Japan - China

Chronology from Sep 2023 to Dec 2023

: Citing unnamed sources “familiar with the matter” Japan Times reports that China plans to keep its ships near the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands every day in 2024. Its coast guard will, according to the sources, conduct inspections of Japanese fishing boats in the area, if necessary, to boost Beijing’s sovereignty claim.

: Japanese government sources say that the Japanese and Chinese governments plan to hold discussions at an expert level early next year regarding treated radioactive wastewater discharged into the ocean. 

: China becomes the world’s top automobile exporter on an annual basis for the first time, thanks to bigger footholds in Russia and Mexico and a growing global electric vehicle (EV) industry, even compared to former export leader Japan’s double-digit rise. 

: Interviewed by Yomiuri, Tarumi Hideo, ambassador to China from September 2020 to October 2023, says that Japan and China are ready to resolve specific issues between the two countries since Kishida and Xi confirmed their intention to promote strategic and mutually beneficial ties between the two nations in November. 

: Yomiuri editorializes on the need to “devise ways to ensure that the procurement of drug substances and other materials is not biased toward certain countries, including China.” 

: By the end of fiscal year 2023 in April 1 2024, the Japanese government will have designated a total of 583 sites as critical to national security. 

: A Chinese military source accuses Japan of attempting to leverage ASEAN to open the Pandora’s Box of its arms exports under the guidance or tacit approval of the US. 

: Writing in South China Morning Post former Chinese diplomat Shi Jiangtao argues that unless China moderates its stand, addresses security concerns, and works on its image, it will be hard to prevent a pivot toward Japan in the region. 

: To counter Chinese and Russian “killer satellites” capable of destroying other countries’ satellites, the Japanese government is considering adding surveillance capabilities to the Self-Defense Forces’ next-generation communications satellites set to be launched in the 2030s. 

: Tracing the trajectory of Japan in the past, China, having shaped the market with its cheap cars, is now developing luxury sports cars. BYD, for example, is using a Western-style mansion in Shanghai to introduce its SUV Yangwang U8, with a price tag of $153,000.

: Taking note of the Japanese government’s approval of a record-high 7.9 trillion yen ($56 billion) defense budget for fiscal 2024, the vice-president of the Center for China and Globalization warns that China needs to make it very clear to the Japanese government that it cannot have a free hand in increasing its military budget to develop its military capabilities to such an extent. 

: China’s renminbi surpasses the Japanese yen’s share of global payment transactions for the first time in almost two years, as low interest rates in China boost the appeal of its currency for financing trade. 

: In a further indication of Japanese-South Korean cooperation to counter China’s technological prowess, Samsung will invest about $280 million over five years in a facility for research into advanced chip packaging in Yokohama. 

: A Chinese year-ender review notes that signs of Japan’s right-wing military ambitions that go along with the US’ “Indo-Pacific Strategy,” including accelerated deployment plan of missiles that can strike foreign countries, have raised vigilance among Chinese experts. 

: Bearing in mind China’s continued hegemonic moves in the East China Sea and the South China Sea and aiming to ensure the safety of sea lanes by tightening cooperation among coastal nations, the heads of the Japan and Philippine coast guards sign a memorandum of understanding to improve their maritime domain awareness by pooling oceanographic data to detect suspicious ships. 

: In the 34th such intrusion by official Chinese ships this year and the first since Dec. 10, four Chinese coast guard ships enter Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands on Dec. 18. The Haijing-class vessels leave after approximately two hours.

: Chinese media point out that Japan’s continued release of water from the Tokushima reactor undermine its claims to for cooperation and development with ASEAN and believe[s] that wise individuals within ASEAN can see through this and will remain sufficiently vigilant.” 

: On his first day in Beijing, Japanese Ambassador Kanasugi Kenji vows to “tenaciously” negotiate with Beijing to solve the row over the release of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea. 

: Japanese exports decline year on year for the first time in three months, dragged down by weak demand from China.

: Yomiuri observes that Japan must take steps to resolve Beijing-related differences among ASEAN members to formulate a trustful relationship with the group. 

: Hoping to regain market share in China, Nissan will launch a joint research next year with Tsinghua University on reaching Generation Z—those born between 1995 and 2009 — and on the social responsibility of automakers in battery recycling, charging stations and other electric vehicle-related issues. 

