poler 極

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The Blue Earth, from the Poles, through the Law


“There isn’t a night without a dawn.”

A welcome message from the Convenor

The 14th Polar Law Symposium 2021

November 21-23

Thank you for your Participation.

Co-hosted by Polar Cooperation Research Centre (Kobe University, Japan),
Polar Law Institute (University of Akureyri, Iceland), the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law
– Arctic Centre (University of Lapland, Finland), the University of the Arctic and its Arctic Law Thematic Network (Finland)

Themes and Events

The 14th Polar Law Symposium is under a poetic theme of “The Blue Earth, from the Poles, through the Law”, with a healing conference theme song 瑠璃色の地球 or “The Blue Earth”link, its lyrics by Takashi Matsumoto living in Kobe and its song by a popular Japanese singer, Seiko Matsuda. The force of law and the resilience of polar law community despite the current difficulties are depicted by a Japanese calligraphy 極 meaning “the poles”.

You can download the Final Official Program and the list of presentations from here. link.

November 21, 10:00 Entrance Open; 10:30-11:00 JST


Hiroshi Ueta, Calligrapher from Kyoto
Live video showing of The Making of Symposium’ Symbol Calligraphy “極”

Yukiko Kurokami, Opera singer, a graduate of Kobe University (MA)
Live performance on the Symposium Theme Song: The Blue Earth “瑠璃色の地球”

*You can now watch the YouTube video on the symposium opening video
with the beautiful song and music. Click the image to the right.

Tim Stephens Naomi Harada

November 21, 11:00-12:15 JST

The polar governance under the Anthropocene: The case of ocean acidification

Tim Stephens, Professor of International Law, University of Sydney

Naomi Harada, Director-General of the Research Institute for Global Change, JAMSTEC

Ocean acidification is a global challenge under the Anthropocene. What is the current scientific knowledge on the problem and the available governance schemes to tackle it? More importantly, how can the polar scholars, both scientists and lawyers, contribute to address this challenge in the future. The two world’s leading scholars in the fields will discuss the “case for polar leadership” to address this global challenge.


November 22, 16:30-18:30 JST

Country Visits: Ainu and the Arctic, followed by panel discussion

Gudmundur Alfredsson, Senior Associate, The Stefansson Arctic Institute, Akureyri, Iceland

In 1991, United Nations fact-finding mission visited the Ainu, Professor Alfredsson as one of its members. He will reflect on the visit and its impacts on the promotion of the Ainu’s rights under international human rights law. Kamrul Hossain, Kanako Uzawa (Ainu scholar), and Fumiya Nagai will discuss the legal, indigenous, and social implication of the protection and promotion of Indigenous People’s rights by looking at Japan and the Arctic countries.

Joji Morishita Evan Bloom

November 23, 9:00-10:30 JST

Polar ocean governance through the two marine ecosystem/fisheries agreements

Joji Morishita, Professor, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology

Evan T. Bloom, Senior Fellow, Wilson Center, United States of America

Polar ocean ecosystems and fisheries are now governed by two important legally binding treaties: 1980 Convention for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and 2018 Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean. They both address fragile ecosystems of the polar waters and yet face distinct governance challenges. Two experts with extensive diplomatic and negotiation experiences will discuss those challenges and provide insights for their future directions.


Angela Wang, Policy researcher, Asian Pacific Foundation, Canada

Lynda Goldsworthy, Ph.D. candidate, IMAS, University of Tasmania, Australia

Daisuke Harada Kota Ueki Kota Okada

November 23, 11:00-12:30 JST

Japanese industries in the Arctic (In Japanese, with simultaneous interpretation into English)

Daisuke Harada, Project Director, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC)

Kota Ueki, Logistics Manager, JGC Corporation

Kota Okada, General Manager, LNG Project Team (B), LNG Carrier Division, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

How do Japanese industries see the business opportunities in the Arctic, contributing at the same time to the sustainable development of the Arctic countries and the peoples, including the Arctic Indigenous Peoples? Three experts from Japanese industry sector will discuss the upstream development in the Arctic region, businesses opportunities in the Arctic, and the current practices and future prospects for the utilization of the Northern Sea Route specifically focusing on LNG development. The aim of this session is to consider how it will be possible to realize sustainable use of resources in the Arctic by industries and their potential contribution to the Arctic governance. It may give suggestions to the assessment of the applicable international legal standards and their implementation to identify key issues for sustainable development and discuss the methods to make sustainability more achievable.

Prof. Nengye Liu Prof. Hitomi Kimura

November 23, 17:00-18:30 JST

Polar governance for the Blue Earth: Messages from biodiversity COP15 and climate COP26

Nengye Liu, Associate Professor, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Hitomi Kimura, Associate Professor, Otsuma Women’s University

The 14th Polar Law Symposium will be held just after the convening of the two milestone meetings on global environmental governance: COP15 of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) in October, in Kunming, China and COP26 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in November, in Glasgow, United Kingdom. This session will discuss the messages from CBD-COP15 and UNFCCC-COP26 to polar governance for the future of our planet, the Blue Earth.

