Japan - China
Chronology from May 2023 to Aug 2023
: Yomiuri reports that Xi Jinping’s administration tacitly approved posts on Chinese social media sites that criticize the Japanese government and call for boycotts of Japanese products with the Publicity Department of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee apparently leading the campaign.
: Foreign Minister Hayashi says Japan may file a complaint against China over its blanket ban on Japanese seafood imports, adding that Japan has no desire to let this dispute escalate into a full-blown diplomatic row.
: Asahi opines that China’s dismissal of Komeito’s peace overture shows that China-Japan relations are spiraling out of control so quickly that it may take months, if not years, to restore any semblance of normalcy.
: Chinese BZK-005 military reconnaissance drone flies between Japan’s westernmost island of Yonaguni in Okinawa Prefecture and Taiwan, in the fourth recorded such flight. There is no violation of Japanese air space.
: Japan’s government and its embassy in Beijing receive many harassment phone calls, likely from China, after release of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific. Chinese media accuse the Japanese government and media of trying to portray Japan as a victim by hyping a few incidents by individuals that were not encouraged by either Chinese public opinion or the authorities.
: Chinese state-backed hackers are believed to be behind the attack on Japan’s National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC), beginning last autumn and not detected until June.
: Chinese security guards seize a Chinese man who threw stones and eggs onto the premises of Japanese schools in Qingdao while reportedly objecting to the water release.
: As Tokyo prepares to sharply boost defense spending in the face of East Asia’s worsening security situation, major defense contractors including Britain’s BAE and America’s Lockheed begin shifting the headquarters of their Asian operations to Japan.
: Air Self-Defense Force scrambles jet fighters to monitor two Chinese H-6 bombers flying between Okinawa and Miyako islands.
: China informs Yamaguchi Natsuo, head of junior partner Komeito in Japan’s coalition government, that the timing of his planned visit is not appropriate considering the situation of Japan-China relations. Yamaguchi had planned to hand Xi Jinping a personal letter from Kishida.
: Chinese Customs Authority bans all imports of all Japanese seafood the same day that TEPCO begins releasing treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the ocean.
: Japan’s government considers scrapping a long-held pacifistic principle to allow exporting weapons with lethal capabilities directly to third countries with next-generation fighter jets, which Japan is jointly developing with Britain and Italy, in mind.
: Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announces that it will provide compensation for damage linked to the ocean release of treated water from its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, such as a decline in marine product sales due to lower prices or consumers’ reluctance to buy.
: According to TEPCO, the planned release of 31,200 tons of water over four separate occasions during the fiscal year will not make a dent in the massive amount of contaminated water accumulating there.
: LDP Diet member Suzuki Norikazu leads a 65-person LDP delegation comprising members of the Diet, local representatives, and university students on a four-day visit to Taiwan.
: With the increasingly hegemonic behavior of China in mind, the Japanese foreign ministry hosts first Tokyo International Law Seminar with the aim of enhancing countries’ ability to handle legal disputes over territorial waters and other matters, and to strengthen the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific region.
: In line with its previous pledge to boost total defense spending for the five years to fiscal 2027 to 43 trillion yen, more than 1.5 times the previous amount, the Japanese defense ministry will request a 12% increase from the record spending approved for fiscal year 2024.
: Citing China’s use of the Solomon Islands as a bridgehead to accelerate advances in the South Pacific, Yomiuri editorializes on the importance of Japanese cooperation with the United States and Australia to help solidify the foundations of South Pacific states.
: Chinese sources denounce the spirit of Camp David—the meeting of President Biden, President Yoon, and Prime Minister Kishida—as “hypocritical anti-China pantomime with a mini-NATO in the making.”
: According to statistics from Chinese customs authorities, imports of fish from Japan decline 34% month-on-month in July and are down 28% compared with July 2022. China’s blanket radiation testing of all seafood imported from Japan was imposed July 8-9, and the declines are likely to continue.
: An analysis of how China’s stricter gallium export license requirements will affect Japan concludes that while Japan’s cheap offshore wind technology might be undermined in the short term, the impact of new export restrictions on defense and EV technology advancement will most likely be minimal and more of a price impact than an overall supply impact.
