Japan - Korea
Chronology from Jan 2015 to May 2015
: Prime Minister Abe gives a speech at a joint meeting of the House and the Senate at the US Congress, with his wife Abe Akie and US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy in the House gallery.
: Hankyoreh reports the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan and the Japanese National Movement for Resolving the Issue of the Military Comfort Women asked the Japanese government to acknowledge the truth and make reparations to comfort women/sex slaves, without having to admit legal responsibility.
: The Wall Street Journal reports that the South Korean government has hired a public relations firm in Washington to make sure that South Korea’s side of the story is being told ahead of Japanese PM Abe’s speech to the US Congress.
: A group of South Koreans who were forced into labor during World War II files a class-action lawsuit with the Seoul Central District Court against Japanese firms for unpaid wages and damages for hard labor.
: US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear, ROK Deputy Minister for Defense Policy Yoo Jeh-seung, and Japanese Vice Minister of Defense for International Affairs Tokuchi Hideshi lead their respective delegations in trilateral security talks in Washington.
: Foreign-affairs and defense officials from Japan and South Korea meet in Seoul for bilateral talks, the first of its kind since 2009.
: Japan releases its Diplomatic Blue Book, prompting South Korea to summon Kanasugi Kenji, a minister at the Japanese Embassy, over Japan’s claims to Dokdo/Takeshima and the framing of comfort women/sex slaves.
: Seoul summons Japanese Ambassador Bessho Koro to protest the outcome of the review of middle-school textbooks by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
: Asahi Shimbun reports that Japan held unofficial talks with North Korea in Dalian, China on Feb. 28 and March 1, 2015 to discuss the Japanese abductee issue.
: A letter submitted by Alexis Dudden (University of Connecticut) and signed by 19 other academics is published in the March issue of Perspectives on History. The letter responds to the efforts by Japan to sway McGraw-Hill in revising one of their textbooks.
: A group of leaders from Japan and South Korea hold their inaugural meeting in Tokyo, to discuss ways to improve bilateral relations.
: Japan’s Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio meets South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se in Seoul, marking the first visit by Kishida since assuming his post in December 2012.
: The foreign ministers of China, Japan, and South Korea meet in Seoul, marking the first trilateral meeting in three years.
: As a continuation of developments concerning McGraw-Hill, a group of 19 Japanese historians and scholars headed by Hata Ikuhiko announces plans to file a protest with the US publisher over the 2011 textbook, claiming that the book contains factual errors on the issue of the comfort women/sex slaves.
: Citing a new report released by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), Yonhap News highlights the third consecutive decline in bilateral trade between South Korea and Japan, which came to $85.95 billion in 2014, down 9.2 percent from the year before.
: Seventh round of talks between Korea’s Lee Sang-deok and Japan’s Ihara Junichi on comfort women/sex slaves, takes place in Seoul.
: Yonhap News reports that South Korea demanded the US include a reference to Dokdo on a map on its consular affairs bureau website, citing that the islets are clearly marked on a similar map for Japan.
: Korean Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs announce that Hosaka Yuji, naturalized Korean scholar of Japanese descent and current head of the Dokdo Research Institute at Sejong University, has been appointed one of five nonstanding executives of the Independence Hall of Korea.
: Reuters reports the Japanese government budgeted over $15 million to fund Japan studies at nine universities abroad, including Georgetown University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
: The 10th Trilateral Senior Foreign Affairs Officials Consultation is held in Seoul, chaired by Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Lee Kyung-soo. Japan’s delegation is led by Deputy Minister Sugiyama Shinsuke and China’s is led by Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin.
: At the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women in New York, South Korea’s Gender Equality and Family Minister Kim Hee-jung urges Japan to deal with the issue regarding the comfort women/sex slaves.
: North Korea fires two short-range missiles off its eastern coast, drawing a protest from Japan.
: In her Independence Movement Day address, President Park calls on Japan to atone for its actions during its colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula.
: Protests are held in South Korea aimed at the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and her remarks at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that were interpreted as saying that the US was “siding” with Japan and its view of history.
: Seoul denounces Tokyo for sending an official representative to commemorate Takeshima Day, which was first designated by Shimane Prefecture in 2005.
: Japan and South Korea agree to let their $10 billion currency swap deal expire. The 14-year-old currency swap arrangement expires on Feb. 23, as scheduled.
: During a meeting with Nikai Toshihiro, a top executive in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), President Park Geun-hye urges Japan to resolve the issue regarding comfort women/sex slaves.
: Seoul’s Mayor Park Won-soon and Tokyo’s Gov. Masuzoe Yoichi sign an agreement at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government office to boost bilateral exchanges.
: Ulleung County chief Choi Su-il signs a memorandum of understanding with Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) to set up a radio transmitter for KBS FM on Dokdo.
: Seoul summons the military attaché at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to lodge a protest against Japan’s claims to Dokdo/Takeshima in its Korean-language version of Japan’s Defense White Paper.
: Sixth round of talks on comfort women/sex slaves between Japan and South Korea take place in Tokyo.
: Members of the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians’ Union, including Seo Cheong-won, a senior council member of the Saenuri Party, visit Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.
: Wall Street Journal reports that McGraw-Hill rejected requests by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) through its New York Consulate General in November 2014 to revise the text regarding “comfort women” in a book titled Traditions & Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past.
: Asahi Shimbun reports that Tokyo-based publisher Suken Shuppan applied to Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, to have the terms “comfort women” and “forcibly taken away” removed from its high school textbooks, a request that was approved by the ministry in December 2014.
: Japan Times reports that Uemura Takashi, a former Asahi Shimbun reporter and currently an adjunct lecturer at Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo, has filed a libel suit against Bungeishunju Ltd. and Nishioka Tsutomu, a professor at Tokyo Christian University, for erroneously claiming that Uemura had fabricated stories about comfort women/sex slaves.
: Korea Times reports that Seo Kyoung-duk, well-known in Korea for his activities regarding Dokdo/Takeshima, announced plans for a golf tournament on the disputed territory.