Spring Semester, 2016
国際政治特殊講義 Modern Japanese Diplomacy (現代日本外交)
Professor Dr. Masahiro Kohara
T.A. Mr. Yuichi Kato
Theme - “National Interest” and Critical Thinking
What is National Interest which we have to defend? How can it be realized?
While the United States is shaky in its hegemony in the world, the rising
powers and terrorists are becoming rampant.
The liberal international order in the post-Cold War period is hurt by
the alteration of the status quo due to violence and a refugee crisis caused
by the failure of nation states.
Globalization and a technology revolution with an ever evolving social
media produce new values and affluence, while, on the other hand, they
multiply risks and threats in the world. Climate change and infectious
diseases are raging and threaten the survival of nation states and humanity.
Today, national interest, such as the security and prosperity of a nation
and people, faces these various threats.
How does Japan tackle them? What can Japan do to maintain the peace and
prosperity of the world? What can Japan do to defend free and open international
Japan is deeply connected to all these issues and therefore is inextricably
involved in them.
With an awareness of the above mentioned issues, this course’s lectures
provide a framework centered on Japan’s National Interest and how Japanese
diplomacy can help maintain the peace and prosperity of the world.
The first step is to clarify and understand the concept of national interest
based upon a historical and academic study as well as to identify the concrete
National Interests of some major countries such as Japan, the US and China.
Participants will read relevant documents and listen to pertinent lectures.
The second step is to study various basic factors, such as power and values,
which help to set and realize National Interest. After this, participants
will study concrete issues such as political, security and economic matters
and discuss them so they can then consider and argue necessary problems
to be resolved.
Finally, we will discuss appropriate strategy and policy for the resolution
of the identified problems.
National Interest is a theme which each and every student must consider
seriously because we live in a democratic country, and it is increasingly
important in our dramatically changing world. Before the class starts,
participants will read a short document and identify its main points in
order to obtain an awareness of the problems that will be addressed in
the class. Participating students will need to show their power to critically
question: e.g., Why? and Is that so? and How can we do that? If this, then
This questioning will enhance their powers of questioning critically and
creatively. In this way, two-way interactive study platform of employing
questions and debate will be created.
April 8 Introduction - Syllabus and "Critical Thinking”
15 The World Order extracted from the debate in the American Presidential
22 What is National Interest?
May 6 Historical Review on National Interest
13 How to realize National Interest
( School is off in the afternoon due to the University Festival. )
16 How to realize National Interest
20 U.S. Power and World Order
27 No Class - I will participate the Shanghai Forum
June 3 Power Balance Shift by "The Great Revival" of Chinese Nation
10 Power Balance Shift by "The Great Revival" of Chinese Nation
17 National Interest and World Interest
24 National Interest and Diplomacy of Japan
July 1 National Interest and Diplomacy of Japan
8 Japan's Strategy for the future
15 The deadline for the final Term Report for the graduate students
22 The Term Examination for the undergraduate students