Japan - China

Chronology from Apr 2006 to Jul 2006

: Aso tells NHK broadcast audience that, without political pressure, Yasukuni authorities should reconsider the religious nature of the corporation;  calls for government to consider propriety of separating Class-A war criminals from those enshrined at Yasukuni.

: China-Japan mark 60th anniversary of Japanese repatriation from China; ceremonies held in Huludao, Liaoning province (formerly Japanese occupied Manchuria) and attended by former Foreign Minister Tang and former Ambassador to Japan Wu.

: Fukuda in speech delivered in Jakarta to the Indonesia-Japan-Friendship Association focuses on Asia policy; proposes Economic Partnership among Asian countries; stresses need for Japan, China and South Korea to cooperate in bringing about regional economic integration; again calls for Koizumi to stop visiting Yasukuni.

: Yomiuri Shimbun releases results of June 17-18 public opinion survey.

: Japan’s Supreme Court upholds Osaka High Court ruling dismissing claims for damages resulting from Koizumi’s visits to Yasukuni; avoids ruling on constitutionality of prime minister’s visits; Koizumi’s finds ruling “appropriate.”

: Nihon Keizai Shimbun public opinion poll reveals 37 percent of respondents against Aug. 15 visit to Yasukuni by Koizumi; 32 percent support visit but not on Aug. 15; 17 percent supporting visit on Aug. 15.

: Association to Consider a Secular War Memorial, chaired by Yamasaki Taku, issues report calling for inclusion of funds in coming fiscal year budget to study establishment of secular war memorial dedicated to those who died in war.

: President Hu expresses interest in visiting Japan under proper conditions to Japanese ambassador.

: China notifies Japan of discovery of chemical weapons in Heilongjiang province and asks for fact-finding team; June 14, Abe announces plan to send team to China to ascertain if the weapons had been abandoned by the Imperial Army.

: Council for Overseas Economic Cooperation approves lifting of freeze on yen loans to China; approves loan package of  ¥74 billion.

: Japanese and Chinese consular authorities meet in Tokyo; Japan renews protest of May 2004 suicide of Japanese consular official in Shanghai; Chinese officials deny government involvement.

: Aso says relations with China are returning to normalcy.

: War Bereaved Association deadlocks on Koga’s proposal; restates current policy that the issue must be decided by Yasukuni authorities, not politics.

: Former PM Mori urges next prime minister not to pay homage at Yasukuni in order to improve Japan-China relations.

: China and South Korea opt out of Japan Coast Guard sponsored six-nation exercise aimed at practicing pursuit of ships suspected of illegal activities.

: Foreign Ministers Aso and Li meet in Qatar.

: Japanese-Chinese delegations meet in Beijing to discuss East China Sea issues; fail to make progress; but agree to meet again.

: Former LDP Secretary General and head of War Bereaved Association Koga proposes separation of Class-A war criminals from war dead at Yasukuni.

: Advisor to Democratic Party of Japan Hata Tsutomu meets with PRC State Councilor Tang; Tang invites Ozawa to visit China.

: Abe says that decision on separation must be made by shrine authorities, not government.

: China’s ambassador to Japan Wang in speech in Tokyo calls for improving Japan-China relations; expresses hope that foreign ministers will soon meet.

: Keizai Doyukai calls for separation of Class-A war criminals from war dead at Yasukuni.

: Fifth Japan-China Vice Ministers’ Comprehensive Policy Dialogue takes place in Beijing.

: Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda calls for a new policy toward Asia; expresses negative view of Koizumi’s visits to Yasukuni.

: Komeito party leader Kanzaki calls for stabilizing relations with China.

: METI Minister Nikai meets with China’s Vice President Zheng in Boao China; both agree on peaceful resolution of East China Sea issues.

: Ninety-six Diet members visit Yasukuni shrine; 87 from LDP.

: China’s Foreign Ministry, citing technical error, says exclusion zone in East China Sea extends only to its side of the median-line boundary; Abe accepts correction as simple mistake on April 18.

: LDP Secretary General Takebe expresses displeasure with reports that China has declared exclusion zone in East China Sea.

: Aso in speech at Hiroshima says that resolution of Yasukuni will not resolve all Japan-China issues.

: Foreign Ministry releases 2006 Diplomatic Blue Book; cites China for lack of transparency about military buildup.

: China’s Smbassador to Japan Wang Yi says Hu’s Yasukuni-summit proposal shows desire to improve relations; urges end to Yasukuni visits.

: FM Aso finds Yasukuni-summit linkage “beyond comprehension.”

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe Shinzo and Foreign Minister Aso Taro both reject Hu’s linkage proposal.

: Japan and China sign agreement to simplify customs administration.

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