: In an effort to encourage Middle East investment to shift from China to Japan as well as secure funds to help cover the massive cost of developing semiconductors, the Japanese government will begin working-level talks with a fund linked to the government of the United Arab Emirates.
: Japan logs a customs-cleared trade deficit of ¥78.7 billion in July, the first year-on-year drop in exports in about two and a half years.
: 35 Chinese executives, many of whom run textile- and apparel-related businesses, visit Okabun Orimono, a 333-year old brocade-manufacturing company, to inquire about its secret for longevity.
: Kishida does not personally visit the Yasukuni Shrine on the 78th anniversary of the end of World War II but tendered the ritual tamagushi offering through an agent and at his own expense as president of the ruling LDP rather than in his official capacity as prime minister.
: Chinese foreign ministry makes serious protestations with Japan after Kishida sends a ritual offering to the Yasukuni Shrine.
: Wu Qian, spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense, urges Japan to stop meaningless interference and refrain from irresponsible words and deeds that harm healthy China-Japan bilateral ties and undermine regional peace and stability.
: In the third consecutive quarter of expansion and fueled by a strong performance by its export sector, the Japanese economy grows by an annualized rate of 6% in the second quarter of 2023. Still, a decline in domestic consumption is a cause of concern.
: Expert at the China Institutes for Contemporary International Relations points to contradictions in Japan’s attitudes toward radioactive pollution: in the 1990s, Tokyo was a pioneer in opposing Russia’s disposal of nuclear waste into the sea, but it is now promoting dumping of nuclear contaminated wastewater.
: According to China Daily, visiting former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio describes China-Japan relations as at a crossroads, urged both sides to rather than disliking each other due to differing values and systems, acknowledge differences, mutual respect, and mutual understanding.
: China’s July automobile exports increase 63%, further extending its lead over Japan as the world’s biggest vehicle-exporting economy
: Japan and China mark 45th anniversary of the signing of a bilateral treaty of peace and friendship quietly, with no official events.
: Editorial in Global Times rejects optimistic predictions for improving China-Japan relations.
: Suzuki Keisuke, an LDP lawmaker who accompanied Aso to Taiwan, tells the BS Fuji talk show that Aso had discussed the issue with Japanese government officials, indicating that Aso’s view was not a personal remark, but a result of arrangements with government insiders, saying that “I think the Japanese government clearly regards this as the official line.”
: China lifts its ban on group tours to Japan after a suspension of more than three years due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The decision is expected to be a boon to Japan’s tourism industry.
: According to Beijing-based military expert Wei Dongxu, with the Japan-Australia reciprocal access agreement taking effect, enabling Japan to deploy troops in Australia, the SDF’s area of operation is being extended from the East China Sea to the South China Sea, and now in the direction of the Indian Ocean.
: Under the new OSA cooperation agreement that allows provision of equipment and supplies to the armed forces of like-minded countries, the Japanese government is considering military aid totaling ¥5 billion ($34 million) to Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and Djibouti, in fiscal 2024, with an eye to keeping China’s maritime expansion and military buildup in check.
: Visiting Taiwan at the invitation of the Taiwan government, LDP vice-president Aso Taro lays flowers at the grave of former President Lee Teng-hui and states that Japan must be willing to fight to repel a Chinese invasion of the island. This is the first time that an LDP vice president officially visited the island since Japan and Taiwan severed diplomatic ties in 1972.
: Washington Post discloses unreported Chinese cyberhack of Japanese security systems in 2020.
: Anticipating the Camp David Summit, Global Times warns Japan and South Korea against Washington’s rumored plans for a “historic joint statement.”
: Mindful of the economic security implications of continued Chinese acquisitions of cobalt and other minerals in Africa, the Japanese government will encourage Japanese companies to develop mines and acquire interests in the continent.
: Following an incident in which a Chinese researcher at the National Institute of Advanced Technology allegedly leaked information to a Chinese company, the government intends to ascertain the quality of the systems and measures in place at universities and research facilities and call for improvements in cases of lax supervision.
: A Yomiuri editorial laments that defense capabilities cannot be strengthened unless there is an improvement in the current norm in which the number of SDF personnel are lower than the recruitment quota.