: Namazu Hiroyuki, director-general of the Japanese foreign ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, lodges a telephone protest with Yang Yu, deputy minister at the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, saying that it is extremely regrettable that China has resumed development at a gas field in the East China Sea.

: Referencing the Japan-ASEAN forum, Global Times cites unnamed experts warning that if defense cooperation between Japan and Southeast Asian countries is directed against a third party, it will have a very negative impact on the stability of the regional order.

: Japanese chip gear-maker Kokusai Electric Corp. is expanding staff in China in anticipation of an increase in demand from the world’s largest semiconductor market in 2024. Kokusai CEO Kanai Fumiyuki describes small-scale fabrication plants as “springing up like mushrooms in China” driven in part by efforts to localize chip production as the US is erecting higher barriers on the export of advanced chips and chip gear.

: Japan and Malaysia sign a security assistance deal that includes a $2.8 million grant to boost Malaysia’s maritime security, as Asian nations seek to counter an increasingly assertive China. 

: A total of 17 military aircraft from Russia and China conduct a joint air operation over the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan. 

: According to a survey by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, India is the top choice of Japanese manufacturing companies among promising countries or regions for business development for the second year in a row, with China slipping to third place behind Vietnam. 

: Japan Coast Guard reports three China Coast Guard vessels sailing in the contiguous zone (22 km outside territorial waters) off the Senkakus, marking a record 337 days and surpassing the previous of most sightings of Chinese vessels in the area last year. 

: Responding the Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies China Security Report 2024, Chinese military spokesperson Zhang Xiaogang urges Japan to “immediately stop meddling in China’s internal affairs, stop spreading false narratives, and stop hyping up the so-called ‘Chinese military threat’ as an excuse for its military expansion.”

: Japan hosts the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit marking the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation, seeking to offset China’s aggressive behavior in the region.

: As much of the population sees China as a threat to Japan’s security, polls show support for such measures as the acquisition of missiles capable of striking enemy territory and legal changes that would allow Japanese troops, restricted by the constitution to defense of the nation, to fight in some combat situations outside Japan. 

: Asahi criticizes the Hong Kong district council elections, saying “we” must never forget that the record low turnout was an expression of protest that citizens of Hong Kong were forced into silence. 

: China and Japan accuse each other of maritime incursions after a confrontation between coast guards in waters around the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. Japan’s coast guard said on Dec. 9 that two Chinese maritime patrol boats left Japan’s territorial waters around the islands after receiving warnings, and that its patrol vessels were protecting a Japanese fishing boat that had been approached by the Chinese ships. 

: According to a Pew poll, 76% of Japanese consider China a major threat, compared with 66% in Taiwan and 64% in South Korea.

: LDP and Komeito lawmakers agree to allow non-lethal exports of defense equipment to all nations being invaded in violation of international law.

: METI adds the China Academy of Engineering Physics to the latest iteration of its End User List due to concerns that the entity may be involved in nuclear development. 

: Residents of Yonaguni criticize the government’s lack of a plan to cope with the influx of refugees from Taiwan in the event of a war with China.

: Departing Japanese ambassador to China Tarumi Hideo calls for an end to what he terms the rollercoaster cycle of ups and downs in China-Japan relations. 

: Japanese auto parts manufacturers for gas engines find sales in China plummeting. Those of Honda-affiliated Yutaka Giken, which traditionally accounted for about half its total revue, fell 24% from April to December, year on year.

: After a 10-minute telephone conversation, Kishida and French President Emanuel Macron agree on a road map that revises a 2019 agreement prompted by growing French concern with China’s behavior in the Indo-Pacific. 

: Jiji Press reports that in response to sluggish sales of gasoline-powered vehicles, which are Toyota’s mainstay products, amid a rapid shift to electric vehicles in the Chinese market, Toyota is partially halting production in China. 

: Yomiuri International Economic Society (YIES) and Yomiuri Shimbun hold November symposium of the Yomiuri International Forum 2023 with Stanford University scholar Wu Guoguang, assessing that while the Chinese government’s reach has increased its ability to develop, the economy has significantly declined. 

