Owada in 2005
|President of the International Court of Justice|
6 February 2009 – 5 February 2012
|Vice President||Peter Tomka|
|Preceded by||Rosalyn Higgins|
|Succeeded by||Peter Tomka|
|Member of the International Court of Justice|
6 February 2003
18 September 1932
Shibata, Niigata, Japan
|Spouse(s)||Yumiko Egashira (m. 1962)|
|Children||Crown Princess Masako
|Alma mater||University of Tokyo
University of Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
Because of sponsorship from his Foreign Ministry, Owada was sent to study at Trinity College, Cambridge in the United Kingdom where he earned a law degree in 1959  and later a doctorate of philosophy.
"In between postings he was to take semesters as a visiting professor in international treaty law, his specialty, at Harvard and at Oxford."
Overall Owada has served as a law professor for three decades at the University of Tokyo, Harvard Law School, New York University Law School, Columbia Law School, the Hague Academy of International Law, Waseda University, and the University of Cambridge. He also served as the Bright International Jurist-in-Residence at the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law in 2010. He has received honorary degrees from Keiwa College, Banaras Hindu University, and Waseda University.
Returning to Japan, Owada was chosen to accompany Emperor Hirohito on his first postwar trip outside Japan to Europe. From 1976 to 1978, he served as Private Secretary to Takeo Fukuda, the Prime Minister of Japan.
From 1979 to 1981, while serving as visiting professor at Harvard, Owada "remain[ed] on the Foreign Ministry payroll with the title of Minister at the Embassy in Washington, and would resume his career with another plum posting the following year." After this, however, the Owadas would move again to Moscow save for Masako, who would stay behind to enroll as a student at Harvard.
In 1988, Owada was appointed Japanese ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. He served for a year before returning to Japan, working first as Deputy Minister and from 1991 to 1993 as Vice-Minister.
From 1999 to 2000 Owada then served as senior adviser to the president of the World Bank. Until 2003 Owada was president of the Japan Institute of International Affairs and adviser to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In 2008, he became the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation.
The judges of the ICJ elected Owada as their president from 2009 to 2012, making Owada the first Japanese judge to hold that post.
Having been re-elected to the ICJ in 2011, Owada's term now expires on 5 February 2021. He received 170 out of 192 votes in the General Assembly on the first round, more than any other candidate, and 14 out of 15 votes in the Security Council on the first round. Owada had been nominated by the Japanese national group of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (as well as the national groups of 32 other countries).
In addition to his service on the International Court of Justice, Owada also serves on the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Board of Directors of the United Nations Foundation.
His father Takeo is descended from the Owada clan, whose head Shinroku—Masako's 4th-great grandfather—was called to Murakami in 1787 to serve the Naito clan that the Tokugawa shogun had installed as the city's rulers sixty-seven years earlier. After the fall of the shogunate, the Owadas participated in a salmon-fishing cooperative, the proceeds of which provided schooling for many local children, including Takeo.
Takeo became principal of a prefectural high school in modern-day Joetsu City and head of its board of education. Takeo and his wife would have seven children, all of whom survived infancy to graduate from university or teaching college. His five sons all graduated from University of Tokyo—Akira, who would become a lecturer of Chinese literature at Senshu University; Takashi, who would become a lawyer; Hisashi; Osamu, who would become head of the Japan National Tourist Organization; and Makoto, who would become an inspector at the Ministry of Transportation's Ports and Harbors Bureau. His two daughters Yasuko and Toshiko would marry highly, the former to managing director of Krosaki-Harima Tadashi Katada and the latter to one-time managing director of the Industrial Bank of Japan (IBJ) Kazuhide Kashiwabara.
Wife and children
In 1962, at age 30, Hisashi married twenty-five-year-old Yumiko Egashira, introduced to him by a mutual friend and later employer Takeo Fukuda. A year later, their eldest daughter Masako was born in Tokyo, followed by twins Reiko and Setsuko in the summer of 1966 in Switzerland.
