Berlin — Judge Shunji Yanai was elected Saturday to be president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for the three years through 2013, the tribunal said.Yanai, a 74-year-old former ambassador to the United States, has been a member of the tribunal in Hamburg, Germany, since 2005, it said."It is the first time for a Japanese national to assume the post of president. We regard it as our country's crucial contribution to the international community," Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba said in a statement welcoming the election of Yanai."The tribunal has been playing a greater role in terms of peaceful resolution of conflicts and development of legal order in the maritime sector. Our country will cooperate in the activities of the tribunal and provide our utmost support," the statement said.Yanai will be presiding over all meetings of the tribunal involving dispute resolution over maritime borders and resource development, and supervising its administration, the court said.The members of the tribunal also elected Judge Albert J. Hoffmann of South Africa as vice president, it said.