Japan - China
Chronology from Sep 2018 to Dec 2018
: Yomiuri reveals that the head of Chinese State Security secretly visited Japan at the end of October, with both sides reportedly eager to create a back channel should relations again deteriorate.
: Leading Japanese shipping firm Nippon Express conducts trial run to move freight on the Chinese railway that links the PRC’s Xi’an with Duisberg in Germany.
: Chinese Foreign Ministry expresses strong dissatisfaction and opposition to the programs’ “false claims and irresponsible remarks,” warning that they are not conducive to the improvement of China-Japan relations nor to the peace and stability of the region.
: Japanese government adopts National Defense Program Guidelines and Medium-Term Defense Program for fiscal 2019-23, described as intended to strengthen the nation’s capabilities against China.
: China urges Japan to ensure the legal rights of two Hong Kong residents who were arrested after one set a fire at the Yasukuni Shrine while the other videotaped the act and placed it on Facebook.
: Ceremonies held to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, although unlike last year, Xi Jinping does not attend.
: Chinese media warns of retaliatory measures if there is discrimination against Huawei and ZTE, accusing the US of trying to create a wedge in China-Japan ties and of making Japan into a vassal state.
: Chinese court sentences a Japanese woman to six years in prison for spying and seized over $7,000 in assets; the woman is to be deported after serving her sentence.
: Citing security concerns, the Japanese government announced its intention to ban products from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from telecom devices in ministries, agencies, and the SDF.
: Japanese government protests renewed Chinese drilling in oil fields disputed by the two countries.
: Japanese Ministry of Defense releases Defense of Japan 2018 white paper detailing numerous instances of Chinese intrusions into Japan’s territorial waters and airspace.
: Xinhua announces that Abe and Xi chatted briefly on the sidelines of the G20 conference in Buenos Aires agreeing that they would step up negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the trilateral trade agreement among China, Japan, and South Korea.
: Japanese Ministry of Defense reports few air scrambles and ships entering the territorial waters of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands from July through September than in the preceding April-June period.
: Citing intensifying activities of the Chinese navy in the East China Sea, the Japanese government announces plans to introduce a new type of destroyer with minesweeping capabilities that will be the core of warning and surveillance activities in the area.
: Yomiuri correspondent embedded on the helicopter destroyer Kaga reports that the ship had been followed by the Chinese guided missile destroyer Lanzhou, and that it had detected a Chinese submarine carrying out covert maneuvers at the entrance to the Strait of Malacca.
: US Vice President Pence and Prime Minister Abe announce a fund that will allocate up to $70 billion for infrastructure development.
: Japan and China held food safety talks, with China declining to provide assurances that it will lift its ban on importing food from the area surrounding the 2011 Fukushima meltdown.
: Yomiuri reported that the Japanese government is considering supplying the MSDF with Avenger drones to strengthen surveillance of Chinese naval vessels.
: Japan’s Defense Ministry announces plans to develop a large underwater drone to guard its remote islands against Chinese incursion.
: The largest ever Keen Sword military exercises are held in Japan, with participation by US, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Australia, and South Korea.
: Reuters report that Japan and the United States are formulating a combined response to an attack on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, which is expected to be finalized in March 2019.
: State-run China Investment Corp. and several of Japan’s largest banks agree to set up a $1.8 billion fund to help Japanese companies seeking to expand their businesses in China.
: Prime Minister Abe visits China and meet President Xi and other senior officials in Beijing.
: Japan announces that it will end its official development assistance (ODA) to China after the end of new projects in the current fiscal year.
: China and Japan disclose plans to resume fleet visits for the first time since 2011.
: China warns again that Japan must learn from history, and that the onus was on Abe to bridge the divide.
: Meeting with French President Macron and clearly referring to China, Prime Minister Abe states that the two countries’ cooperation is important since the international order is being challenged.
: Chen Youjun of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies advocates that Japan show a positive attitude toward economic cooperation with China, since the needs of the two are complementary.
: Center-left daily Mainichi reports that Japanese firms were “hopping onto” the silk road of China’s One Belt One Road policy.
: At their meeting in Wellington, Foreign Minister Kōno Taro and New Zealand counterpart Winston Peters discuss their alarm that the debts of small South Pacific states that contracted with China may make them beholden to the PRC.
: Japanese government publishes its Medium-Term Defense Program for fiscal 2019-23.
: Global Times, normally highly critical of Japan in general and Prime Minister Abe specifically, publishes an article crediting Abenomics with lifting Japan out of its long economic downturn.
: Japanese Coast Guard reports that the Chinese oceanographic ship Xiangyanghong10 had conducted unauthorized activities inside Japan’s claimed exclusive economic zone.
: Sankei Shimbun reports that a large buoy marked “PRC State Oceanic Administration” had been installed in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands, and that the government had launched a protest.
: Editorial in Yomiuri urges vigilance against Chinese interference in domestic affairs, pointing to the many Chinese media outlets and Confucius Institutes in Japan.
: The tankan index, a key economic survey of economic confidence among major manufacturers conducted by the Bank of Japan, declines for the third straight quarter, with concerns about the US trade war with China listed as a major factor.
: Tokyo stock exchange reaches its highest level since the collapse of the bubble economy a quarter century ago.
: Popular Japanese singer-songwriter Tanimura Shinji sings in Beijing at a concert to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship.
Sept. 28, 2018 Japan and the US hold a joint air drill over the East China Sea.
: Fifth high-level political dialogue is held in Suzhou, co-chaired by Director of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s Office of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and Japanese National Security Adviser Yachi Shōtarō.
: According to Jiji, Japan’sDefense Ministry is developing supersonic glide bombs to strengthen the defense of remote islands, including the Senkakus, as well as promoting the deployment of GSDF surface-to-ship guided missile units on Miyako and Ishigaki islands.
: Internal PLA magazine obtained by Japanese news agency Kyodo states that a China-Japan maritime crisis would seriously undermine Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative.
: Chinese press report Abe’s re-election to a third term as head of the LDP, adding that he would use it to advance his long-cherished dream of revising Japan’s pacifist constitution.
: Xinhua reports that thousands of people across Japan, including more than 5,000 at Tokyo’s Hibiya Park, rallied to protest the controversial security laws that the Diet had passed three years ago.
: Sankei Shimbun publishes an interview with former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian.
: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and President Xi Jinping meet briefly on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, pledging further cooperation on denuclearizing North Korea.
: Following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pledge to extend $60 billion in finance and investment to Africa, center-right Yomiuri expressed doubts about the real benefits and possible disadvantages for the countries that accepted China’s largesse. The paper praised Japan’s policy of avoiding excess rivalry with China while also exploring ways to cooperate with the PRC including participation in Japan-led projects such as building major roads linking West African countries.
: Writing in The National Interest, a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force captain and a US Navy captain argued for closer cooperation between the Japanese and Taiwanese militaries.
: Signaling Japan’s intent to maintain a presence in the South China Sea, the helicopter destroyer Kaga and two guided-missile destroyers conducted bilateral exercises with a US aircraft carrier strike group.