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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST2007 Japan's International Relations

20 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Prof Caroline Rose

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

EAST 2323 and EAST2324

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Japan continues to be a major actor in regional and global governance, while still struggling with aspects of its turbulent wartime legacy. This module explores the evolution of Japan’s international relations since the end of World War II, and considers the foreign policy-making process in Japan. It looks at the various domestic and external determinants of Japan's foreign policy, before moving on to explore Japan's relations with the major countries and regions of the world. It considers Japan's changing regional and global role since the end of the Cold War, and the prospects for Japan to become a 'normal' nation. The module will consider the ways in which Japan yields its still considerable economic and, increasingly, cultural power (soft power) but also its growing political and military (hard power).


The core objective of the module is to enable students to understand how and why Japan has interacted with the rest of the world since 1945, returning to international society in the 1950s and becoming East Asia's major power by the 1960s. The module outlines the various ways in which Japanese foreign policy has been interpreted and understood by academics and other governments enabling students to develop a critical awareness of Japan's contribution to regional and global governance since the end of World War II.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module students should:
- have acquired considerable knowledge of how foreign policy is formulated in Japan,
- have a solid understanding of the domestic and external determinants of Japanese foreign policy, and the norms driving foreign policy behaviour;
- be able to demonstrate knowledge of how Japan has interacted with other major actors in international politics in the post-war period and the different interpretations of Japan's foreign policy behaviour
- be able to produce an informed analysis of recent developments in Japan's international relations, such as Japan's response to terrorism and the war in Iraq, the expansion of defence cooperation with the United States, the 'rise of China' and the threat of the DPRK.


The module will cover the following topics:
1. Overview of Japan's international relations, defense and security since WWII
2.Approaches to understanding Japan’s foreign policy
3. Japan's post-Cold War shifting security responsibilities
4. Japan's 'alternative' powers - political, cultural and economic influence in a regional and global context
5. US-Japan relations (1)
6. US-Japan relations (2)
7: Japan and China: Japan and Asia
9: Japan's interests in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East
10: Recent issues in Japan's foreign policy: the DPJ interregnum, the return of the LDP and Abe's impact

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparatory reading for lectures 30 hours
Preparatory reading for seminars 30 hours
Preparation for non-assessed in-class presentation 30 hours
Additional reading for essay preparation, essay-planning and writing up 50 hours
Revision for 2-hour exam 40 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through Q&A sessions during lectures (based on the weekly guided readings), during the seminar discussions and by means of the non-assessed group presentations (for which informal feedback on structure, content, delivery is provided by the tutor).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:39:00


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