Japan - China

Chronology from May 2019 to Aug 2019

: Japanese government announces it will request a 1.2% increase in the FY2020 defense budget to a record $5.32 billion, much of it for the purchase of advanced US weapons.

: China announces that it would hold a grand military parade on National Day, Oct. 1, that would demonstrate its rising capabilities.

: Japanese Defense Ministry announced its support for venture capital in Africa.

: In response to Chinese and Russian possession of “killer” satellites capable of disabling other countries’ satellites, the Japanese government is to begin development of interceptor systems.

: Japan surpasses China as the top holder of US Treasuries for the first time since May 2017.

: Praying at his father’s grave, Abe vows to continue efforts to revise the constitution, to which China strenuously objects.

: China Daily repeats Japanese newspapers’ description of vice-ministerial talks as “candid exchanges about bilateral and regional issues,” while adding that a Japanese official had said that a majority of Japanese know little about China and advocated more people-to-people exchanges.

: Chinese government accedes to the Japanese government’s request to send a representative higher than Politburo rank for an October ceremony related to the enthronement of the emperor: Vice-President Wang Qishan will attend.

: First China-Japan vice-ministerial level talks in seven years are held in Nagano, Japan. Chinese Foreign Ministry reports the officials had “candid exchanges about bilateral and regional issues,” and indicated that a state visit by Xi was likely to take place in spring 2020.

: Japan and China are reported to be vying for influence in sports programs in the South Pacific, with China offering to train a large contingent of young athletes in several sports and Japan sending judo experts.

: Nikkei reports that several major Japanese corporations, including Nintendo, Sony, Sharp, Ricoh, and Kyocera, have announced plans to move production out of China in response to higher tariffs.

: Several Chinese are arrested for being “spiritually Japanese” as a result of cartoons deemed to have insulted the Chinese people.

: China publishes 2019 defense white paper, the first in five years.

: JXTG, Japan’s largest oil refiner, announces it will close a refinery it owns jointly with PetroChina amid falling demand for crude products in Japan.

: The 2019 report of the Japanese Ministry of Economic Revitalization expresses concern about increasing dependence on China in the manufacture of information and communications equipment.

: Japan’s Toyota and China’s BYD agree to work together to produce electric sedans and SUVs, as Toyota seeks to narrow German automaker Volkswagen’s lead in the Chinese market.

: Self-Defense Forces (SDF) sources complain that efforts to interdict North Korean smuggling were inhibited by the vessels fleeing into Chinese territorial waters.

: Xinhua reports on a rally in Japan’s Saitama Prefecture to mark the 82nd anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge incident that was a prelude to the Sino-Japanese war.

: Papers in both countries publish pictures of Chairman Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo shaking hands at the opening of the G20 conference in Osaka.

: Global Times op-ed argues that China’s increased confidence had enabled it to shape the strategic environment on its own, and that developing better relations with Japan was naturally included in its policy agenda.

: Commenting on China’s just-released white paper, the center-right Yomiuri Shimbun editorializes that the PRC has expanded its military buildup beyond the scope of defensive aims, thereby undermining regional stability.

: Japanese Coast Guard and Maritime Self-Defense Forces conduct their first joint drill in the South China Sea.

: Japan’s Foreign Ministry lodges protest against Beijing for conducting an unauthorized maritime survey near the Senkaku Islands.

: Japanese Coast Guard identifies a ship dangling a cable into the sea about 50 nm off the largest of the Senkakus without seeking prior approval. The ship did not respond to requests to stop the survey, leaving the EEZ about two hours later.

: Chinese and Japanese defense ministers make speeches at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, pointedly refraining from criticizing each other.

: Global Times op-ed asks rhetorically if Japan could stand up to the US request that it contain China. A second op-ed that appears the same day interprets the many meetings between Trump and Abe as indicative of Abe’s attempt to balance between China and the US while making sure that its views on Korea are not further marginalized.

: A Japanese land surveyor is convicted of espionage and receives a 15-year prison term, the heaviest sentence yet in a string of spy cases in China.

: Japan and China hold bilateral talks on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation in Beijing. It is the first time the countries have held bilateral talks on the issue in eight years.

: Cabinet Office announces that Japan’s economy grew by an annualized rate of 2.1% in the first quarter of 2019, marking the second straight quarter of expansion.

: Japan and India announce they will develop Sri Lanka’s Colombo port, the country’s largest, providing a counterweight to China’s presence at Hambantota.

: People’s Daily reports that the Oscar-winning Japanese anime film Spirited Away had been approved for showing in China nearly 20 years after its initial release.

: Xinhua reports that Japan had achieved its 57th consecutive month of surpluses in the current account.

: China’s ByteDance Technology announces it will invest $4.6 million in 2019 in a project to find Japanese stars for its popular video app TikTok.

: The 11th round of US, Japan, South Korea Defense Trilateral Talks (DTT) is held in Seoul to discuss regional security issues.

Date Range