Politics and Policy in Contemporary Japan

Photograph of the Japanese Diet Building.

The Japanese National Diet Building, which houses the legislature. (Public domain image.)


MIT Course Number

17.537 / 17.538

As Taught In

Spring 2009


Undergraduate / Graduate

Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This subject is designed for upper level undergraduates and graduate students as an introduction to politics and the policy process in modern Japan. The semester is divided into two parts. After a two-week general introduction to Japan and to the dominant approaches to the study of Japanese history, politics and society, we will begin exploring five aspects of Japanese politics: party politics, electoral politics, interest group politics, bureaucratic politics, and policy, which will be broken up into seven additional sections. We will try to understand the ways in which the actors and institutions identified in the first part of the semester affect the policy process across a variety of issues areas.

Other Versions

Related Content

Richard Samuels. 17.537 Politics and Policy in Contemporary Japan. Spring 2009. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.