US - Japan
Chronology from Sep 2014 to Dec 2014
: Japan’s ruling coalition approves a 2.51 percent decrease in corporate tax rate to 32.1 percent beginning in JFY 2015, and an additional 0.8 percent decrease the following year.
: The United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea sign an intelligence sharing agreement regarding North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
: The Abe government unveils an economic stimulus package ¥3.5 trillion ($29 billion) stimulus package to support local economies.
: Prime Minister Abe’s third Cabinet is officially inaugurated with only one new appointment, that of Nakatani Gen as minister of defense.
: Public approval rating of the Abe Cabinet stands at 53 percent according to a public opinion poll by Kyodo News.
: A joint survey by Yomiuri Shimbun and Gallup finds 49 percent of Japanese and 45 percent of Americans consider US-Japan relations in good condition.
: President Obama signs the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act including partial funding for the transfer of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam.
: US-Japan Security Consultative Committee (SCC) issues a joint statement announcing an extension of discussions on revising guidelines for bilateral defense cooperation with the aim of revising the guidelines in the first half of 2015.
: President Obama calls Prime Minister Abe to congratulate him on the LDP’s election victory.
: When asked to choose among possible reasons for the LDP’s convincing victory in the Lower House election, 7 percent of respondents to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey choose support for Abe’s economic policies. Most popular, at 65 percent, is the relative attractiveness of the LDP compared to other parties.
: The ruling LDP and Komeito prevail in the Lower House election, securing a two-thirds majority in the chamber.
: The White House issues a statement congratulating Prime Minister Abe on the LDP’ success in the Lower House election.
: Japanese government revises its estimate for third quarter real GDP growth downward from -1.6 to -1.9 percent on an annualized basis.
: Sung Kim, US special representative for North Korea policy and deputy assistant secretary of state for Japan and Korea, meets senior officials in Tokyo to discuss North Korea and U.S.-Japan alliance issues.
: President Obama discusses TPP and Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in an address to the Business Roundtable in Washington.
: Nikkei Shimbun poll posts a 44 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet; 51 percent support Abe’s decision to postpone the consumption tax increase, but 51 percent do not support economic policies known as “Abenomics.” When asked which party they would support in the upcoming Lower House election, the ruling LDP garners 35 percent support, followed by the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) with 9 percent, and 45 percent undecided. Surveys by Yomiuri, Asahi, and Sankei indicate similar levels of support for the LDP.
: Prime Minister Abe calls for a snap election and announces a plan to dissolve the Lower House of the Diet on Nov. 21. Abe also postpones a planned increase in the consumption tax from October 2015 to April 2017 due to weak economic numbers.
: Cabinet Office of Japan announces that GDP decreased at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in the third quarter.
: President Obama, Prime Minister Abe, and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott conduct a trilateral leaders’ meeting on the margins of the G-20 Summit in Brisbane.
: Onaga Takeshi, an opponent of the plan to relocate Marine Corps Air Station Futenma within Okinawa Prefecture, defeats incumbent Nakaima Hirokazu in the Okinawa gubernatorial election.
: Leaders of the parties to TPP meet on the margins of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Beijing to assess progress in the multilateral trade negotiations.
: Robert King, US special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, meets Japanese officials in Tokyo to discuss a range of human rights and humanitarian issues.
: NHK poll shows 44 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.
: Japanese government provides up to $100 million of additional support to counter the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, supplementing a previous pledge of $40 million made at the UN General Assembly in September.
: Ministry of Foreign Affairs releases poll on the image of Japan in the US indicating Japan is considered the most important partner for the US in Asia. Seventy-three percent of US public and 90 percent of opinion leaders perceive Japan as a dependable partner.
: Republican Party wins a majority in the Senate and retains control of the House of Representatives in the US midterm elections.
: US Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks Sydney Seiler visits Tokyo to meet Japanese officials to discuss North Korea policy.
: Bank of Japan unexpectedly announces a package of monetary stimulus spending including an acceleration of government bond purchases at an annual pace of ¥80 trillion and a tripling of exchange-traded fund (ETF) and real estate investment trust (REIT) purchases.
: Ministers and heads of delegation for the TPP countries meet in Sydney, Australia to take stock of the multilateral trade negotiations.
: Officials from the US, Australia and Japan participate in the trilateral US-Australia-Japan Security and Defense Cooperation Forum (SDCF), which promotes cooperation in areas such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping support, and maritime capacity building.
: Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Obuchi Yuko and Justice Minister Matsushima Midori resign from the Abe Cabinet due to alleged misuse of political funds and violation of the election law, respectively.
: US and Japanese governments issue a joint statement announcing progress toward an Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Stewardship Relating to the United States Armed Forces in Japan.
: US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker leads 20 US firms on a trade and business development mission to Japan.
: President Obama and Prime Minister Abe discuss the importance of bilateral and international cooperation on Ebola in a telephone call.
: Acting Deputy USTR Wendy Cutler meets Japanese counterparts in Tokyo to discuss bilateral trade negotiations linked to TPP.
: Following a meeting of the US-Japan Subcommittee for Defense Cooperation (SDC) in Tokyo, the two governments issue an interim report on the revision of the bilateral guidelines for defense cooperation.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies visits Tokyo to meet senior Japanese government officials.
: President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet in Washington and issue a joint statement referencing the importance of US-Japan-India ties.
: Prime Minister Abe addresses the UN General Assembly in New York.
: United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Michael Froman and Japanese Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira meet in Washington to discuss bilateral trade negotiations linked to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
: Japan imposes additional sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.
: Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio meet in New York on the margins of a G-7 foreign ministers’ meeting to discuss US-led airstrikes in Syria and other issues.
: The US and Japan hold the sixth director general-level meeting of the US-Japan Policy Cooperation Dialogue on the Internet Economy in Washington.
: A Jiji Press survey finds only 20 percent of the Japanese public supports a planned increase in the consumption tax from 8 to 10 percent in October 2015.
: US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell visits Tokyo to attend the World Assembly for Women Symposium and meet Japanese government officials and private sector leaders.
: Japan’s Cabinet Office reports GDP fell at an annualized rate of 7.1 percent in the period April-June 2014 compared to a previous estimate of 6.8 percent.
: Japanese newspapers publish public opinion surveys on the Abe Cabinet with Yomiuri Shimbun posting a 64 percent approval rating, Nikkei 60 percent, Kyodo News 55 percent and Mainichi Shimbun 47 percent.
: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo reshuffles his Cabinet, appointing a record-tying five women to Cabinet posts.
: President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo agree in a telephone conversation to work closely to improve the situation in Syria.