Fall 2023 - POL 381 D100

Japanese Politics (4)

Class Number: 3975

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Mon, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

    Oct 10, 2023: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Six lower division units in political science or permission of the department.



The political system of Japan, including an analysis of political culture, political institutions, political behavior and both formal and informal political processes. Emphasis will be placed on the pre-World War II political development of Japan. Students with credit for POL 381W may not take this course for further credit.


Course Details:

The course will first provide an overview of the political system of post-World War II Japan,* including an analysis of political culture, political institutions, political behavior, and both formal and informal political processes (for both domestic and foreign policies). 

We will then read and join classical debates in the study of Japanese politics.

*The academic calendar mistakenly indicates “pre-World War II Japan.”

Course Times:

3 hours per week.  Monday, 2:30pm-5:20pm


  • Participation (including discussion and presentation) 25%
  • Weekly journals on classical debates 10%
  • Mid-term exam on lectures 30%
  • Term paper on one classical debate 35%



Pekkanen, Robert J. and Saadia M. Pekkanen, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Politics. Oxford University Press, 2022.

This edited volume is available online at the SFU library, and has not been ordered for purchase at the SFU bookstore.  We will be reading selective (not all) chapters from this book.  Students can download them from the library site.

We will also use other reading materials, which will be accessible in Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.