- Code ASIA6031
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Culture History and Language
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject Asian Studies
- Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies, Policy Studies, Political Sciences, Asian Studies
This seminar course provides an introduction to contemporary Japanese politics through focused weekly group discussion. It looks closely at the relationship between institutions (electoral systems, regulatory frameworks, administrative systems) and political actors such as politicians, political parties, bureaucracies and bureaucrats, business and civic groups, and citizens. The course will introduce students to some of the most important debates and issues in Japanese politics such as the emergence and evolution of conservative rule, the role of industrial policy in economic development, the relationship between bureaucrats and politicians, the legal system and politics, security policy and foreign relations, civil society and civic engagement, and state-interest group dynamics. The course will also address critical issues in contemporary Japanese politics such as demographic change, energy policy, the environment, natural disaster, constitutional revision, territorial and historical disputes in East Asia, women’s participation, and initiatives for economic revitalization. The course is run in seminar format and relies on active student participation.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand and analyse key processes, transformations, and themes in contemporary Japanese politics.
- Analyse and evaluate key scholarly debates on Japanese politics.
- Apply analytical reading skills through careful reading of relevant literature in the field of Japanese politics.
- Develop advanced analytical writing skills in the field of Japanese politics through completion of written assessment tasks relating to course readings.
- Demonstrate and develop presentation and discussion skills in the field of Japanese politics through active participation in class debates and discussions.
- Develop advanced research skills in contemporary Japanese politics through completion of major research paper based on individual research.
- Presentation: Readings (5) [LO 1,2,3,5]
- Presentation: Current issue in Japanese politics (5) [LO 1,2,3,5]
- Mid-term essay (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Current issue in Japanese politics essay (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Research paper (50) [LO 3,4,6]
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The course consists of a weekly seminar based on student presentations and discussion as well as seven hours per week of independent preparation, including assigned readings and written assessment tasks.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Readings will be provided on Wattle
Yoichi Funabashi and Barack Kushner, eds. Examining Japan’s Lost Decades (London, New York.
Louis D. Hayes. Political Systems of East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan (New York and London: M. E.
Ronald J. Hrebenar and Akira Nakamura, eds. Party Politics in Japan: Political Chaos and Stalemate in the
Twenty-First Century (New York and London: Routledge, 2015)
Chalmers Johnson. MITI and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy, 1925-1975 (Stanford,
CA: Stanford University Press, 1982).
Jeff Kingston, ed. Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan (New York and London: Routledge, 2014)
T. J. Pempel. Regime Shift: Comparative Dynamics of the Japanese Political Economy, Cornell Studies in
Political Economy (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998).
T. J. Pempel. "Between Pork and Productivity: The Collapse of the Liberal Democratic Party." Journal of
Japanese Studies (2010) no. 36 (2):227-254.
Frances M. Rosenbluth and Michael F. Thies. Japan Transformed: Political Change and Economic
Restructuring (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010).
Jacob Schlesinger. Shadow Shoguns (Stanford University Press, 1999).
Leonard J. Schoppa, ed. The Evolution of Japan’s Party System: Politics and Policy in an Era of Institutional
Change (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011).
J. A. A. Stockwin, Governing Japan: Divided Politics in a Resurgent Economy (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell
This course assumes no prior knowledge of Japanese politics.
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.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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