Facets of the U.S.–Japan Relationship: Politics

The relationship today appears to be more durable than it ever has in the past. But as history has demonstrated, there always remains the possibility that the pendulum might swing again.

–Peter Duus

Working in groups, your class will research and learn about six different facets of modern U.S.–Japan relations and assess how they affect the overall relationship between the two countries. 

Your group’s topic is the role of politics in the U.S.–Japan relationship.

Conduct research into your topic, focusing on the research questions provided below. Then prepare and deliver a 5-minute presentation to the rest of the class.

Research Questions

Use the questions below to guide your research and structure your presentation.

  1. In recent decades, how have national politics (in both the United States and Japan) helped shape the U.S.–Japan relationship? (Possible areas of research: Japan’s economic dominance in the 1970s and 1980s; the reemergence of China in the 2000s; President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima in 2016; Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Pearl Harbor, Honolulu in 2016.)
     

  2. How are national politics in both countries currently impacting the U.S.–Japan relationship? (Possible areas of research: China’s continued rise; Japan’s diminished economic growth; U.S. policies on trade.)
     

  3. Professor Duus lists the following as key themes in the U.S.–Japan relationship: friendship and hostility, conflict and cooperation, admiration and criticism, interdependence and rivalry, war and peace. What themes are most relevant to your topic, and why?

Secretary of State John Kerry with Foreign Affairs Minister Fumio Kishida after their bilateral meeting in Washington, D.C., February 22, 2013.

Assessment

Your research and presentation will be graded using the following criteria:

 

  • clarity of presentation;
     

  • thoroughness and relevance of research to the research questions;
     

  • thoughtful analysis of the role your “facet” plays in the overall U.S.–Japan relationship; and
     

  • even distribution of researching and presenting responsibilities among group members.

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Next Up:

PRESENTATIONS: FACETS OF THE U.S.–JAPAN RELATIONSHIP

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Present your research and learn more about contemporary U.S.–Japan relations from your classmates.

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