Obituary for Professor Satoru Osanai

Written by Dan Rosen (Professor, Chuo Law School)
You don’t need to believe in the system of making merit for a future life to appreciate its value in the present one. Satoru Osanai was a world-class merit-maker, spreading it across the globe and empowering others to do the same.
Professor Osanai died on September 4th, a few days after his 71st birthday. Throughout his career at Chuo University, he introduced Japanese students and scholars to the legal systems of other countries, and he demystified Japan’s legal system for audiences abroad.

Over the last decade of his life, Osanai-sensei acquired a strong affinity with Australia. He recruited Prof. Malcolm Smith to join the Chuo Law School in 2004, and he enthusiastically supported the creation of a study-abroad program for Chuo students at Mal Smith’s alma mater, the University of Melbourne. He also was instrumental in developing ties with ANU. In the course of many trips to Australia, a wide circle of friends quite naturally developed around him there, as happened everywhere.
The Chuo Law Review devoted an issue to essays and articles written in honor of Osanai-sensei’s retirement. Some are now available for viewing through the ANJeL website (and listed below). Any enlightenment you may find within them will be yet another instance of merit that Prof. Osanai caused to be created. Should future lives really exist, he is guaranteed a lofty perch.
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Table of Contents / Foreword by Justice Kenneth Hayne, ‘Professor Satoru Osanai: Scholar, Teacher, Friend’, Hogaku Shimpo (Chuo Law Review) Vol. 99, No 9-10 (March 2013)
Michael Coper, ‘Reflections on the Internationalisation of Legal Education’, Hogaku Shimpo (Chuo Law Review) Vol. 99, No 9-10 (March 2013), pp 27-60
Luke Nottage, ‘Negotiating and Applying Investor-State Arbitration Provisions in Free-Trade Agreements and Investment Treaties: Australia, Japan and the Asia-Pacific’, Hogaku Shimpo (Chuo Law Review) Vol. 99, No 9-10 (March 2013), pp 103-164 [manuscript / hyperlinked version also at]
Dan Rosen, ‘Reserving the Window Seat’, Hogaku Shimpo (Chuo Law Review) Vol. 99, No 9-10 (March 2013), pp 165-194
Stacey Steele, ‘An Excellent Adventure: Why an Australia Lawyer Needs to Speak Japanese and other Thoughts about Australia and Japan in the “Asian Century”’, Hogaku Shimpo (Chuo Law Review) Vol. 99, No 9-10 (March 2013), pp 195-232

Author: Luke Nottage

Prof Luke Nottage (BCA, LLB, PhD VUW, LLM LLD Kyoto) is founding co-director of the Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL), Associate Director (Japan) of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS), and Professor of Comparative and Transnational Business Law at Sydney Law School. He specialises in international dispute resolution, foreign investment law, contract and consumer (product safety) law.