

1.               Singapore and Japan held their first high-level joint legal conference in Tokyo, Japan on 12 March 2019, the Japan-Singapore International Legal and Dispute Resolution Conference. The conference was organised by the Singapore Ministry of Law and the Japan Association of Arbitrators (JAA).

2.               The conference brought together more than 200 government officials, legal and dispute resolution practitioners, in-house counsel, business executives and academics from Singapore and Japan, to discuss how they could work together to seize business opportunities presented by the rise of Asia, technology and potential for new cross-border strategic partnerships.

3.               Japanese companies are one of the major users of Singapore’s dispute resolution services. Caseload is expected to grow, as more Japanese companies expand overseas and Japan steps up investment in infrastructure projects across the region. Arbitration cases filed with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) involving parties from Japan more than doubled from 13 in 2016 to 30 in 2018.

4.               In his keynote address, Singapore Senior Minister of State for Law and Health Mr Edwin Tong said, “This is the first high-level legal conference co-organised by Japan and Singapore. It bears testament to the strong legal relations between the two countries and our shared desire to work even more closely together to seize new opportunities in Asia.”

5.               Mr Tong said that because of complementary strengths, Japanese companies can operate through Singapore, with Singapore as a base for their Asian operations, as a partner for their infrastructure projects across Asia, and as a neutral venue to resolve disputes.

6.               Yoshimasa Furuta, Managing Director of Japan Association of Arbitrators said, “We are pleased and honoured to co-organise this conference in Japan. The timing and setting is perfect. The Japan International Dispute Resolution Center (JIDRC) launched the art of the state arbitration/mediation facility in Osaka in May 2018, and the Japan International Mediation Center in Kyoto (JIMC-Kyoto) started its operation in November 2018. The Japanese government is committed to further promote international dispute resolution in Japan. We are confident that this Conference will provide deep and enlightening insight to all of the participants.”

7.               This conference was co-organised by Maxwell Chambers and the Japan International Dispute Resolution Center, and supported by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC), the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC), the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA) and The Law Society of Singapore.


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