Senior Minister of State for Law Edwin Tong to Visit Japan To Strengthen Legal Cooperation
1. Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Health and Law Edwin Tong will visit Japan from 11 to 13 March 2019. He will visit Tokyo on 11 and 12 March and Kyoto on 13 March.
2. This is SMS Tong’s first official visit to Japan. The visit seeks to strengthen legal cooperation between Singapore and Japan and to bring together Japanese and Singapore business executives and legal practitioners to seize opportunities in Asia including in infrastructure.
3. On 11 March, SMS Tong will have an introductory meeting with Japan State Minister of Justice Hiroshi Hiraguchi to further exchanges between the two ministries and discuss proposals to take Singapore-Japan legal cooperation to a higher level.
4. On the same day, SMS Tong will deliver a Japan Association of Arbitrators (JAA) Memorial Lecture on the Singapore Convention on Mediation. In December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to adopt the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation and to name it after Singapore.
5. SMS Tong will also hold a roundtable discussion with the General Counsel and senior executives of 11 Japan-based companies, including 3M, AIG, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Nitori Holdings, Renesas Corporation, Shisedo and Sojitz Corporation. SMS Tong will engage them on how Singapore can better serve their needs, including in legal and dispute resolution services.
6. On 12 March, SMS Tong will deliver the keynote address at the Japan-Singapore International Legal and Dispute Resolution Conference. Japan Vice Minister of Justice, Hiroyuki Tsuji, will deliver the opening address. This is the first high-level legal conference jointly organised by Singapore and Japan. It brings together 200 government officials, business executives, inhouse counsel, legal practitioners and academics, to discuss how Singapore and Japanese businesses, lawyers and dispute resolution institutions can work together to capture opportunities in a new Asian century.
7. SMS Tong will have a roundtable discussion with four of Japan’s largest law firms, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu and Nishimura & Asahi, to discuss how Japanese law firms can better support their clients in Singapore and the region, including through cooperation with the Singapore law practices.
8. SMS Tong will also visit the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which provides technical and financial assistance for infrastructure projects, to discuss how Singapore and Japan can deepen collaboration on infrastructure projects, including through the use of the Infrastructure Asia Office and the Singapore Infrastructure Dispute-Management Protocol which Singapore launched in October 2018.
9. On 13 March, SMS Tong will visit Doshisha University, one of the oldest and leading private universities in Japan’s Kansai region, and the Japan International Mediation Centre in Kyoto (JIMC-Kyoto). JIMC-Kyoto is the first international mediation centre in Japan to provide mediation services for cross-border disputes between foreign and Japanese parties. SMS Tong will visit the Kodaiji Temple, a mediation venue for parties using JIMC-Kyoto.
10. SMS Tong will be accompanied by Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Law, Han Kok Juan, and other MinLaw officials. Mr Gregory Vijayendran SC, President of The Law Society of Singapore will be leading a delegation of 42 Singapore lawyers to attend the conference and the JAA memorial lecture. They will also meet the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, the Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar Association and the Dani Tokyo Bar Association, and visit the Tokyo High Court.