Japan’s Foreign Policy

Autumn 2021


Japan’s Foreign Policy (3-5 ECTS)

Level: Master’s level

Language: English

Time: October 4th – December 12th 2021

Organizer: University of Turku, Centre for East Asian Studies

Instructor: Kamila Szczepanska

Goals: During this course participants will gain understanding of the major directions in Japan’s foreign policy and what are its distinguishing characteristics today. The students will be able to assess the significance of particular political, social and economic determinants that influenced the trajectories along which Japanese foreign policy have evolved since the post-war period. Furthermore, the students will acquire critical understanding of selected Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) theories, including their analytical focus and methodological gaps. Subsequently, they will be able to apply these theories to the case of Japan and evaluate their ability to explain the realities of Japanese foreign policy.

By the end of the course the students will develop further transferable skills to critically identify, select and examine sources for the purpose of evaluating their merit and relevance. The students will also improve their ability to effectively communicate the results of their research and analyses in written form.

Contents: Japan’s experience of defeat in the Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945) and its subsequent post-war “economic miracle” both constituted decisive determinants of the country’s engagement with the outside world and its policies on international arena. Since the early 1990s Japanese policy-makers have undertaken efforts to “normalise” the country’s foreign and security policies in response to multiple challenges brought by the end of the Cold War and globalisation. Recently, the rise of China and the decline of US power have posed a number of challenges to the country’s international position, prompting Japan to further reassess its foreign policy directions.

This course explores the main features and transformations of Japanese foreign policy since 1945, illuminates domestic and international sources of Japan’s foreign and security policies, and examines efforts to boost the country’s role in international affairs precipitated by the major shifts in Japan’s international environment.

Taken as:

3 ECTS: Online lectures, course readings and online materials; Learning diaries; Group discussions

2 ECTS: Students who take the 3 ECTS course can also write an optional 2 ECTS essay between December 13 2021 – January 9 2022.

Application period: Application for autumn term is in August 23 – September 14 2021.

Go to application instructions by clicking here. This course has a maximum intake of 40 students. Students are selected in the order of application. The places are divided evenly between the member universities of the Network. Please check that your university is a member of the Asia Network in 2021.

Once your application has been processed and accepted, you will receive a confirmation message about the acceptance. This will come a few weeks after the application period has ended. If you are accepted to the course, you will receive a welcoming email on the first day of the course, and gain access to the course site in the Moodle. The welcome email comes to the address you have given in the application form. It may go to the spam or offers-folder of your email, so check those folders too.