Harald Baum awarded the 2019 Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation

December 18, 2019

Prof. Dr. Harald Baum, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Centre of Expertise on Japan at the Institute, was presented with the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation for the year 2019 in a ceremony held at the Japanese Embassy in Berlin on 16 December 2019. The internationally recognized award honours selected individuals and institutions from around the globe which have made special contributions toward promoting mutual understanding, friendship and goodwill between Japan and other nations.

Academic exchange between Japan and Germany has been at the core of Harald Baum's work for over three decades. The award speech made in his honour stressed the importance of the Centre of Expertise on Japan. Founded by Baum at the Institute in 1985, the Centre has been recognized as one of the most important European points of contact for questions on Japanese civil and commercial law. In addition, the award address emphasized his commitment to the establishment of the German-Japanese Lawyers’ Association (DJJV). In its 30 years of existence, the DJJV has developed into one of the most successful binational lawyers' associations in Germany, and Harald Baum has served as its vice-president since 1995. Through these activities, it was noted, Baum has made a special contribution as an intermediator of comparative legal scholarship and professional practice in relation to Japanese law.

The celebratory remarks also recognized the extraordinary importance that the "Zeitschrift für Japanisches Recht/Journal of Japanese Law" has had for the comparative exchange not only between Japan and Germany, but also in respect of many other countries. Harald Baum founded this publication in 1996 and has since that time sat as the editor-in-chief. The Journal of Japanese Law is currently the world’s only western-language publication offering a regular and timely documentation and analysis of the myriad lines of development in Japanese law.

Harald Baum is professor at the University of Hamburg; as head of the Institute’s Centre of Expertise on Japan he coordinates the academic exchange between the University of Kyoto and the Max Planck Institute for Private Law; and he is the long-time vice-president of the German-Japanese Lawyers’ Association (DJJV).

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