US - Japan
Chronology from Oct 2002 to Dec 2002
: Rape suspect Maj. Michael Brown is taken into custody in Naha.
: Japanese abductees agree to make clear statement to Pyongyang that they are willingly staying in Japan to prompt the DPRK to send their families to Japan.
: New York Yankees reach preliminary agreement on a $21 million, three-year contract with former Yomiuri Giants slugger Matsui Hideki.
: Aegis-equipped Kirishima departs from Yokosuka to the Indian Ocean.
: FM Kawaguchi and Defense Agency chief Ishiba meet Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz (substituting for a sick Donald Rumsfeld) at the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee, the “2-+-2” meeting in Washington.
: Former captain of the USS Greeneville Scott Waddle visits Uwajima to apologize to Ehime Maru victims and their families.
: Defense Agency chief Ishiba hints at possible dispatch of Japanese troops to help Iraq’s reconstruction.
: Deputy Secretary of State Armitage meets Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda, FM Kawaguchi, and Defense Agency chief Ishiba to discuss Japan’s assistance in a U.S. war against Iraq.
: Finance Minister Shiokawa clarifies statement of five days earlier, stating that yen exchange value should be “evaluated on the basis of its purchasing-power parity.”
: Yomiuri reports that Japanese government is planning to provide economic and humanitarian assistance to Iraq after Saddam Hussein is overthrown.
: U.S. Embassy in Tokyo reveals that the U.S. government has refused to hand over Maj. Brown.
: Defense Agency chief Ishiba announces Japan’s dispatch of Aegis-equipped naval vessels to Indian Ocean in mid-December.
: Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and White House spokesman Fisher say “the U.S. government appreciates Japan’s Aegis-equipped vessel dispatch.”
: Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro calls on the U.S. military to take steps to crack down on crimes by servicemen.
: Okinawa police issue warrant for U.S. Marine Maj. Michael Brown for an alleged rape on Nov. 2.
: Japanese Finance Minister Shiokawa Masajuro says the yen is over evaluated and an exchange rate between 150 to 160 to the dollar “should be appropriate.”
: Japanese Deputy Cabinet Secretary Abe Shinzo is reported to have told Soga Hitomi, an abducted Japanese, that talks between Tokyo and Washington on the status of her husband Charles Jenkins are in the “delicate” stage. Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman urges the U.S. government to “consider special treatment” of Jenkins.
: Yomiuri and Nihon Keizai report that the Bush administration sent a formal request to the Japanese government to cooperate in the U.S.-led war on Iraq.
: The Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics announce their 2003 opening game will be held in Tokyo.
: Japanese Cabinet decides to extend Japan’s SDF logistical support for the U.S. war on Afghanistan until May 19, 2003.
: Two bombs explode near Camp Zama, Japan.
: KEDO decides to continue oil shipments for North Korea for this month, but announces the suspension of shipments from December unless North Korea stops its nuclear weapons program.
: Agriculture Ministry’s Fisheries Agency, the Foreign Ministry, and the Shimane and Tottori prefecture governments request that the U.S. Navy cancel scheduled drills, saying it might disturb crab fishing.
: U.S. and Japan hold bilateral exercises off Kyushu, Japan.
: Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) meets in Tokyo. U.S. Assistant Secretary Kelly, Asian and Oceania Affairs Bureau Director General Tanaka Hitoshi, and ROK Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lee Tae-shik discuss fuel oil shipments for North Korea.
: U.S. Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith meets Defense Agency head Ishiba and Vice Foreign Minister Takeuchi Yukio in Japan.
: Japan’s top baseball player Matsui Hideki announces that he will join the U.S. major leagues as a free agent.
: U.S. Army shows reluctance to accede to Japan’s request to pardon Sgt. Charles Jenkins, husband of abductee Soga Hitomi, who deserted from the U.S. Army in 1965.
: U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher notes Japan’s efforts to bring nuclear issues into normalization talks with North Korea.
: Yomiuri reports that Koizumi Cabinet support rate remains high at 65.9 percent and the disapproval rate is 23.9 percent.
: North Korea-Japan normalization talks resume in Kuala Lumpur.
: Nihon Keizai reports that about 200 people living near Futenma marine air station in Okinawa filed suit to stop night flights by helicopters, and demand ¥300 million in compensation.
: At APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico, President Bush, PM Koizumi, and ROK President Kim Dae-jung meet and issue a joint statement on North Korea policy.
: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage requests extension of Japanese Self-Defense Forces’ logistical support to U.S. war on Afghanistan in talks with Japanese Senior Vice Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu in Washington.
: Defense Agency chief Ishiba Shigeru says that he supports use of Aegis-equipped Maritime Self Defense Forces ships in the antiterror effort and a shift from “joint research” to “development” of missile defense during talks with Assistant Secretary Kelly.
: Kyodo News reports that U.S. Navy and families of Ehime Maru victims agree to $13 million compensation.
: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Kelly visits Japan on his return from North Korea. Kelly meets Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko and Cabinet Secretary Fukuda Yasuo.
: Tokyo Gov. Ishihara visits U.S. to discuss Yokota Air Base issues including possible commercial use and the return of the base.
: Nihon Keizei Shimbun reports Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro’s Cabinet has a 61 percent approval rating after the Sept. 31 reshuffle, while Koizumi’s disapproval rate dropped to 20 percent.