: A tabletop wargame simulating China’s invasion of Taiwan underscores Japan’s slow decision-making process, with the delay having implications for the ability to quell the situation.
: Japan will monitor foreign purchases of land in light of revelations on Chinese acquisitions on Okinawa.
: A new liaison organization between the Defense Ministry and private businesses is established to promote public-private cooperation to develop cybersecurity talent, based in Yokosuka Research Park near the GSDF Signal School. The government plans to increase the total number of cybersecurity personnel for the Defense Ministry and the SDF to 20,000 and the organization will be established to help realize the plan.
: For the first time since 2017, foreign investment inflows into Asian emerging-market stocks excluding China over the past year top the net buying of mainland China stocks.
: Courting Beijing’s further displeasure with Japan, Taiwan presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih begins a three-day visit to meet with Japanese lawmakers.
: Center-left Asahi criticizes Defense of Japan 2023 for insufficiently answering the public’s concerns about national defense and for leaving ambiguities by saying that decisions on the measures to be taken to deal with individual strike capabilities will be made “in light of individual and concrete situations.”
: Owners of Japanese restaurants in China fear ruin from Chinese restrictions on Japanese seafood.
: Ten Chinese and Russian naval vessels pass through the Soya Strait between Cape Soya in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido and the Russian island of Sakhalin in the first China-Russia joint naval vessel sailing near Japan since September 2022.
: Numerous Chinese publications denounce the Defense of Japan 2023 as grossly interfering in Chinese internal affairs and provoking regional tensions. Far from being a military threat, China is a staunch force for protecting world peace and stability, though certain countries have frequently sent ships and aircraft to relevant waters to show off force for their own interests, which has seriously aggravated regional tensions. China and Russia’s defense cooperation is on the basis of no alliance, no confrontation, and no targeting any third party, is committed to safeguarding regional and world peace and stability and poses no threat to any country. China has lodged stern representations with the Japanese side.
: A professor at Dalian Maritime University’s School of law suggests that China add more weight to its opposition to Japan’s discharge of nuclear-contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea.
: Japan releases its 2023 Defense White Paper saying that the international community is facing its greatest trial since World War II and has entered a new era of crisis. This includes China rapidly enhancing its military capability qualitatively and quantitatively, including nuclear and missile forces.
: Referencing the abrupt replacement of Foreign Minister Qi Gang with his predecessor Wang Yi, an Asahi editorial urges an end to the “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy that has characterized Chinese diplomats, including both Qin and Wang.
: A new report entitled “Asia’s Future at a Crossroads: A Japanese Strategy for Peace and Sustainable Prosperity” advocates a new Shin-Bei Jiritsu policy親米自立 policy under which Japan will pursue a more pro-active middle power diplomacy to mitigate US-China rivalry, avoid a sharp division in Asia, and prevent great power conflict — a more autonomous foreign policy that is close to but not solely dependent on the United States.
: Describing Ino’s July 23 comments as carrying a provocative undertone, a Global Times editorial asks whether these were Ino’s private opinions or whether they represent Japan’s official stance.
: According to the China Association of Automobile Association, Japanese automakers’ market share in the region has fallen from 20% last year to 14.9% in the first half of 2023 even as EV sales in China reached over 2 million through the first five months of the year, up 51.5% year on year.
: China and Russia conclude a four-day military exercise in the Sea of Japan to, according to the Chinese defense ministry, “enhance strategic cooperation between the two countries and strengthen their ability to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.”
: At the behest of the United States, Japan strengthens export regulations that block China from manufacturing cutting-edge semiconductor products.
: As China is the largest export market for Japan’s semiconductor equipment manufacturers, Chinese chip analysts predict that Japanese restrictions will undermine its companies’ global competitiveness.
: Japan’s Minister of State for Defense Ino Toshiro says that Japan would likely come to Taiwan’s aid if a Chinese invasion provoked the same outpouring in international support as for Ukraine but concedes that Tokyo had not yet decided what form that support would take.
: Widow of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, Abe Akie, visits Taiwan, meeting President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice-President William Lai and pledging to do everything she can to foster a strong friendship between the two sides.
