Japan Studies

Japan Studies Program

Mount Fuji, Japan's highest and most prominent mountain, located on Honshu Island just west of Tokyo

Japan Studies Program

Kinkakuji "Golden Pavilion", Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site

Japan Studies Program

Ambassador Fujisaki and Japan Studies Professors speaking after March 2011 East Japan Earthquake

Japan is changing, both in security and economic affairs, after a generation of drift. The Japan Studies Program, with accomplished scholars, policy-experienced professionals and real-world work opportunities for students, is catching the wave. SAIS is one of the few International Relations graduat eprograms to offer a concentration focused specifically on Japan. The Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, closely affiliated to the program, supports these efforts by conducting policy-relavant research and providing links to Asian Studies in general. 

Japan Studies Program at SAIS gives students in-depth knowledge of many facets of Japan and familiarity with Japanese history, politics, society, and foreign policy relations. It designed to provide the students multi-disciplinary understanding of Japan through coursework, seminars and events at the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, working with the Reischauer Center Visiting Scholars, research opportunities including publishing, class trips, and internships. The curriculum helps prepare students for careers in business, government, journalism, research, and a variety of other professional fields.

Recent Photos & Video

Curriculum

 

Japan Studies | M.A. Academic Requirements

Japan Studies Program Learning Goals and Objectives

Entering Class 2014-2015

Students must take the equivalent of 16 non-language courses (64 credits) in order to graduate. Those students who are approved for dual degree or advanced standing may only need to take 12 or 14 courses as approved by Academic Affairs.

JAPAN STUDIES
Students concentrating in Japan Studies must take at least 4 courses within this program.
 
ASIAN STUDIES
Students also must fulfill the general requirements for the field of Asian Studies, that is, an additional 2 Asian Studies courses outside of Japan Studies.
 
Students in China Studies also have the option of pursuing a specialization in the International Relations of Asia (AsiaIR).

 

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS

Students must complete 4 courses within this program.
·         Microeconomics
·         Macroeconomics (prerequisite or concurrent Microeconomics)
·         International Trade Theory (prerequisite Microeconomics)
·         International Monetary Theory (prerequisite Macroeconomics)
 
Eligible students who pass the waiver exams in these subjects or who pass Micro and/or Macro in Pre-Term must replace those courses with alternate economics courses. Many students choose to pursue an International Economics Specialization in one of four areas of economics and therefore use electives to meet these requirements. Students may also choose to specialize in Emerging Markets.

 

QUANTITATIVE REASONING

Students must complete one course from the list below.
·         Statistical Methods for Business & Economics 
·         Econometrics (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
·         Applied Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
·         Macro Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
·         Risk Analysis and Modeling
·         Corporate Finance (prerequisite or concurrent Microeconomics)
·         Quantitative Methods in International Relations (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
 
Students may not double-count a Quantitative Reasoning requirement as one of the four required International Economics courses and vice-versa. Eligible students who pass the statistics waiver exam or pass the statistics course in Pre-Term are still required to take an alternate Quantitative Reasoning course from the list above.

 

CORE COURSES/EXAMS

All SAIS students must pass 2 core exams and/or courses. Japan Studies concentrators must pass Comparative National Systems as one of their core requirements prior to the start of their third semester. If the second core is not completed by the start of the final semester, a student must enroll in second core course.
·         American Foreign Policy Since World War II
·         Comparative National Systems
·         Evolution of the International Systems
·         Theories of International Relations

 

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

Japan Studies MA candidates must pass exams to demonstrate proficiency in Japanese. All non-native English speakers are required to pass an English placement exam upon entering SAIS. Native Japanese speakers must pass proficiency in a second language which can include English.

 

CAPSTONE

Japan Studies MA concentrators must complete ONE of the following capstones:
 
1.     Japan Studies Oral Exam. The exam provides students with the opportunity to cap their academic experience at SAIS through discourse with their professors that highlights the findings of their studies and research, particularly the US-Japan Yearbook project. Students will be expected to suggest policy implications for Japan, the US, and the world of the issues discussed. At least two Japan Studies professors will administer the exam. Discussion will focus initially on the specific findings of the student in the Yearbook Project and then branch into broader policy areas. The exam will be graded on a pass-fail basis. Makeup oral exams for students who fail must be scheduled within three weeks of the exam, with the students preparing a three-page paper addressing the areas or issues deemed insufficient by the examiners. Those who fail the makeup exam will not graduate in that term.
2.     MA Oral Exam (to compete for honors—if eligible)

 

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS BY ACADEMIC YEAR

Entering Class 2013-2014
Entering Class 2012-2013
Entering Class 2011-2012
Entering Class 2010-2011
Entering Class 2009-2010

Curriculum

 

Japan Studies | M.A. Academic Requirements

Japan Studies Program Learning Goals and Objectives

Entering Class 2014-2015

Students must take the equivalent of 16 non-language courses (64 credits) in order to graduate. Those students who are approved for dual degree or advanced standing may only need to take 12 or 14 courses as approved by Academic Affairs.

