JEAIL > Volume 3(1); 2010 > Issue Focus
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2010

The Proliferation Security Initiative and International Law of the Sea: A Japanese Lawyer's Perspective

Hiroyuki Banzai
Waseda University
Waseda University School of Law, Nishi-Waseda 1-6-1, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-8050 Japan.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the modern climate of concern regarding Rogue States and terrorists attacks following September 11th, the Proliferation Security Initiative, a new cooperative interdiction separate from treaties and multilateral export control regimes, is considered a useful tool in preventing the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. However, the Proliferation Security Initiative includes certain strategies that are in conflict with contemporary international law of the sea. On a bilateral and multilateral basis, the United States seeks to promote the international law-making process to achieve the goals of the PSI through the adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540, the conclusion of a bilateral boarding agreement, and the revision of the SUA Convention. Despite such efforts, the United States has made little progress towards achieving its goals. It is difficult to overcome generally accepted and established principles of flag states and freedom of navigation, even if there are certain potential threats to international peace and security caused by the proliferation of WMD.

Keywords : Weapons of Mass destruction, Non-Proliferation, Freedom of Navigation, Principles of Flag States

View the Full Text