: Japanese government fears that the crash of a US military Osprey will arouse public sentiment against the planned deployment of 17 Japanese Ospreys considered essential for the defense of the Nansei Islands. 

: Kyodo, citing an unnamed Japanese government official, reports that on the day before Japanese Ambassador to China Tarumi Hideo met for the first time with a senior Astellas Pharma employee who was arrested last month on suspicion of espionage.

: Kyodo reports that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, was hit by a cyberattack over the summer and sensitive information on space-related technologies might have been accessed. 

: With China in mind, Kishida and Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong agree to upgrade Japan-Vietnam ties to a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” prioritizing security cooperation, such as for stronger maritime security and safety; the transfer of defense equipment; and strengthening supply chains. 

: Looking toward Taiwan’s upcoming presidential election, Yomiuri editorializes that it is unacceptable for China to ignore the will of Taiwan’s people and unilaterally set a course for unification.

: A reception for the Japanese, South Korea, and Chinese foreign ministers is canceled, ostensibly because Wang Yi’s schedule was too tight to attend. Unnamed observers speculate that China’s action was motivated by dissatisfaction and Japan and South Korea for continuing to strengthen their ties with the US.

: Xi Jinping sends a letter of condolence Kishida on the death of Ikeda Daisaku, the late honorary president of lay Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai, with whom China has had friendly ties. 

: Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS) issues its China Security Report 2024 analyzing Chinese and Russian cooperation to establish a new international order and US resistance thereto. Japan is mentioned only peripherally, as part of the alliance system Washington seeks to build.

: Meeting on the sidelines of a trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea, Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko urges Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to consider the scientific evidence relating to the ocean discharge of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant and asks China to help deal with North Korea’s nuclear and missile development program. 

: An estimated 10,000 Okinawans brought together by 65 activist groups protest the Japanese government’s decision to bolster Japan’s military presence in the region in response to threats from China and North Korea. 

: China Securities Regulatory Commission receives Mizuho Securities’ application to establish a securities company in China after Beijing allowed wholly-owned foreign securities companies to do so in 2019. 

: A Global Times editorial on Yamaguchi’s visit terms his efforts “highly commendable,” but adds that the effectiveness of “personal letter diplomacy” and whether his visit to China can achieve significant outcomes largely depend on Tokyo’s attitude and actions toward China. 

: Komeito party chief Natsuo Yamaguchi meets with Cai Qi, the fifth-ranking Communist Party leader, and hands him a personal letter from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addressed to President Xi Jinping. 

: Aiming to enhance Japan’s surveillance capabilities, especially around the Senkaku Islands where Chinese vessels have repeatedly intruded into Japanese territorial waters, the government is weighing the relocation of the operational base for the coast guard’s SeaGuardian unmanned aerial vehicle to Kitakyushu Airport. 

: Japan releases a third batch of treated radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, as the country’s seafood producers continue to suffer from a Chinese import ban imposed after the discharges began.

: Capping an 11-day series of exercises nationwide dubbed 05JX, meant to show the readiness of ground, sea and air forces to defend Japan’s territory and infrastructure, including nuclear power plants, Japanese marines in amphibious assault vehicles storm an island beach at the edge of the East China Sea in a simulated attack to dislodge invaders from territory that Tokyo worries is vulnerable to attack from China. 

: Yomiuri cites unnamed sources saying that China suddenly approached Japan about a summit immediately after foreign minister and Politburo member Wang Yi visited the US in late October. 

: Center-right daily Yomiuri editorializes that results of the Xi-Kishida talk at APEC were “sorely lacking” and advises that before relations can improve Beijing must first change its coercive behavior and stop making unreasonable claims. Center-left Asahi presents a more favorable view, citing an unnamed official in the prime minister’s office as praising the shift toward constructive discussions to deal with the water release issue.

: Meeting for the first time in about a year at the APEC meeting in San Francisco, Kishida and Xi agree to communicate closely at all levels. 

: Chinese media praise the Xi-Kishida meeting as reaffirming strategic and mutually beneficial relations and playing a significant role in stabilizing ties. 

: Commenting on Kishida’s statement that the Japan ASDF will be renamed Japan Aerospace Self-Defense Force before 2027, China Daily notes that the country’s security concerns have been heightened by seeing its advantage diminished by the military strength and technologies of “neighboring countries” compounded by an aging society, shrinking population, a low fertility rate and a grim fiscal situation. 

