This course offers students a general introduction to politics and international relations of Japan. It highlights key debates and issues confronting Japan and its populations. The course is divided into three parts. Part ONE explores the historical background for modern Japan and its implications to contemporary politics. Part TWO focuses on formal and informal political processes in Japan. Topics include the political system and institutions, the media, citizen participation, gender, the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear crisis. Part THREE focuses on Japan’s international relations. Topics include US-Japanese relations, Sino-Japanese relations, war memories, the foreign aid, public diplomacy.
Through active participation in this course, diligent students will:
Develop an understanding of key issues in postwar and contemporary Japanese politics and international relations
Critically identify and discuss key issues surrounding the history and development of Japanese politics and international relations
Demonstrate appropriate cognitive, communicative and transferable skills, develop the capacity for independent learning, critique major academic texts on Japanese politics and international relations, and participate in class debates
Develop academic writing skills through assignments
Strengthen public speaking skills through engagement with peers
Foster teamwork skills through group projects
Mode of instruction
Lecture and Seminar
- participation (10%)
- a group presentation (20%)
- a research paper of 2,000 words (70%)
The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.
A re-sit is available only to students whose mark on the written course element was insufficient. For the resit, students are given the chance to hand in a new version of the written course element.
Inspection and feedback
If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
Hayes, Louis D. 2018. Introduction to Japanese Politics 6th ed. New York: Routledge.
Kingston, Jeff. 2014. Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan. London: Routledge.