: In their first in-person exchange in four years, JSDF officers meet Chinese military personnel and reaffirm the need for dialogue despite what LTG Jing Jianfeng, deputy chief of staff at the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission, calls severe difficulties between the two countries.
: Industry Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi says that Beijing rebuffed the Japanese government’s repeated requests to have experts from both countries meet to discuss from a scientific standpoint the upcoming discharge of treated contaminated water into the ocean.
: Kishida, in Jeddah as the first stop in a tour of the Middle East, stresses the need for a free and open Indo-Pacific and argues against unilateral attempts to “change the status quo,” with China and Russia in mind.
: Japan Forum for Strategic Studies holds its third simulation this year of a two-day war game in response to a supposed Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
: In a brief exchange at the ASEAN Plus Three meeting in Jakarta, State Councillor Wang Yi criticizes Japan for discharging allegedly contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean with Foreign Minister Hayashi objecting to Wang’s politicization of the issue after a report by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency said that it met safety levels.
: Referencing concerns raised by the Chinese government’s ordinance requiring foreign countries to fully disclose cosmetic products’ ingredients and their ratios a Japanese government source advises (1) maintaining an overwhelming advantage in technological capabilities; (2) entering the market with sole capital as much as possible; (3) even when forming joint ventures, not readily handing over information on technology and suppliers; and (4) each company checking its supply chain, including parts manufacturers.
: Chinese state media report that the country’s coast guard has taken “necessary control measures” to drive away a Japanese fishing vessel that entered “territorial waters” around the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands and “urged the Japanese side to immediately cease all illegal activities in the waters and ensure that similar incidents do not recur.”
: Japanese government signs a new partnership agreement with NATO to enhance security coordination with the organization with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explicitly referencing concern China’s military buildup.
: Political science professor Nako Eto attributes recent assertive remarks by Chinese diplomats as examples of the international discourse power—meaning the power to make others accept what is being said—strategy being pursued by Xi Jinping’s administration.
: China’s customs authority announces it will ban food imports from 10 Japanese prefectures over Tokyo’s plan to release treated nuclear wastewater into the ocean, despite the UN atomic agency’s ruling that the water meets international safety standards.
: A Japanese professor of international security rebuts China’s criticism of NATO opening an office in Tokyo, arguing that if Beijing really wants to forestall NATO or Europe from further security and defense engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, the best way would be to try to reassure Europeans that they will not need to pay attention to the region and will not be adversely affected by what happens here.
: Citing Tokyo’s decision to discharge treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima plant into the sea, China announces it will tighten its scrutiny on food from Japan and maintain curbs on some Japanese imports. The UN’s nuclear agency had earlier certified the safety of the decision.
: As part of efforts to reduce dependence on China, Japan, and the EU conclude a memorandum of understanding on sharing information on supply and demand for rare metals, wind power generators and other items, and for cooperation in research and development for mining and refining. This comes two days after they signed an MOU to strengthen cooperation in the field of semiconductors.
: China’s leading military newspaper describes Japan’s desire for a NATO liaison office in Tokyo as the first step towards the establishment of a NATO military support mechanism for Japan, thereby exposing its ambition to elevate its own status with the help of external forces.
: In a further example of deepening Japanese relations with Taiwan, Japanese financial firm SBI Holdings will create a company to help Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp to establish a foundry and research lab for the development of more advanced chips.
: A draft EU-Japan joint statement to be released at a summit scheduled for July 13 in Brussels sets out plans to bolster the EU-Japan security partnership in light of the threats posed by Beijing and Moscow.
: More than 80 members of a Japan Association for the Promotion of International Trade (JAPIT) delegation led by President Yohei Kono and including Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki visit Beijing. This is the first such visit in four years and, according to Global Times, represents the Japanese business community’s hope to enhance trade cooperation with China, “and Okinawa’s pro-peace voices will be heard.”
: Speaking at a Taipei forum, former director-general of the Japan Defense Agency Tamazawa Tokuichiro says that China has insufficient strength to invade Taiwan, which would need at least 1.3 million troops, which it is not capable of transporting.