: Under a framework for a framework on systems and practices for export controls now being discussed between China and Japan, the bureau chief-level and section chief-level officials in charge of export controls in the two countries will hold talks. 

: Japan’s economy contracts 2.1% in July-September after an expansion of 4.5% in the previous quarter. China’s economic recovery picks up slightly in October with industrial production increasing from 4.5% to 4.6% despite falling business confidence. 

: Kaga, a MSDF destroyer, begins sea trials following changes to the ship’s bow, which was made square, had heat resistance reinforced, and the addition of markings for F-35B aircraft to conduct takeoffs and landings on the vessel. 

: A Yomiuri editorial urges the Japanese government to do more than protest China’s intrusions, since inaction will simply encourage Beijing to further encroach on Japanese territory. 

: Global Times describes the Japanese Defense Ministry’s decision to fast-track the deployment of an upgraded version of its GSDF anti-ship missile as an expansion of Japan’s military ambitions that will undermine peace and stability in the region, plunging it into a major crisis and a vicious arms race.

: China announces that it will hold a joint military exercise with five Southeast Asian countries this month, citing local experts’ opinion that the exercises conducive to the safeguarding of regional peace and stability amid repeated provocations by the Philippines. 

: Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force begins a joint exercise with the US, Canadian and Australian navies in the Pacific Ocean with the Philippine navy participating as an observer for the first time. 

: Japan, the United States, and South Korea on Sunday agree to start operating a mechanism to share information on North Korean missile launches in real time and affirmed the importance of having full respect for international law, including freedom of navigation, and maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, with press agency Jiji commenting “apparently bearing China’s maritime expansion in mind.”

: US military unit operating MQ-9 spy drones completes withdrawal from the MSDF Kanoya air base for relocation to Okinawa Prefecture. 

: China declines to renew agreement for the import of Japanese koi, of which it is the world’s largest customer. 

: 12-year prison term of a Japanese national in his 50s accused of espionage in China has been finalized after a high court dismissed his appeal earlier this month. 

: Japan’s finance ministry announces that in September the country had its largest current account surplus in 18 months and eighth straight month of surplus due to hefty gains from overseas investments boosting the balance of payments. 

: In what Nikkei calls a milestone for Washington-Tokyo efforts to deepen defense industry cooperation amid growing challenges from China, US defense contractor RTX is finalizing a deal to procure a major component for an advanced missile defense radar system from Mitsubishi Electric. 

: Japan’s defense ministry discloses that the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong conducted about 570 aircraft takeoffs and landings in international waters off Japan over the nine days ending on Nov. 5.

: Asahi reacts to the Manila-Tokyo agreements by editorializing that “instead of contributing to a hostile encirclement of China that would undermine regional stability, Japan and the Philippines, which have deep historical and economic ties with China, should play key roles in building an inclusive international order encompassing China as well.”

: Liu Shijin, a member of the People’s Bank of China’s monetary policy committee, disputes comparisons between Japan’s stagnation decades ago and the PRC’s current situation, saying that Japan’s recession was a result of a lack of new sources of growth, but China still has potential that can be realized by lifting the consumption of low-income groups and promoting emerging industries, without specifying which. 

: Fifty fewer Japanese companies are expected to join the China International Import Expo, partly due to issues surrounding the release of water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant though 350 apparently will. 

: Yomiuri interprets Kishida’s move to deepen security cooperation with the Philippines as indicative of a strong sense of urgency over China’s aggressive maritime expansion. 

: Global Times characterizes Kishida’s trip to the Philippines and Malaysia as “troublemaking” since, unlike previous prime ministers’ visits that focused on economic diplomacy, Kishida’s “gift packs” contain lethal weapons. 

: Nikkei Asia’s editor-in-chief Nakayama Shin describes Sino-Japanese relations as showing no sign of improvement. China’s ban on fish imports continues, and Japanese officials have grown less optimistic about a sit-down between Prime Minister Kishida and Xi during APEC.

: Chinese government protests Japan’s third round of dumping allegedly nuclear-contaminated water into the sea.

