Japan - Korea

Chronology from Jan 2008 to Mar 2008

: North Korea urges Japan to make apologies and compensation for the “comfort women” in the official Minju Joson newspaper.

: Japanese carmaker Toyota announces that it will sell the Toyota brand in South Korea in addition to the luxury Lexus brand next year.

: Top Japanese negotiator to the Six-Party Talks Akitaka Saaiki and U.S. counterpart Christopher Hill agree that North Korea should provide a complete account of its nuclear programs.

: Japan’s top government spokesman Machimura Nobutaka says that the Japanese government is likely to extend economic sanctions against Pyongyang after they expire on April 13 in the absence of progress in the bilateral issues.

: South Korea’s Presidential Office announces that President Lee will visit Tokyo on April 20 to hold a summit with Prime Minister Fukuda on April 21.

: South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan asks the Japanese government to start a campaign to grant suffrage to South Koreans residing in Japan during his meeting with the leader of New Komeito Ota.

: South Korea’s Knowledge-based Economy Minister Lee Youn-ho says that the South Korean government and business leaders will formally ask Japan to cooperate to reduce the bilateral trade deficit during President Lee’s summit with PM Fukuda in April.

: President Lee stresses pragmatic diplomacy between Japan and South Korea during his speech commemorating the Independence Movement Day.

:   Sony announces that it will jointly produce LCD panels with Sharp in a bid to replace Samsung Electronics as the leader in global shipments of LCD TVs.

: Lee Myung-bak inaugurated South Korea’s president. During his inauguration speech, Lee emphasizes “global diplomacy,” and “pragmatic inter-Korean relations” as pillars of his government’s foreign policy goals.

: Prime Minister Fukuda and President Lee have a 50-minute summit at South Korea’s presidential Blue House and agree to develop a future-oriented bilateral relationship. They also discuss various bilateral issues, including the resumption of FTA negotiations and the North Korean nuclear issue.

: Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko stresses that there is no difference between President Lee’s North Korea policy and that of Japan.

: President-elect Lee meets Democratic Party of Japan leader Ozawa. Ozawa promises Lee that he will try to ensure that South Koreans residing in Japan can be granted voting rights in local-level elections.

: Korean Institute of Defense Analysis hosts a trilateral South Korea-Japan U.S. security workshop and discusses nonsecurity related incidents such as rescue missions. They agree to jointly formulate plans to counter transnational disasters or accidents.

: President-elect Lee meets with 10 Japanese lawmakers led by Koichi Kato, former secretary general of the LDP, and discusses issues including the North Korean nuclear issue and the resumption of the FTA talks.

: North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency says that Japan-North Korea relations will not improve if Japan continues to make the resolution of the abduction issue a condition for better bilateral ties.

: Japan reiterates its call on North Korea to fulfill a commitment to provide a full account of its nuclear programs and facilities under the Six-Party Talks.

: The remains of 101 South Korean military conscripts by Japan’s imperial army during World War II return to South Korea from Japan. ROK government delegation and 50 family members of the victims hold a memorial service at the Yutenji Temple in Tokyo. Japanese Foreign, Health, and Labor Ministry officials attend.

: President-elect Lee says that South Korea will make no demand during his presidency for apologies about Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula at a meeting at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

: Lee Sang-duk, a special envoy from South Korea’s President-elect Lee, pays a visit to Prime Minister Fukuda. According to Choson Ilbo, Fukuda says that Tokyo will support Seoul and cooperate in its efforts to reunify the two Koreas.

: South Korea’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy says competitiveness of the country’s digital electronics industry moved up 3 to 5 percent points in 2007.

: Japan and the U.S. urge Pyongyang to submit “complete and correct” declaration of its nuclear programs and facilities.

Date Range