Japanese Politics

Musashi University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Japanese Politics

  • Host University

    Musashi University

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan

  • Area of Study

    International Politics, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The principal aim of this class is to understand change and continuity in Japanese politics from 1945 to 2016. In doing so, the class will help to offer solid backgrounds about political systems in Japan; foster an understanding about key political issues in Japan; and situate Japan in a broad comparative perspective.

    Japan is an important and interesting empirical case for comparative politics. It is important, as it is one of the advanced industrial democracies outside Europe and North America, and as it is one of the largest economies with its significant economic influence in the world.

    It is interesting, as it offers many theoretical and empirical puzzles: For example, the same ruling party stayed in office for more than 50 years (with only a minor interruption), although people talk about rampant corruption scandals and intra-party factional struggles.

    The class will therefore try to address these theoretical and empirical puzzles. The class will cover, first of all, the major theoretical concepts in comparative politics. Second, it will cover the historical development of Japan's politics, political institutions (party systems and electoral systems), and how political actors (politicians, executives, etc.) behave. Third, we will also talk about lots of policy consequences (international security; corruption; pork barrel; administrative transparency; etc.). By understanding the major theoretical concepts in comparative politics, Japan's political institutions, and their policy implications, we will be able to comparatively analyze Japan and the rest of the world, in a broader scope.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.