: Aiming to strengthen security ties with the Philippines in light of China’s maritime expansion in the East and South China Seas, the Japanese government will supply defense-related equipment to Manila under what will be the first instance of the country’s new official security assistance (OSA) framework. 

: New quarterly results show Chinese automaker BYD within reach of surpassing Japanese rival Nissan Motor in global sales as its electric vehicles grab market share at home and abroad. 

: Acknowledging the G7’s call for the immediate repeal of import curbs on Japanese food products, Chinese media ridicules the US decision to bulk-buy Japanese seafood to supply its military there. 

: Yomiuri editorializes that there is little room for optimism in the outlook for future Chinese economic growth and laments the lack of transparency in the PRC’s statistics. 

: Japan’s defense ministry will begin deploying fighter jets to Australia on a rotational basis as early as next fiscal year for joint exercises designed to counter a possible attack there. 

: Japanese Defense Ministry confirms that the China’s aircraft carrier with its fighter jets and helicopter jets practicing take-offs and landings 460 km south of Miyako, Okinawa prefecture. 

: Members of the Japanese business community mourn the loss of former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang whom, they believe, championed improved economic ties between Japan and China even when issues such as the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands threatened to derail friendly relations. 

: Japan’s finance ministry announces that the country’s exports of fishery products to mainland China in September fell 99.3% year on year. 

: As part of Japan’s desire to free itself from chip dependence on China, a second Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer, Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (PSMC) will build a plant, this one in Japan’s northern prefecture of Miyagi. 

: An Asahi editorial, conceding that it is vital for Japan and the US to make concerted responses to China’s military buildup, argues it is unacceptable for the operational range and facility usage of the US military and the SDF to be expanded limitlessly without efforts to win support and understanding of local communities. 

: As losses mount, Japanese investment bank Nomura is reassessing its mainland China business. 

: Interviewed by Nikkei, expert Yoshihara Toshi assesses that China’s advantage over the US in theater-range missiles could enable it to “intimidate” frontline states like Japan during a crisis over Taiwan. 

: It is revealed that a Japanese trading company’s Chinese employee overseeing rare metals in China was taken into custody by Chinese authorities in March. 

: It is announced that Japan’s next minister to China will be Kanasugi Kenji, 64, currently serving as ambassador to Indonesia. For the first time in about seven years, the ambassador will not be a member of the Foreign Ministry’s Chinese language training group, dubbed the China School. 

: Asahi editorializes that China’s spy probes have unnerved Japanese and hurt economic ties. 

: Premier Li Qiang and Prime Minister Kishida exchange polite congratulations on the 45th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan. 

: Marking the first time a Japanese company has entered a defense contract with a foreign government without going through the defense ministry, Mitsubishi Electric signs an agreement with the Australian Defence Department for joint equipment development. 

: After being unable to keep up with the major shift to electric vehicles in China, Mitsubishi is expected to announce it will not resume production in China by the end of October. 

: Chinese authorities announced they formally arrested a Japanese employee of drugmaker Astellas Pharma in Beijing, who has been detained since March on espionage charges. 

: Kishida in his official capacity as prime minister but at his own expense, donates a ritual masakaki sprig to the Yasukuni Shrine’s 3-day autumn festival. 

: Japanese foreign ministry regrets Russia’s decision to restrict imports of Japanese seafood despite having been provided with transparent and scientific explanations about safety of the treated water release from the Fukushima plant. 

: Japan joins a 13-nation international framework backed by cyber powers, including the US, the UK, and Israel, for software manufacturers to ensure security of products against cyber-attacks, principally from China and Russia. 

: As concerns grow over the global reliance on China in critical materials for such items as electric vehicles and solar panels, Japan, the World Bank and other partners launch RISE, the partnership for Resilient and Inclusive Supply-chain Enhancement to diversify renewable energy supply chains. 

: Of 502 major Japanese companies surveyed by Reuters, 52% say they expect the slowdown in China to continue into 2025, with 17% predicting weaker economic growth to persist until the end of 2024. 

: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is planning to produce 6-nm chips at its second plant being built in Japan with the chips to be manufactured in a new facility that TSMC is planning at its Kumamoto site in southwestern Japan. 

