September 16, 2019
 In 2022-Inequality in International Criminal Prosecutions

Country: Japan
Delegate Name: Julia Joo

The International Criminal Court works to prosecute individuals who have committed grave crimes. It is the first and currently the only international court with the authority to prosecute for crimes. The Rome Statute of the ICC was brought into effect in 2002. 123 countries are a part of the ICC. Notably, China, Russia, and the United States have not joined it. The ICC has been praised for its work in progressing international law yet has also been criticized for its racial disparity and lack of effectiveness. As of now, twelve investigations have been opened, most in Africa, and forty-six people have been indicted.

Japan believes the ICC is necessary and effective. It is the number one financial contributor to the ICC and donated the maximum amount allowed in 2008. Asia is underrepresented in the ICC, so Japan has taken initiative. The ICC president, Piotr Hofmanski, is currently considering opening the ICC’s first regional office in Japan. The court began a formal investigation of Russia’s war crimes following the beginning of its war against Ukraine, which Japan and 40 other member states requested.

Japan acknowledges other nations’ concerns about the ICC. However, despite its flaws, it is still better than nothing. It is currently the only international court that prosecutes war criminals. It is also considered a last-resort, meaning it is only used if national courts are unwilling to do so. Japan is of the opinion that the ICC requires more funding. It is funded by nations and NGOs, but many prominent nations have not joined or extended their assistance. This way, the ICC would have the funds required to open more investigations, including investigations in developed nations outside of Africa.

The ICC is no doubt a crucial organization to achieve justice internationally. If it receives the boost it needs in funds and support, it would be able to expand its influence internationally and prosecute criminals nations are unwilling to prosecute themselves. In that sense, it keeps nations in check. In spite of certain nations’ resistance to assisting such an important court, Japan hopes other countries can recognize, adopt, and lend a hand to the ICC.