: Attending the International Forum for Trilateral Cooperation, an annual event organized by Beijing, Tokyo, and Seoul since 2011, State Councillor Wang Yi urges Japan and South Korea to foster a sense of strategic autonomy from the West and cooperate with Beijing to revitalize Asia, saying “No matter how blonde you dye your hair, how sharp you shape your nose, you can never become a European or American, you can never become a Westerner.”
: Aiming to counter Chinese restrictions on the free flow of data across borders, Japan and ASEAN will establish a digital innovation center in Jakarta that will begin operations in late August.
: Jiji reports that Japanese companies operating in China are bracing for employee arrests and other risks after China’s revised anti-espionage law took effect. A particular source of concern is that what constitutes acts of espionage is opaque under the law.
: Chinese media announce that a PLAN flotilla led by a Type 075 amphibious assault ship recently broke the first island chain from straits south of Japan, marking the first time that this type of large warship was reported operating in vicinity of Japan. They report it “could” serve to give those with a guilty conscience a warning, including “Taiwan independence” secessionists and external interference forces.
: In an extended deterrence dialogue between Japanese and US diplomatic and defense officials held at a Missouri air force base, the US conveys its intention to visibly deploy strategic weapons around Japan. With South Korea seen as a vital partner and the US and the ROK having agreed on the periodic deployment of strategic nuclear submarines there, Japan and the United States are believed to have discussed cooperation regarding extended deterrence among the three countries.
: LDP Secretary-General Motegi Toshimitsu holds talks with Taiwan Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan at the LDP’s Tokyo headquarters where they are believed to have discussed China’s increasing military pressure on Taiwan and the future of Japan-Taiwan relations.
: A Chinese survey vessel is detected in the waters near the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, though there is no intrusion into Japanese territorial waters.
: Sankei Shimbun terms Tamaki’s remarks that preparedness for the safety of Okinawa residents causes them anxiety “bizarre” since China taking aim at Okinawa as evidence by Xi Jinping’s June 4 remarks calling for deepening exchanges between “Ryukyu” and China.
: In response to China and Russia strengthening capabilities to attack satellites, the SDF have been using SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation on a trial basis since March and moving toward fully making use of them from the next fiscal year.
: Kishida, visiting Okinawa, stresses the need to strengthen defense capabilities on the Nansei Islands, “which now faces the harshest and most complicated security environment in the postwar era.” Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki counters that strengthening defense capabilities is causing anxiety among the people of the prefecture; he opposes deployment of SDF long-range missiles, saying that Okinawa could become a target for attack.
: To counter Chinese efforts to create anxiety over Japan’s planned release of discharge of water from the damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the Japanese government embarks on a major public relations campaign to stress the safety of the discharge.
: In the 18th intrusion this year, four Chinese coast guard Haijing vessels sail near the contested Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands for around two hours.
: Japanese retailer Uniqlo’s ambitious goal of more than tripling sales to $71 billion in 10 years faces a stumbling block from trend among young China shoppers for guochao, “China chic,” in what had been a top market for Uniqlo.
: Huawei Technologies is seeking licensing fees from roughly 30 small-to-midsize Japanese companies for the use of patented technology, Wireless communication modules using Huawei’s patented technology are indispensable for connected Internet of Things (IoT) networks, and are being adopted in autonomous driving, automated factories, medicine, power, and logistics.
: A senior Chinese researcher employed by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Science and Technology is arrested on charges that he leaked AIST trade secrets to a Chinese company.
: A lengthy article in Nikkei discusses the “mini Ryukyu boom” that followed Xi Jinping’s comments on the “deep relationship” between China and Fujian and comments by a museum curator that referred to Chinese sovereignty and the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands.
: Although global chip companies seeking to move their supply chains out of China have poured over $14 billion dollars into Japan, problems of land acquisition have arisen. Taiwan’s TSMC, wanting a second fab in Kumomoto since it prefers clusters of factories, not single ones, has run afoul of Japanese law limiting development of forests and land set aside for agriculture
: Enabled by an April change in guidelines, the Japanese coast guard and MSDF are preparing for a joint response to an armed attack, due to concerns that the Chinese coast guard could work with the Chinese military in a potential invasion against Japan.