: China, a harsh critic of Japan’s release of water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, will join the monitoring of radioactive substances in seawater and seafood products in the area.

: MSDF announces that Japan, the United States, and South Korea conducted a 7-vessel joint drill in the East China Sea, where China claims islands administered by Japan, on the 9th and 10th.

: Asahi, citing the Genron-China International Communications Group poll, 26.7% of Chinese are not at all or not very worried about the water discharge from Fukushima, while 25% said it was too early to make a judgment. 

: China has embarked on production of a new generation of nuclear-armed submarines that are expected to pose a challenge to growing US, Japanese, other allies’ efforts to track them. 

: NHK reports that the annual Genron NPO-China International Communications Group joint survey shows 92.2% of Japanese and 62.9% of Chinese felt that relations with the other country were poor or rather poor. 

: In the first intrusion since Sept. 23-25, four Haijing coast guard vessels enter Japanese territorial waters, leaving after less than two hours.

: An Asahi editorial terms the Kishida administration’s intent to quickly acquire military capabilities to strike enemy bases “unacceptable.” 

: All eight US MQ-9 reconnaissance drones deployed at the MSDF’s Kanoya Air Base in Kagoshima will relocate to the US’s Kadena Air Base to strengthen warning and surveillance activities regarding the increasingly active Chinese military around the Nansei Islands and Taiwan.

: Yomiuri editorializes on the need for international cooperation to prevent the spread of Chinese disinformation. Disinformation efforts involving billions of dollars of expenditure per year, are particularly noticeable in Asia, Africa, and South and Central America. 

: A video posted on X shows Chinese high-school students re-enacting and cheering the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, with a banner in the background criticizing Japan’s release of water from Fukushima.

: In his first interview with the Japanese press since being chosen the governing DPP’s candidate for president, Vice-president William Lai Ching-te states that Taiwan and Japan are like a family and expresses his belief that they need to cooperate in every field including security, since both face threats from China.

: With an eye on China, Japan plans to introduce a security clearance system for people handling sensitive information, Nikkei reports, aiming to set standards compatible with the US and Europe. 

: China’s foreign ministry states that China “firmly opposes Japan’s unilateral action of discharging the water into the sea.” Compared with Japan’s first release of treated wastewater from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the outcry from China, Hong Kong, and South Korea on the second release is subdued. 

: In response to many bothersome calls thought to be from China in the wake of Japan’s initial release of treated water from Fukushima, NTT East Corporation is establishing a new service that will allow local governments beset by nuisance calls to reject all phone communications from specific countries.

: Okinawa Gov. Tamaki meets with Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wu Jianghao in Naha and expresses his willingness to bolster ties between the prefecture and China. 

: After meeting US counterpart Lloyd Austin, Defense Minister Kihara announces that Japan will start procuring Tomahawk cruise missiles in 2025. Japan initially planned to buy up to 400 Block V missiles, the latest generation of Tomahawk, in fiscal 2026 and 202. 

: Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Miyashita Ichiro says Japan hopes to resolve China’s ban on its seafood following the release of treated wastewater from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant within the World Trade Organization’s scope short of filing a formal complaint. 

: Indicative of closer commercial ties, Taiwan’s budget Tigerair carrier will begin direct flights from Taipei to Kochi in Shikoku on Nov. 1.

: Chinese sources dispute Japanese claims of large numbers of Chinese tourists visiting Japan for Golden Week as part of their pretexts to mislead the public. 

: According to an unofficial policy document, the Japanese government has designated 14 airports and 19 ports for improvement with an emphasis on preparing for a Taiwan contingency. 

: Despite Chinese government concerns with allegedly contaminated water from the disabled Fukushima nuclear reactor, flights to Japan for the National Day holiday were filled to near-capacity. 

: Newly appointed Economics Minister Shindo Yoshitaka warns that because China accounts for nearly a fifth of Japanese exports, its economic problems could have “a really big impact” on Japan’s economy.

: Japanese and US authorities jointly announce that cyberattacks have been carried out by BlackTech, officially acknowledging for the first time that the group is backed by the Chinese government. 

: According to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japanese population in China is on the verge of falling below 100,000 to a 20-year low as an expat exodus continues amid bilateral tensions. 

: Mitsubishi Motors plans to withdraw from production in China due to sluggish sales of gasoline-powered vehicles in the country. 

