Japan - China

Chronology from Apr 2002 to Jul 2002

: Mystery ship salvage operations begin.

: Salvage ship Shinyo Maru leaves Kagoshima for salvage site.

: Japanese Embassy officials in Seoul interview Shenyang asylum-seekers.

: Koizumi government gives final go-ahead for raising mystery ship.

: Working-level consultations in Beijing reported to reach agreement on terms and conditions of raising mystery ship.

: Foreign Ministers Kawaguchi and Tang meet in Thailand to discuss Shenyang incident and finalize agreement on raising mystery ship.

: Japanese and Chinese officials meet in Beijing to discuss China’s imposition of safeguards on imported steel.

:   China’s Vice Premier Wen Jiabao meets with visiting New Conservative Party leader Noda Takeshi. Wen tells Noda that the mystery ship issue would be resolved from the broader perspective of China-Japan relations.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda Yasuo takes up theoretical possibility of Japan possessing nuclear weapons under the existing constitution. Koizumi, in Seoul for the opening of the World Cup, makes clear that his government has no intention of revising Japan’s three nonnuclear principles.  That evening Fukuda issues a similar statement.

: China announces increase of tariff on imported steel, setting off protests among Japanese steelmakers.

: Japanese Coast Guard announces intent to begin mystery ship salvage operation in June.

: On the afternoon of May 8, North Korean asylum-seekers attempting to enter Japan’s consulate in Shenyang, are forcibly taken from consulate grounds by Chinese police setting off a two-week diplomatic stand-off.  North Koreans leave China for Manila and ultimately Seoul May 22.

: President Jiang Zemin tells visiting New Komeito delegation, led by Kanzaki Takenori, that Koizumi’s Yasukuni visit is “absolutely unacceptable.”

May 1, 2002: Undersea divers begin survey of mystery ship.
: Zeng Qinghong, director of the Chinese Communist Party’s Organization Department and confidant of Jiang Zemin, arrives in Oita Prefecture accompanied by Provincial Party Secretaries Li Jiangquo and Meng Jianzhu.

: Koizumi visits Yasukuni Shrine, again raising history-related issues. China cancels April 27-30 visit of JDA head Nakatani Gen and scheduled May port call in Tokyo by PLA Navy.

: Working-level consultations in Beijing over raising of mystery ship.

: Koga Makoto, chairman of the Association of Bereaved Families, meets in Beijing with China’s Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan to discuss issues related to the Yasukuni Shrine.

: Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro travels to China to address Boao Asia Forum on Hainan Island and meets with Premier Zhu Rongji.

: Liberal Party leader Ozawa Ichiro, speaking in Fukuoka, warns Beijing that China could drive Japan to possess nuclear weapons.

: Li Peng, chairman of China’s National People’s Congress, visits Japan.

Date Range