Political Science | U.S.--Japan Relations
Y200 | 4600 | Ishibashi


Why has the question of whether or not Japan should send its Self
Defense Forces to Iraq been so controversial among Japanese political
leaders as well as the public? Why has Japan been so reluctant to get
involved in international political-military affairs even after it
became the second largest economy in the world?

Why has the U.S. encouraged Japan to remilitarize while keeping
American military bases in Okinawa in order to act as “a cap of the
bottle” (that is to prevent the resurgence of Japanese militarism)?
Why does the U.S. still have to “defend” Japan even though it has
been suffering from trade deficit with Japan?

This course considers sources of such “schizophrenic” relations
between the U.S. and Japan since 1853.  Although this course deals
with U.S.-Japan relations, the focus will be on Japanese politics.

After going through a general history of relations between the two
countries before 1945, we will turn to a discussion of the Pacific
War and the issue of the dropping of the A-bombs.  Then, we will
study the American occupation of Japan and political controversies
originating from the occupation, such as the Peace Constitution
(Article 9), the SDF, the question of the emperor’s war guilt, 731
Unit, comfort women, etc.  Finally, we will consider recent security
and economic issues between the two countries.

Assignments will be: midterm & final exams, quizzes and a term
paper.

No background of Japanese history or politics is necessary for this
course.