: According to Global Fishing Watch and an investigation by Asahi, Chinese boats are catching fish in what Beijing calls “Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water” for distribution in China, while the same marine products caught in the same area by Japanese vessels remain banned in that country. 

: In a break from tradition blamed on his tight schedule, Defense Minister Kihara doesn’t meet Okinawa Gov. Tamaki during his first visit to Okinawa after assuming office. Tamaki, with other Okinawa residents, opposes Tokyo’s efforts to shore up defenses in the prefecture against China in the area.

: Japan Coast Guard discloses that two China Coast Guard vessels that had intruded into territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands, left on the afternoon of Sept. 24 after arriving on Saturday morning. 

: Demand for Japanese food in Hong Kong has not fallen despite Chinese restrictions on sales on the mainland. Customs inspections now take around three hours compared with about 30 minutes in the past. 

: Japanese government protests to China after it deployed another oceanographic buoy in Japan’s exclusive economic zone near the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. 

: Newly appointed defense minister Kihara says he is “very concerned” about China’s rapid military buildup and moves in the East and South China seas, calling trilateral security cooperation among Japan, South Korea, and the US the “cornerstone” of Tokyo’s response to an increasingly tense regional environment.

: Kyodo reports that China has been increasing its surveillance of Japanese nationals following Tokyo’s released of treated radioactive water from the disabled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. More than 100,000 Japanese nationals currently live in China and, with a revised counterespionage law in effect since July, the scope of what constitutes spying under Chinese law has broadened.

: Kishida’s Cabinet revamp names Kihara Minoru, who has visited Taiwan and belongs to a Japan-Taiwan inter-parliamentary group, as defense minister. 

: Symbolic of Japan’s growing support of Taiwan, the government has appointed a serving SDF office to serve as its de facto defense attaché in Taiwan and an additional official to enhance information gathering and communicate with Taiwan’s military. Taiwan had asked for an active SDF officer, as opposed to past practice of appointing retired SDF officers, with Tokyo reportedly on the verge of doing so but chose not to do so after a leak from the Japanese media.

: Japanese government says it will strengthen its efforts to inform the international community that the Senkakus, Takeshima, and territories are inherent parts of Japan. 

: Assessing Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative a decade after its inception, Yomiuri editorializes that China should treat headwinds from Italy and the Baltic states as an opportunity to rethink its approach.

: Voice of America reports that public sentiment toward US military bases on Okinawa appears to be changing, amid growing tensions with China and the shock of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, with younger people feeling that the bases are necessary for the defense of Japan.

: Panasonic Software Development Center Dalian is now the Japanese electronics company’s biggest overseas software development hub in terms of head count, having grown from about 700 to 1,000, including outside contractors, in 2022, with plans to add more staff in the future. 

: Japanese government says it will work with other countries and industries to counter economic coercion from China. 

: Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida have a 15-minute standing conversation at the ASEAN leaders’ meeting in Jakarta, at which there was a spate of protests against China’s continued behavior in the South China Sea. 

: Japan’s defense ministry will establish a unified command for all Self-Defense Forces at the end of fiscal 2024, changing the current practice of setting up temporary task forces. In addition to enabling more efficient responses, the unified command, to be headquartered in Ichigaya, will to be able to better deal with new domains such as cyber and space. 

: China Defense News singles out Japan’s intent to purchase Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) capability from the US as evidence that Tokyo seeks to develop increasingly offensive capabilities.

: Fukushima Yasuhito, a specialist in space security at the defense ministry’s National Institute for Defense Studies, admonishes the government to pay close attention to Chinese military advances fueled by the PRC’s civil-military fusion. 

: China marks the 78th anniversary of the end of World War II, described as the first complete victory won by the Chinese people in their struggle for national liberation. 

: International media report that Chinese-language posts about Japan’s release of treated radioactive water into the ocean appear designed to instill fear and inflame anti-Japanese sentiment. 

: Japan foreign ministry rebuts Chinese claims that the monitoring system at Fukushima lacked transparency and could not be described as international monitoring since the International Atomic Energy Agency’s assessment affirming the safety of the discharged water included participants from research institutions in the United States, France, Switzerland and South Korea. 

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