: In a bid to counter China’s increasing expansion into the subcontinent under its Belt and Road Initiative, Japan provides full support to an 80-km road India is developing in its northeastern region bordering China that links to neighboring Bangladesh.
: Waseda University Professor Todo Yasuyuki calculates a disastrous drop in production from an 80% reduction in Chinese and Taiwanese imports for makers of electrical machinery and equipment such as household appliances, consumer electronics, and industrial equipment and producers of information and communications equipment due to conflict. He advocates risk reduction through friendshoring and reshoring, bearing in mind risks involved in domestic supply chains as well, such as earthquakes and volcano eruptions.
: Japan joins Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US in a Joint Declaration Against Trade-Related Economic Coercion and Non-Market Policies and Practices, clearly directed against China, that expresses “serious concern over trade-related economic coercion and non-market policies and practices that undermine the functioning of and confidence in the rules-based multilateral trading system.”
: Noting that China’s aid donations have trapped recipient countries in debt while allowing the Chinese access to local ports and other infrastructure, Japan approves a major revision to its development aid policy that focuses on maritime and economic security and its national interests while helping developing nations overcome compound challenges amid China’s growing global influence. The revision to the Development Cooperation Charter comes two years early, underscoring the sense of urgency in addressing widening China concern and other global challenges such as the impact of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
: China, which has been concerned for several years about the formation of an Asian NATO, criticizes news that the US, Taiwan, and Japan are to share real-time data from naval reconnaissance drones to strengthen coordination in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan.
: Japan conveys “strong concern” after a Chinese naval ship enters Japan’s waters near Yakushima Island. Separately, two China Coast Guard vessels enter Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and attempt to approach a Japanese fishing boat.
: To save Japan’s dwindling domestic defense industrial sector, the Diet enacts a bill enabling it to buy the factories and other facilities of beleaguered companies that make equipment deemed indispensable for the Self-Defense Forces and outsource their operations to other companies.
: Japan announces that it is joining the US and Australia in a $95 million undersea cable project that will connect East Micronesia island nations to improve networks in the Indo-Pacific region where China is increasingly expanding its influence. Completion is expected around 2025.
: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. announces plans to build its second Japanese plant in Kumamoto Prefecture, though has no plans to introduce advanced chip manufacturing processes into it. The government will provide a subsidy of up to $3.41 billion for the project, which has been joined by Sony and Denso corporations.
: Japanese companies Nidec and Renesas will partner to develop a power-efficient drive system for electric vehicles to keep pace with growing demand in China. A prototype is expected by the end of the year.
: Yomiuri editorializes on the need to deepen multilateral cooperation in light of China’s repeated provocations in and around the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.
: In a 40-minute meeting on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue summit, Japanese DM Hamada expresses deep concerns about the situation in the East China and South China seas to counterpart Gen. Li Shangfu, with Li replying that China-Japan relations are “not all about the Diaoyu [Senkaku] Islands and should be viewed from a long-term and big picture perspective.”
: Responding to questions from a Diet member, the government discloses that 39 students from six of China’s so-called Seven Sons of National Defense—seven universities that are believed to have close ties to the Chinese military’s weapons development programs—were studying at Japanese universities as of fiscal 2020.
: Repeating the CCP mantra, Huang Xingyuan, representative director of the Japan-China Friendship Center, complains that Japan should cease following the US by labelling China its biggest strategic challenge and refrain from interfering in Taiwan. He stresses that under such circumstances, people-to-people diplomacy has become more significant.
: Japan’s new destroyers will be equipped with more vertical launchers that enable them to fire over 30% more interceptor missiles than existing destroyers as well as SM-6 missiles designed to shoot down hypersonic glide weapons.
: Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao urges Japan to halt its semiconductor export controls, terming them a “wrongdoing” that seriously violates international economic and trade rules.
: Japan Coast Guard sources reveal that China Coast Guard vessels have been navigating around the contested Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands since March using automatic identification system (AIS) equipment.
: China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning warns against Kishida’s attendance at the NATO summit, says that NATO’s eastward foray into the Asia-Pacific “undermines regional peace and stability” and that countries in the area “should be on high alert.”