- Human Security and International Law in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- Asia and International Law: A New Era Distinguished Speakers Panel in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- The Encounter of Japan with the Community of Civilized Nations in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge (Malaysia v. Singapore)
- Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay)
- Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro)
- Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy)
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.36.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.35.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.37.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.37, 137.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.38.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.42-44.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.44.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.46.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.92.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.95.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.153.
- "GA/11171: General Assembly, Concurrently with Security Council, Elects Four Judges to International Court of Justice" (Press release). United Nations Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York. 2011-11-10.
- "SC/10444: Security Council, General Assembly Elect Four New Judges to World Court / Fifth Vacancy Remains to Be Filled, Pending Concurrent Action by Both Bodies" (Press release). United Nations Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York. 2011-11-10.
- "The Selection of Judge Hisashi Owada as a Candidate for the Election of judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2011" (Press release). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
- "UN Doc. A/66/183–S/2011/453: List of candidates nominated by national groups / Note by the Secretary-General". 2011-07-26.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.33.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.35-36.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.39.
- Hills, Ben. Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, pp.40.
- International Court of Justice Biography of H.E. President Hisashi Owada
- Japanese Imperial Household Agency
- H.E. Judge Hisashi Owada (Japan) Elected the ICJ President and H.E. Judge Peter Tomka (Slovakia) Elected Vice-President in 2009-2012 and Statement of Japan Foreign Minister Nakasone on the Election of ICJ President Hisashi Owada of 6 February 2009 and Tokyo MFA and ASIL and Japanese Judge Elected World Court's New President and New President of ICJ Elected and Judge Owada of Japan Elected New President of the ICJ and World News and page 1: H.E. Judge Hisashi Owada Named ICJ President and Japanese Judge Elected President of World Court for First Time and Japanner Owada Is Voorzitter Internationaal Gerechtshof - ICJ, Belgian Nieuwsblad of 6 February 2009 and NRC Handelsblad
- Brandeis Institute for International Judges 2007 pages 21 and 34 and 5th Brandeis on 23-28 July 2007, Including H.E. Former ICJ President Stephen M. Schwebel and H.E. Judges Hisashi Owada and Peter Tomka
- 2005 Keynote Speech of H.E. Judge Hisashi Owada and Distinguished Fellows Lecture of 9 November 2005 and NYU Distinguished Global Fellows
- 10th IDI Commission on Authorization to Resort to Force Given by the United Nations and 12th IDI Commission on Judicial Control of UNSC Decisions of the Institute of International Law and IDI Members
- H.E. ICJ President Hisashi Owada's Lecture on The Encounter of Japan with the Community of Civilized Nations at newly launched in October 2008 UN Audiovisual Library of International Law and UN-Law
- H.E. ICJ President Hisashi Owada with UNSG Ban Ki-Moon of 23 March 2009 and UN Photographs
- Philip Jessup's 50th Anniversary Honorary Committee and 50th Jessup Video and 50th Jessup Programme and Prize for "Best Jessup Oralist" Launched in Honour of H.E. Former ICJ President Stephen M. Schwebel at the 103rd ASIL Annual Meeting on International Law as Law, Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C., 25–28 March 2009
- Statement of H.E. ICJ President Hisashi Owada to the 64th UNGA of 29 October 2009 and GA/10878 of 29 October 2009, pp.1-3 & 13-22 and President Owada's Statement to the 6th Committee, GA/L/3377 of 30 October 2009
- Solemn Tribute of H.E. ICJ President Hisashi Owada to the memory of Professor Shabtai Rosenne, in Nicaragua v. Colombia Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Costa Rica's Intervention) Oral Hearings, CR 2010/12, at p. 10 of 11 October 2010 and UN 6th Committee Pays Respect to the Israeli Jurist Shabtai Rosenne of 6 October 2010 and Shabtai Rosenne Obituary: Eminent International Lawyer, Teacher and Israeli Diplomat by Malcolm Shaw of 12 October 2010 and In Memoriam Shabtai Rosenne (24 November 1917-21 September 2010) by Prof. B. Kwiatkowska, in 26 IJMCL 1-3 (2011 No.1) & NILOS Papers
- Who's Who in Public International Law 2007
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