Japan - Korea

Chronology from Jan 2012 to May 2012

: The general assembly of the IHO takes place in Monaco.

: The petition site operated by the US White House shuts down due to a flurry of activity regarding a petition to change the naming of the Sea of Japan to the East Sea.

: A South Korean civic group holds a rally in downtown Paris to urge the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) to formally adopt the ‘East Sea’ name to the currently labeled ‘Sea of Japan,’ ahead of the IHO general assembly meeting in Monaco.

: ROK National Tax Service (NTS) Commissioner Lee Hyun-dong meets Japanese counterpart Kawakita Chikara to address the issue of offshore tax evasion.

:   North Korea attempts to launch a satellite; the rocket carrying the satellite breaks apart within moments of launch.

: Roughly 800 Japanese gather at the constitutional government memorial near the National Diet Building to protest the issue of sovereignty over Dokdo/Takeshima. JoongAng Daily reports that more than 60 Japanese lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties supported the rally and 49 personally attended.

: The ROK-China-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting takes place in Ningbo, China. Bilateral meetings preceded the three-way talks the day before.

: Japan releases its 2012 Diplomatic Bluebook, which garners severe protests from its Korean neighbor for reaffirming its territorial claims over the disputed islands.

: The Japan Times announces that Japan has completed its deployment of its ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptors ahead of North Korea’s planned rocket launch.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura Osamu tells reporters that Japan will extend its sanctions against North Korea by a year.

: Kyodo announces new plans by Korea, Japan, and China along with the 10 Southeast Asian countries to double their reserve pool to $240 billion to better deal with the potential spillovers from the crisis in Europe.

: A Korea-Japan symposium supported by the ROK Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs takes place on Jeju Island, aimed at protecting sea turtles.

: The Japanese government approves three new high school textbooks claiming Takeshima as Japanese territory, inciting protests from the Korean government.

: The top nuclear envoys from South Korea and Japan hold talks in Seoul to discuss the steps following North Korea’s announcement of a planned rocket launch.

: Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announces its decision to launch a multi-year development program with the Japan International Cooperation Agency on disaster management.

: According to a Daily Yomiuri report, the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement will likely hurt Japanese automakers and electronic firms in the North American market.

: North Korea announces its planned satellite launch to mark the centennial of state founder Kim Il Sung’s birthday.

: Sankei Shimbun reports on an unofficial meeting between Tokyo and Pyongyang to discuss repatriation of Japanese women who moved to North Korea with their Korean husbands.

: Daily Yomiuri quotes Gov. Mizoguchi Zembee as calling on the central government to build a Self-Defense Forces camp on part of the Okinoshima islets, which are located between Honshu and the disputed islets of Dokdo/Takeshima.

: Asahi Shimbun publishes an op-ed by President Lee Myung-bak entitled “3/11 and Korea-Japan Relations: An Affirmation of Friendship.”

: ROK Vice Foreign Minister Ahn Ho-young meets Japanese counterpart Sasae Kenichiro and calls on Japan to “take fundamental measures that are acceptable to the victims [of sex slavery] as the issue is one of the most important pending issues between the two nations.”

: The seventh Korea-Japan-China Senior Foreign Affairs Officials’ Consultation and the first Asian Policy Dialogue are held in Beijing.

: In a speech during a ceremony to commemorate the 93rd anniversary of the March 1 uprising against Japanese colonial rule of Korea, President Lee Myung-bak urges Japan to “urgently resolve” the compensation issue for South Korean “comfort women.”

: Chosun Ilbo covers the latest moves by Shimane prefecture officials and their request to elevate “Takeshima Day” into a national holiday.

: Japan’s Shimane prefecture hosts a rally condemning Korea’s “illegal occupation” of Takeshima. The Shimane Prefectural Government has been hosting an exhibition of various records buttressing Japan’s claim to the disputed territory since January.

: Kyodo News reports that 11 Japanese lawmakers attended the annual “Takeshima Day” ceremony in Matsue, Shimane prefecture to promote Japan’s territorial claims to Takeshima.

: In a press conference, Korean Ambassador to Japan Shin Gak-su states that the request made by Japanese Prime Minister Noda Yoshihoko in December to get rid of the “peace monument” near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul was inappropriate.

: The Korea Times reports that South Korea is quickly solidifying its hold on Dokdo, with 28 different projects either underway or completed on the rocky islets.

: The Japan Foundation funds a symposium on “The Post-Disaster Paradigm Shift and ROK-Japan Relations” in Seoul.

: South Korea and Japan resume their exchange program for junior diplomats.

: Jakarta Post reports that the Japanese and South Korean ambassadors along with the Taiwanese representative have filed complaints to the Indonesian government over its handling of the recent labor unrest, claiming damages to their businesses in Indonesia.

: Hankuk Ilbo reports that the Japanese right-wing group Zaitokukai (the “Citizens against Special Privilege of Zainichi”) has applied for a permit to erect a monument in front of the site of the new Korean Embassy, claiming Japan as the sole owner of Dokdo/Takeshima.

: Mainichi Daily News details the speech by Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba Koichiro, asserting Japan as the legitimate owner of Takeshima. South Korea government immediately protests and lodges a formal complaint with the Japanese ambassador.

: “Comfort women” receive media attention as the survivors of those forced into prostitution by the Japanese Imperial Army meet ROK Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan.

: The first three-way talks among senior officials from South Korea, Japan, and the US since the death of Kim Jong Il take place in Washington.

: South Korea’s chief nuclear envoy Lim Sung-nam and Japanese counterpart Sugiyama Shinsuke meet in Seoul to discuss issues regarding North Korea.

: In an interview with Yonhap News, ROK Ambassador Shin Kak-soo states that Seoul and Tokyo must work toward finding a solution to the issue of compensation for Korean women forced into prostitution for the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II.

: Asahi Shimbun reports that a Chinese man was arrested for a firebomb attack at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. The man reportedly said his grandmother was the victim of sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

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