: With Chinese and Russian killer satellites in mind, Japan reportedly plans to work with the United States and others to monitor outer space. Specifically, it will participate in the Combined Space Operations Center, operated by the US, Britain, Australia, and Canada, which monitors outer space around the clock, including satellites and space debris.
: Referencing NATO’s planned liaison office in Tokyo, China’s leading military newspaper accuses Japan of applying for a job as doorman of NATO.
: China’s Ministry of Commerce terms Japan’s decision to impose curbs on the shipment of 23 types of chipmaking technology an abuse of export control measures that goes against free trade and international trade regulations.
: Draft edition of Japan’s 2023 defense report says that China may move up its plan to build a world-class military by the mid-21st century and states that increasing Russian and Chinese military activities in waters around Japan seem “to clearly intend a show of force.”
: Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong summons Japanese Ambassador to China Tarumi Hideo to lodge representations over the G7 Hiroshima Summit that Japan chaired.
: Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu and counterpart Hamada Yasukazu talk for the first time via the long-delayed direct telephone line dedicated to the maritime and air liaison mechanism between the two ministries.
: Reuters contrasts dismal economic news from China with a brighter picture in Japan. As GDP growth forecasts were revised downward, the RMB fell below seven to the dollar for the first time in six months while Citi’s economic surprise index had one of its steepest falls on record. In Japan, first-quarter GDP growth exceeded expectations with the Nikkei rising about 30,000 for the first time in 20 months and the broader Topix index hitting its highest level in 33 years.
: In an ominous sign, China’s Coast Guard now has 157 large vessels, nearly quadruple the number of a decade ago, when Japan Coast Guard large ships outnumbered Chinese counterparts by 51 to 40.
: In a display of power ahead of the G7 summit hosted by Japan, a four-ship flotilla led by one of the Chinese navy’s most powerful warships, the Type 055 guided missile destroyer Lhasa, performs a 12-day counterclockwise circumnavigation of Japan beginning from the Strait of Tsushima, progressing through Tsugaru, and on to the Izu Island chain south of Tokyo.
: Japan protests through diplomatic channels Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianghao’s statement that if Japan links Taiwan to its own security, the Japanese people “would be dragged into the fire.”
: Referencing a joint call by Kishida and South Korean leader Yoon that the two states will work with Washington to address “growing security threats in Asia” during the former’s trip to Seoul, South China Morning Post reports that the Chinese government is concerned that a military alliance among South Korea, Japan, and the US may be developing.
: Kishida, visiting Nairobi, pledges Japanese support in developing Mombasa, the largest port in East Africa and facing the Indian Ocean. Chinese companies have been active in infrastructure there, resulting in massive debts to Kenya.
: Industry data reveal that total sales of Japanese auto brands in China fell 32% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023. Japanese firms now account for 18% of China’s new vehicle sales, down from 20% in 2022, 22% in 2021, and 24% in 2020. Mazda, Nissan, and Honda have been particularly hard hit.
: 61% of respondents to a Yomiuri poll favor amending the constitution while 33% are against doing so, with the gap between those in favor and against amendment widening to 28 percentage points.
: Of 1,967 people who respond to an Asahi poll, 52% say the constitution is good, down from 58% last year, while another 52% said revisions are needed and 38% say the Constitution is not good, the highest rate since 2013.
: Asahi editorializes against the government for failing to listen to the people of Ishigakijima. When the city of Ishigaki agreed to host a GSDF base in 2018, it was explained that the missiles to be deployed there would be of a “defensive nature” to prevent enemy landings on the island but now these missiles could have a range capable of reaching beyond Japan, possibly turning Ishigakijima into a target of enemy attack.
: NATO reportedly plans to open a liaison office in Tokyo, the first of its kind in Asia, which will allow the alliance to conduct periodic consultations with Japan and key partners in the region such as South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand as China emerges as a new challenge,. Japan will in turn create an independent mission to NATO, separating it from the embassy in Belgium, where it is currently based.
: Aided by multibillion-dollar government subsidies, BYD Auto plans to have 100 showrooms in Japan by 2025, with its Dolphin hatchback and Seal sedans due to enter the market this year.