November 18-19, 2021

The Global Antarctic: Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS) biennial conference

The Global Antarctic

Kobe PCRC is also hosting the 2021 Biennial Conferencelink of the Standing Committee for Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS) under Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) on 18-19 November 2021. SC-HASS is a community of researchers working on diverse aspects of the humanities and social sciences as they relate to Antarctica. SC-HASS has also decided to waive registration fees, so do please register and enjoy the Antarctic-specific presentations.


The convenor of 14 PLS would encourage you to have your presentation(s) published as a fully-reviewed paper in The Yearbook of Polar Law Vol. 14. To enable the smooth and timely preparation of the Yearbook, please observe the following instructions. More details will be available from the Special Editor.

Yearbook of Polar Law Studies in Polar Law
  1. Prepare a Word document of no more than 8,000 words (including footnotes).
  2. Authors should write in English only.
  3. Use the Chicago Footnotes style. Do not use Endnotes.
  4. The deadline for submission for papers is 15 February 2022.
  5. All inquires regarding the Yearbook and the submission should be addressed to the Special Editors: Akiho Shibata and Yelena Yermakova, at 14ypleditors[at]


  • There is no fee for registration. For the Live Presentation Program as of 11 November, please click here (no longer active). .
  • Registration is required for all presenters and general participants in order to access the symposium's Online Participant Portal and the venue at Kobe University.
  • For the first phase of the registration, you will need to enter your personal profile and your participation category: Representative Presenter (see below), Presenter (live or pre-recorded) , Chair and/or General Participant, as well as your expected date of onsite visit to the venue. Please refer to the Participation/Presentation Manual ver.2.0 for other details.

Registration for Participant Portal(Closed)
【 Online Presentation Portal (image) 】

Important notice for Representative Presenters:

  • A Representative Presenter is the one with an accepted abstract and being the one who received the acceptance notification from the Symposium Secretariat. Please refer to the “Comprehensive list of all accepted abstracts” for the names and the abstract entry number of those Representative Presenters.
  • The second phase starting from 11 October will require the Representative Presenters to provide information on the final title of the presentation/panel, co-authors, co-panelists, and/or sub-titles of those panel presentations as applicable. Those information will be used for producing an official Symposium Online program.
  • The third phase starting from 1 November until 15 November is for the Representative Presenters with pre-recorded presentations to upload all relevant presentation material relating to the accepted abstract under his/her authority. You can replace them during this period. For live presentations, AFTER your live presentations, you MAY upload your presentation material which will be available for on-demand viewing on the Online Portal. For technical details, please refer to the updated Manual version 2.0.

What do you expect from a hybrid conference?

The hybrid conference will consist of several live sessions broadcast live using the dedicated Online Participant Portal, in which presenters being both at the physical venue at Kobe University and through ZOOM online and simultaneously interacting with the audience both at the venue and via online. Those live events will be broadcast using two parallel online channels over the three days of the Symposium and will be video-recorded for later on-demand viewing and in-text commenting on the Online Participant Portal until 8 December 2021.

There will also be several powerpoint and video presentations uploaded onto the Online Participant Portal which are available for on-demand viewing and in-text commenting and feedbacks, starting from the conference opening on 21 November until 8 December 2021.

For those intending to participate in-person at the venue, the conference venue is a large hall with capacity of 350+, in which we expect a maximum of 50 in-person participants. All preventive measures are implemented at the venue. For access to the venue at Kobe University, please click here.

For those participants currently living outside of Japan, it is their voluntary choice whether to try to enter Japan and participate in the Symposium in-person at the venue or to stay home and make an online live presentation/participation using ZOOM. Please regularly check the Japanese immigration and quarantine rules regarding COVID-19: <>. Please note the organizer will not support procedurally (producing special documents for your entry, etc), logistically (finding transportation and accommodation during the quarantine period, etc), or financially (paying for testing fees and isolation-related costs, etc) for those trying to enter Japan for this conference.

Kobe City MICE Promotion
"Incentive Tours"

Call for Abstracts (Closed)

The abstract submission portal has been closed on August 2. Thank you very much for your submissions.

Call for Abstracts (PDF) Model Abstract Format (Word) Abstract Submission Portal
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Convenor of the 14th Polar Law Symposium:
Akiho Shibata, Director, Kobe PCRC
Advisory Committee:
Gudmundur Alfredsson (University of Akureyri, Iceland)
Timo Koivurova (University of Lapland, Finland)
Julia Jabour (University of Tasmania, Australia)
Planning Committee:
Akiho Shibata, Chair (Kobe PCRC)
Hiroyuki Enomoto (National Institute of Polar Research)
Evan T. Bloom (Wilson Center Polar Institute, United States of America)
Shin Sugiyama (Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University)
Kentaro Nishimoto (National Institute of Polar Research)
Yuko Osakada (Faculty of Law, Chukyo University)
Mami Furuhata (Kobe PCRC)
Zia Madani (Kobe PCRC from September 2021)
Osamu Inagaki (Kobe PCRC)
Gustavo Ramirez Buchheister (University of Magallanes, Chile)
Yelena Yermakova (University of Oslo, Norway)
Romain Chuffart (Durham University, United Kingdom)
Wakako Masuda (Kobe PCRC Secretariat)

For inquiries:


Hiroshi Ueta
Personal Website