September 16, 2019
 In 2022-Limits of Diplomatic Immunity

Country: Japan
Delegate Name: Julia Joo

Diplomatic immunity is a fundamental of international relations, dating back thousands of years. Diplomats operating in another country besides their own will receive amnesty for crimes committed by them or their immediate family members. This allows said diplomats to travel and work freely, even in times of armed conflict or civil unrest. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations dictates much of modern diplomatic immunity.

Japan signed the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations in 1962. Diplomats operating in Japan are granted immunity from arrest or prosecution. However, recent events concerning the actions of diplomats and nations around the world are causing tension. In February of the current year, a Japanese diplomat was unlawfully detained and interrogated in the People’s Republic of China. China did not fulfill Japan’s request for a public apology. Also this year, a Japanese diplomat accused of espionage was declared persona non grata by Russia but not before being arrested and interrogated; This is a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. In response, Japan called for the removal of Russian diplomats in northern Japan. This series of events has soured already tense relations between Japan and Russia. Japanese embassies around the world have also amassed two million dollars of foreign diplomats’ unpaid parking violations.

Japan believes the modern concept of diplomatic immunity requires clearer limits and regulations. Japan is of the opinion that while diplomatic immunity is no doubt necessary and reasonable, it is far too vague to prevent disputes between nations. Firstly, it should be established when and why it is reasonable for a country to waive diplomatic immunity. For example, crimes such as domestic abuse and manslaughter may require intervention of the diplomats’ nation. Additionally, there should be harsher consequences for nations such as China and Russia that routinely violate diplomatic immunity.

If these changes are enacted, no doubt will all the nations of the world be better off for it. Diplomatic immunity is mutualistic, and it should stay that way. International tensions caused by differences in diplomatic immunity would significantly decrease, and nations faulted would be compensated. Therefore, diplomatic immunity requires a stricter set of regulations.