JAPAN STUDIES
Students concentrating in Japan Studies must take at least 4 courses within this program.
 
ASIAN STUDIES
Students also must fulfill the general requirements for the field of Asian Studies, that is, an additional 2 Asian Studies courses outside of Japan Studies.
 
Students in China Studies also have the option of pursuing a specialization in the International Relations of Asia (AsiaIR).

 

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS

Students must complete 4 courses within this program.
·         Microeconomics
·         Macroeconomics (prerequisite or concurrent Microeconomics)
·         International Trade Theory (prerequisite Microeconomics)
·         International Monetary Theory (prerequisite Macroeconomics)
 
Eligible students who pass the waiver exams in these subjects or who pass Micro and/or Macro in Pre-Term must replace those courses with alternate economics courses. Many students choose to pursue an International Economics Specialization in one of four areas of economics and therefore use electives to meet these requirements. Students may also choose to specialize in Emerging Markets.

 

QUANTITATIVE REASONING

Students must complete one course from the list below.
·         Statistical Methods for Business & Economics 
·         Econometrics (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
·         Applied Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
·         Macro Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
·         Risk Analysis and Modeling
·         Corporate Finance (prerequisite or concurrent Microeconomics)
·         Quantitative Methods in International Relations (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
 
Students may not double-count a Quantitative Reasoning requirement as one of the four required International Economics courses and vice-versa. Eligible students who pass the statistics waiver exam or pass the statistics course in Pre-Term are still required to take an alternate Quantitative Reasoning course from the list above.

 

CORE COURSES/EXAMS

All SAIS students must pass 2 core exams and/or courses. Japan Studies concentrators must pass Comparative National Systems as one of their core requirements prior to the start of their third semester. If the second core is not completed by the start of the final semester, a student must enroll in second core course.
·         American Foreign Policy Since World War II
·         Comparative National Systems
·         Evolution of the International Systems
·         Theories of International Relations

 

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

Japan Studies MA candidates must pass exams to demonstrate proficiency in Japanese. All non-native English speakers are required to pass an English placement exam upon entering SAIS. Native Japanese speakers must pass proficiency in a second language which can include English.

 

CAPSTONE

Japan Studies MA concentrators must complete ONE of the following capstones:
 
1.     Japan Studies Oral Exam. The exam provides students with the opportunity to cap their academic experience at SAIS through discourse with their professors that highlights the findings of their studies and research, particularly the US-Japan Yearbook project. Students will be expected to suggest policy implications for Japan, the US, and the world of the issues discussed. At least two Japan Studies professors will administer the exam. Discussion will focus initially on the specific findings of the student in the Yearbook Project and then branch into broader policy areas. The exam will be graded on a pass-fail basis. Makeup oral exams for students who fail must be scheduled within three weeks of the exam, with the students preparing a three-page paper addressing the areas or issues deemed insufficient by the examiners. Those who fail the makeup exam will not graduate in that term.
2.     MA Oral Exam (to compete for honors—if eligible)

 

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS BY ACADEMIC YEAR

Entering Class 2013-2014
Entering Class 2012-2013
Entering Class 2011-2012
Entering Class 2010-2011
Entering Class 2009-2010

Waiver Exams

Faculty

  • A

  • Kuniko
    Ashizawa
    Professorial Lecturer
  • B

  • William
    L
    Brooks
    Adjunct Professor, Senior Advisor for Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies
  • C

  • Kent
    E.
    Calder
    Ph.D.
    Director of Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, Director and Professor of Japan Studies, Acting Director of Korean Studies
    Washington, D.C.
  • D

  • Rust
    M
    Deming
    Adjunct Professor, Senior Adviser of Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies

Featured Courses

Japan Studies at SAIS offers wide range of courses in many topics including but not limited to: political system, economy, US-Japan alliance and other foreign relations, energy policies,  comparative politics, international development, and history, helping students develop diverse knowledge about Japan. 
 

