With the extension of fishery jurisdictions and the claims to continental shelf in the 1950s, the stage was set for the rapid systemization of exclusive jurisdictions over ocean resources by coastal nations-a trend that has now been codified into the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. At the same time, demand chiefly by the US for free movement of naval vessels and military planes on and over the oceans has led to a new régime of straits and archipelagic waters. Moreover, the concept has emerged that hard-mineral resources in the deep ocean floor are the common heritage of mankind. Based on that concept, developing countries claim the right to an equal share of profits derived from the exploitation of these resources, placing themselves in conflict with advanced nations which place priority on the protection of their capital investments in such exploitation-a situation that has brought about the complicated“régime of the deep ocean floor”. There has been of late a mounting urgency to preserve ocean resources. The question is how to allocate those limited resources in an environment of limitlessly expanding national demands for them. Finding a way to maximize each country's“share”while applying a scientific mechanism for ensuring resource preservation and effective utilization has become a critical issue requiring solution within the new ocean régime. On the other side of the equation is the question of how the environmental costs for ocean usage will be apportioned among nations. Included among the various sources of ocean pollution are discharge from land pollution; contamination by ships, such as the jettisoning of oil tanker ballast; and the dumping of land wastes including radioactive materials. Given the finite load capacity of the ocean, it will become necessary to impose restrictions on usage, or to allocate“negative shares”, not only among countries but within a usage context. In other words, the world must come to grips with the task not only of creating a system for the apportionment of finite ocean resources but also of restricting ocean usage within the parameters of its finite load capacity.
There has been a rapid expansion in the realm of public activities aimed at regulating external effects beyond the reach of market mechanisms so as to protect citizens' livelihoods and social systems. The rising social costs in various fields are not fully reflected in the supply and demand facet of market transactions, thus delaying required institutional responses including legal ones. What is now required is a new interpretation of the interrelation between economic mechanisms and institutional settings, including a fundamental revision of the principles of market economy autonomy and of classic civil law, together with a redesigning of market economy rules to also incorporate the working of so-called“quasi-markets”. Supposing a market system circumscribed by institutions is an arena in which economic problems are solved through choices by individual members of society based on their own initiative, then a nonmarket system or legal system similarly circumscribed by institutions must be an arena in which individual actions are regulated based on social rules and in which social rules themselves are formed. The basic purpose of established linkages among individuals in a society is the generation of institutions and systems that (1) appropriately contain and properly restrict the area of influence of market mechanisms, while (2) reinforcing the power of decentralized market mechanisms and enlarging their area of effectiveness. It would seem that institutions must possess these two characteristics, though they appear regressive at first sight. Therefore, what is needed are two functional factors; effective regulation through institutional settings and efficient competition through market mechanisms. It may be necessary to redesign systems based on solutions for eliminating“institutional failure”and to internalize various social costs so as to provide economic incentives for engaging in equitable and efficient behavior. The central point of this postulation is that the settlement of rights, or the “distribution of rights, ”is based on sanctioned behavioral relations among persons that derive from the existence and use of goods and services. Visible costs and benefits are not the only determinants of behavior, but the right to benefits is also an important determinant. The assignment of different rights, or the redistribution of private rights, leads to various incentive systems and benefit/loss structures. Some economic analytical concepts, such as externalities, uncertainty, transaction cost, market failure, government failure, can be clearly understood in light of a concept of interconnectedness among property rights, incentives, institutional arrangements, and economic behavior in relation to the marketplace and various social settings. Recent issues regarding information, internal organization, networking, and new concepts, such as“economies of network”(introduced in this paper) can also be more clearly elucidated if viewd from the perspective of the interrelation between decision-making incentive systems and economic behavior in the contemporary market society, which has now become a technique in various fields.