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Lecture Focus 1+2: International Relations of Japan (FAT-module course, twice a week in block I only)


Admission requirements

A background in international relations, foreign policy, or Japanese politics would be helpful.


In this course, students will explore Japan’s approach to global issues and its relations with other nations through the lens of theories that stress the centrality of, respectively, national identity, international cooperation, and power and sovereignty in international relations. Students will examine a number of external and internal factors – including but not limited to Japan’s “peace” constitution, its security alliance with the United States, and issues of historical memory – which structure Japan’s roles and objectives in international society and influence its position in the world. The course will also consider specific issue areas, such as Japan’s financial and peacekeeping contributions to the United Nations, its recent “security activism” within the context of the U.S.-Japan alliance, its investment programs in Southeast Asia, its territorial disputes with China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Russia, and its relations with the European Union.

Students will be assigned readings from core texts, but will be expected to make note of current developments in Japan, as well as global or regional events which may be relevant to the subject matter taught during the course.

Course objectives

1.To develop a theoretically informed understanding of Japan’s relations with other states and international institutions
2.To acquire a basic understanding of international relations theory and, in particular, knowledge of how studies of Japan have served to influence such theory
3.To enhance critical writing and presentation skills through evaluation of Japanese foreign policies and assessment of texts on Japanese international relations


see timetable Japanstudies

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Participation element (attendance, webpostings, in-class assignments): 20%
Analytical element (essay of 2,000 words): 40%
Summative element (exam): 40%.


Yes, Blackboard

Reading list



enrollment in uSis uSis is compulsory

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

not applicable


PLEASE NOTE: This course is given as a FAT course: From sept-oct. twice a week.
EXAM is held in the midterm exam week