  1. Asian Energy Security

    This course considers both the collective and the individual energy...

  2. Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy

    Japan appears to be at another one of the major...

  3. U.S-Japan Relations in Global Context

    This course, designed for second-year MA candidates, reviews the history...

  4. The Japanese-Korean Political Economies in Global Perspective

    This course examines the organization and functioning of Asia’s two...

  5. Japan and International Development

    Over the past three decades, Japan has been a leading...

  6. Asia in Washington, D.C

    Examines major Asian nations’ approaches to gathering information and influencing...

  7. Northeast Asia and the Islamic World

    This course examines the age-old relationship between Northeast Asia, on...

  8. Introduction to the Japanese Economy

    The Japanese economy, the worlds third largest, has been shaped...

Program Activities

 

Research Opportunities

The Japan Studies Program offers students the opportunity to work with experienced scholars and practitioners in small-group settings. One highlight traditionally has been for students to undertake travel-study and publish their findings in a U.S.-Japan Relations Yearbook, which has a quarter-century tradition and is unique in its field. The volume is circulated, in both English and Japanese, to various institutions including the U.S. Congress, the Japanese Diet, as well as think tanks, universities and experts in both countries.

 

The Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at SAIS

The Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at SAIS supports the research and study of transpacific and intra-Asian relations to advance mutual understanding between Northeast Asia and the United States. Among the Reischauer Center's diverse activities are the following: Northeast Asia Political Economy Seminar U.S.-Japan Relations Yearbook Visiting scholar programs U.S.-Japan policy dialogue International conferences Reischauer Memorial Lectures Student summer internships in Japan Student scholarships Asia-Pacific Policy Papers Series Tokyo-Reischauer Group (online transpacific discussion on U.S.-Japan relations) Learn more about the Reischauer Center.

 

Co-curricular Activities

Japan Studies offers field trips every fall and spring term. Destinations include U.S.-Japan related government such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, business and mass media offices in Washington, D.C., and meetings with distinguished alumni.

 

Internships

Japan Studies students have the opportunity to travel to Japan under the auspices of the Reischauer Center Summer Internship Program. Since sending its first intern in 1984, the Center has sent over 100 students to Japan to work in Japanese and American organizations for 10 weeks during the summer. The program allows the interns to cultivate their language proficiency, develop working skills pertinent to their future careers and enhance their cultural understanding.

Students who have sufficient Japanese language skills, a desire to be immersed in a Japanese work environment, and acceptable grades are encouraged to apply for a summer internship.

Successful applicants are given roundtrip tickets to and from Japan, housing, and, in many cases, stipends to defray local expenses. The Center makes all housing arrangements.

Examples of where the students have interned in the past:

Communications/newspapers:

  • Kyodo News
  • Mainichi Shimbun

Corporations and financial institutions:

  • American Chamber of Commerce
  • ING Barings
  • Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
  • Toyota
  • Daiwa Securities

Research organizations:

  • Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)
  • The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ)
  • Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER)
  • Mitsubishi Research Institute
  • Mitsui Global Strategic Studies Institute (MGSSI)
  • Nomura Research

Government-related institutions:

  • U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
  • Diet Members


    Xuan Wang ('14), Interned at Daiwa Securities in summer 2013
 

Fellowship

Japan Studies provides at least some fellowship support to all its students.

 

SAIS Japan Club

SAIS Japan Club, a student organization run by Japan Studies students, Japanese students of SAIS, other SAIS students with interest in Japan, and Reischauer Center Visiting Sholars, aims at helping students to learn about Japanese language and culture. 

The club holds weekly language table, and other cultural events such as happy hour at Japanese restaurants, cherry blossom picnic, participation in international dinner, movie nights, and karaoke with Georgetown University Japan Club. 

 

Program Activities: Washington, D.C.

Program Activities: Europe

Program Activities: Nanjing

Events

SAIS Japan Studies, in collaboration with Reischauer Center, holds weekly public seminars as well as luncheons which the students are invited to. The presentation are given by Japan Studies Professors, Reischauer Center Visiting Scholars, and outside guests (State Department representatives, current and former Ambassadors, University Professors, Researchers from thinktanks, etc) covering diverse topics related to Japan as well as other Asian Countries. 



2014

  1. Mongolia's Growing Integration into Northeast Asia 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Dec4

    Tsedendamba Batbayar, director-general of the Department of Policy Planning and Policy Analysis for the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economic Cooperation, will discuss Mongolia's future continued integration into Northeast Asia. Note: This event is off the record.

