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SOSCI Lecture Politics


Admission requirements

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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.

Course objectives

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

Assessment method

  1. participation (10%)
  2. a group presentation (20%)
  3. 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.

Reading list

Hayes, Louis D. 2018. Introduction to Japanese Politics 6th ed. New York: Routledge.
Kingston, Jeff. 2014. Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan. London: Routledge.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.


Dr. M. Nakamura