Japan - Korea

Chronology from Jan 2006 to Mar 2006

: Chosun Ilbo reports that Japanese police conducted a raid on six pro-DPRK Chongryon offices and plans to place Kim Gil-wook who now lives in South Korea on the international wanted list to facilitate investigations on abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea.

: ROK Chong Wa Dae (Blue House) says that President Roh would not hold a summit with PM Koizumi unless Koizumi promises to stop the shrine visits.

: LDP panel agrees to draw up a bill that requires the Japanese government to impose sanctions on North Korea if it fails to make progress in addressing its human rights abuses, including the abduction issues.

: In a meeting with former Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda Yasuo, Roh says that he wants to visit the Yushukan as a symbolic gesture against the temple.

: FM Aso speaking to the budget committee at the House of Councilors expresses dissatisfaction with South Korea and China for aiding North Korea.

: South Korea refers the case of Hynix Semiconductor Inc. to the WTO to counter Tokyo’s 27.2 percent punitive duty on Hynix DRAM chips in January.

: Kyodo News Agency reports that North Korea launched two short-range surface-to-air missiles near North Korea’s border with China.

: ROK Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye meets PM Koizumi and calls for “the right words to be spoken and the right actions to be taken.”

: Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister Yachi Shotaro and South Korea’s Vice Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Yu Myung-hwan resume a sub-Cabinet-level strategic dialogue for the first time since last October in Tokyo.

: Korea Exchange Bank reports its Tokyo and Osaka offices have been subjected to punitive measures by Japan’s supervisory authorities for failing to report their overseas remittances with an unlicensed business suspected of money laundering.

: South Korea returns 18th century war monument, Bukgwandaecheopbi, to North Korea after being in Japan for a century.

: The 87th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement

: Japan begins a 90-day visa waiver program for ROK visitors.

: Japan’s prefectural police in Fukui and Niigata obtain arrest warrants for two suspected DPRK kidnappers, Sin Guang-su and Choe Sung-chol.

: U.S. and Japan forces hold joint command exercise Keen Edge.

: Joongang Ilbo reports that Samsung Economic Research Institute and Japan Research Institute agree to cooperate in terms of joint research, exchanges of personnel, and research data over the next three years.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe reiterates Japan’s claim to Dokto/Takeshima islets.

: ROK TV star Bae Yong-joon and Japan’s Masayoshi Son of Softbank announce they will make a joint investment of $13 million to further the Korean Wave in Asia.

: Chosun Ilbo reports that Korean Railroad Corporation and JR Freight Railway will launch transport service for container freights using railway and sealines. Operations are expected to begin in July.

: KCNA denounces Japan’s Fukuoka High Court ruling that the tax exemption for a hall associated with the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) can be canceled.

: PM Koizumi cautions against imposing sanctions on North Korea.

: Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency reports that trade volume between Japan and the DPRK was $190 million in 2005, the lowest level since 1977.

: Today Online reports that South Korean banks, the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperation and Korea Exchange Bank terminated all transactions with Macau Banco Delta in early February.

: Toshiba Corp. and LG Electronics Inc. sign a cross-licensing agreement to share patented optical disc technologies.

: Asian Development Bank President Kuroda Haruhiko announces that the ADB plans to introduce a notional unit of exchange called the Asian Currency Unit (ACU) as a yardstick to monitor moves in the currency values.

: DPRK-Japan bilateral talks resume under a new three track format.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe says the government plans to urge municipalities to reconsider providing tax breaks for the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) facilities.

: Mainichi Shimbun reports that Japan’s largest banks have voluntarily ceased all transactions with Banco Delta Asia, the Macau-based bank the U.S. has fingered as North Korea’s main money-laundering channel.

: FM Aso backpedals from his call for the emperor to visit Yasukuni Shrine, saying that he does not mean the monarch should visit under the current climate.

: Japan continues to suspend aid to North Korea, despite an agreement to resume bilateral talks.

: Japan’s Fisheries Agency says that Japan will expand its import quota on South Korean pressed seaweed to 1.2 billion sheets by 2015. In return, South Korea will withdraw a complaint it has filed with the WTO in December 2004.

: Japan’s Foreign Minister Aso Taro says the emperor should visit Yasukuni Shrine.

: PM Koizumi defends his visits to Yasukuni by saying that South Korea and China are the only countries that denounce the visits. President Roh says he will keep pressuring Tokyo to face up to its wartime behavior.

: Sankei Shimbun reports that recent surface-to-air missile data was leaked to a pro-Pyongyang group in Japan.

: Japan and South Korea sign a bilateral pact to facilitate cooperation on criminal investigations.

: Asahi Shimbun reports that ROK FM Ban in a meeting with a group of journalists says that if the next prime minister continues to visit Yasukuni, the leaders of Japan and South Korea would not meet.

: The Korean Central News Agency of DPRK (KCNA) quotes Rodong Shinmun that Japan aims to “mount a preemptive armed attack on the DPRK,” denouncing Japan’s joint missile development system with the U.S.

: The Japan Times reports that Japan plans to send two more spy satellites into orbit by March 31, 2007 to strengthen monitoring capabilities of North Korea’s missile and nuclear development facilities.

: Japan’s Senior Vice Foreign Minister Shiozaki Yasuhisa says that he has assured senior U.S. officials that Japan will not normalize ties with North Korea unless the abduction, missile development, nuclear and other issues are comprehensively resolved.

: PM Koizumi reiterates his position that Yasukuni Shrine visits are “a matter of heart” and criticizes South Korea and China for forgoing bilateral talks during his New Year’s news conference. South Korea’s Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon responds by urging Japan to heed complaints from neighboring countries.

: North Korea criticizes Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe Shinzo for claiming that resolution of the North’s abductions is a precondition for normalizing diplomatic relations.

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