  2. Asian Diasporas and Economic Development Program 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM Nov20

    Min Ye, director of the East Asian Studies Program and assistant professor of International Relations at Boston University's Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, will discuss how diaspora networks influenced liberalization of foreign direct investment in China and India and how differences in the two diaspora bodies account for the divergence in FDI between the two countries and across industrial sectors within each country.

  3. Gender, Marriage, and Migration in Japan and Korea 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Nov6

    Erin Chung, Cherles D. Miller Associate Professor of East Asian Politics and director of the Program in East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins University, will discuss how marriage migration and the subsequent emergence of so-called multicultural families have disrupted existing understandings of nationhood, citizenship, and ethnicity in Korea and Japan.

  4. Prospects for Abenomics and Global Implications 10:15 AM - 11:45 AM Nov6

    Paul Sheard, executive managing director, chief global economist, and head of global economics and research for Standard & Poor's, and Kanji Yamanouchi, minister for economic affairs at the Embassy of Japan, will discuss the affects of Abenomics, its implementation domestically in Japan and globally, and the affects of TPP and what the future holds for Abenomics. Note: This event is off the record.

  5. Party Politics and Policy Change in Japan 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM Mar10

    Chihiro Okawa, assistant professor of political science in the Faculty of Law at Kanagawa University, will discuss this topic. Note: This event is off the record.

2013

  1. An Emerging Urban Global Geopolitics: Will Global Cities Matter More Than Their Countries? 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM May2

    Saskia Sassen, professor of sociology at Columbia University, will discuss this topic. 

  2. The Liao-Takasaki Agreement: High Point of Sino-Japanese Cooperation? 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Apr25

    Mayumi Itoh, professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, will discuss this topic. 

  3. Okinawa: The Defiant Island 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Apr23

    Gavan McCormack, emeritus professor at the Australian National University’s Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, will discuss this topic. 

  4. From Abenomics to the Senkakus: A Report From Tokyo 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Apr11

    Richard Katz, editor of The Oriental Economist Report, will discuss this topic. 

  5. Changing the Security Environment in Asia and the Pacific: Perspectives of International Law 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Apr4

    Shinya Murase, professor of law at Sophia University in Japan and member of the United Nations International Law Commission, will discussion this topic. Note: The speaker’s comments will be off the record.

Research

  1. ONGOING

    Student Research: Yearbook

    The United States and Japan in Global Context

    SAIS Japan Studies, together with the Reischauer Center, annually coordinates and supports the publication of a yearbook focusing on U.S.-Japan relations. The focus of the book is on the past year’s developments in U.S.-Japan economic, security, financial, and cultural relations. The book is circulated, in both English and Japanese, throughout the world, as it has been for over 25 years. This is the longest continuously published survey of U.S.-Japan relations available anywhere in the world.

    Both authors and editors are graduate students at SAIS, primarily in the Japan Studies Program working in cooperation with knowledgeable bilingual faculty. The students research and interview experts in the field of U.S.-Japan relations, after completing a rigorous academic introduction to their subject. After a rigorous review process, the papers eventually become individual chapters of the yearbook. In addition to receiving academic credit for their contribution to the publication, the goal of the students is to help bring increased mutual understanding to contemporary U.S.-Japan relations, and to provide a framework for the maintenance of a constructive U.S.-Japan relationship.

  2. ONGOING

    Faculty/Scholar Research

    SAIS Japan Studies faculties, together with the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies scholars and Research fellows, conduct research on a range of topics impacting the future direction of U.S.-Japan bilateral relations by focusing on the status quo and the lack of various essential policy dialogues between the two countries. The Center actively advocates and contributes to solutions for both private and public issues via our activities. For more details of the Reischauer Center’s research focus on specific topics, you can browse each topic below:
     

Our Alumni

 

Japan Studies alumni have pursued their careers in various organizations and sectors including:

  • US State Department
  • US Department of Energy
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Federal Reserve Bank 
  • Goldman Sachs
  • JP Morgan 
  • Newedge, a global multi-asset brokerage
  • NHK, Japan's national public broadcasting organization
  • Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies

... and many more.

External Resources

Contact Us

Kent E. Calder
Director of the Japan Studies Program, Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies

kcalder@jhu.edu
Rome 639

Rome 638

Mao Hori
Program Coordinator, Japan Studies Program and Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies

reischauer@jhu.edu
202-663-5812
Rome 637

Address & Phone

Japan Studies
Rome Building
1619 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C.
20036
  • 202-663-5812