Japan is the world’s third largest economy; it is modern, its people enjoy longevity and very high living standards. It is also safe, has a peace clause in its constitution and has played an important role in economic development in Asia. But Japan faces major challenges with an ageing and shrinking population, two decades of slow growth, rising inequality, a democracy dominated by one party, rapid and major change in its immediate regional neighbourhood and unresolved history and uneasy relations with its neighbours upon which it relies for economic prosperity. Japan is a unique country in a unique situation.
This course tackles the big policy questions facing Japan - many of which can be applied to thinking about other countries. The course exposes students to the key policy debates in Japan and draws upon not only the strong academic expertise at ANU but also the expertise and experience of a range of top scholars and thinkers on Japan who will guest lecture and join the student debates and presentations. The course includes participation at the annual Japan Update conference and connects policy relevant research to teaching in an innovative way.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Become familiar with the brief history of Japan’s economic development and features of Japan’s economic institutions, political system and society
- Be able to identify and critically analyse a major reform priority for Japan
- Gain a deeper understanding and be able to critically analyse, discuss and debate Japan’s changing role in the world and relations with other states.
- Work in groups to discuss and debate domestic and foreign policy challenges through more than one disciplinary lens.
- Improve written and oral communication of complex policy ideas.
- Group presentations around an aspect of Japan’s changing role in the world (10) [LO 3,4]
- Paper of 1,000 words on an aspect of Japan’s changing place in the world (40) [LO 2,3]
- Longer paper of 3,000 words identifying and arguing for the most important policy reform facing Japan whether it be economic, political, foreign policy or social. (50) [LO 1,2]
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Workload33 contact hours
Expected 60 hours reading, essay writing and preparation for seminars
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsThere is no prescribed text for this course
Preliminary ReadingFunabashi, Yoichi (ed) Examining Japan’s Lost Decades, Routledge, Oxford, 2015
Flath, David, The Japanese Economy, Oxford University Press. Chapters 2-4, 6 and 9.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
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- 6 units
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