Japan - Korea

Chronology from Jan 2018 to May 2018

: President Moon and Prime Minister Abe hold telephone talks to discuss the result of the inter-Korean summit.

: Prime Minister Abe welcomes inter-Korean summit agreements to build peace and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, but also strongly urges North Korea “to take concrete action” following the agreement.

: Japan protests South Korea’s plan to offer a dessert featuring “Dokdo” at the upcoming inter-Korean summit.

: In a telephone conversation with President Moon, Prime Minister Abe expresses hope to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after inter-Korean summit.

: Top nuclear envoys of South Korea and Japan meet in Seoul to discuss cooperation on North Korea and its nuclear issues.

: South Korea voices deep concerns over Prime Minister Abe’s sending of offering to the Yasukuni Shrine.

: South Korea protests a group of 76 high-level Japanese officials’ visit to Yasukuni Shrine. The group includes State Minister for Foreign Affairs Sato Masahia and Okuno Shinsuke, state minister for internal affairs and communications.

: Coalition of South Korean civic groups vows to erect a statue for forced labor victims near Japanese consulate in Busan.

: Foreign Minister Kono visits South Korea and meets President Moon and Foreign Minister Kang. Moon says “close communication and cooperation between South Korea and Japan are more important than ever.”

: Oh Tai-kyu, South Korea’s new consul general in Osaka, vows to narrow differences in perceptions among Koreans and Japanese over Japan’s wartime sexual slavery of Korean women. South Korea’s trade ministry says that it has filed an appeal against a ruling by the WTO on its import restrictions on Japanese seafood.

: Yonhap reports that Japan and South Korea will decide the fate of their protracted negotiations for a bilateral fisheries agreement by the end of April.

: KCNA criticizes South Korea’s defense cooperation with Japan and the US saying that “Now is the time to reject cooperation with foreign forces,” because it “leads to confrontation and war.”

: Foreign Ministers Kang and Kono have a phone discussion on inter-Korean summit, North Korea nuclear issue, and bilateral relations. Seoul strongly condemns Tokyo’s endorsement of new textbook guideline with its sovereignty claim over Dokdo/Takeshima.

: Rodong Sinmun slams South Korea’s security consultation meeting with Japan in March by describing it as “foul meetings to plot confrontation which run counter to the current reconciliatory mood for inter-Korean relations and improving the security situation of the Korean Peninsula.”

: South Korea, Japan, and China hold trade talks in Seoul.

: South Korea, Japan, and the US agree to maintain close cooperation against North Korea’s illegal maritime activity, including illicit shipment, which is prohibited under UN Security Council resolutions.

: US, South Korea, and Japan hold Defense Trilateral Talks (DTT) in Washington.

: Cheong Wa Dae tells reporters that the national security advisers of South Korea, Japan, and the US had an unannounced meeting in San Francisco to discuss ways for “complete denuclearization” of Korea.

: Foreign Ministers Kono and Kang meet in Washington to discuss the latest security situation on the Korean Peninsula and details related to the inter-Korean summit. They agree to strengthen coordination on North Korea.

: Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) accuses Japan of trying to undermine the recent improvement in North Korean relations with South Korea and the US.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Moon hold a phone conversation. Moon stresses that inter-Korean ties can move forward when Pyongyang-Tokyo ties improve.

: Japan and South Korea hold a joint meeting of senior diplomats and defense officials, the so called “two-plus-two” meeting, to discuss policy cooperation for the first time in three years.

: Suh Hoon, special envoy of President Moon, visits Japan to meet Prime Minister Abe and Foreign Minister Kono to explain the outcome of his two-day visit to North Korea, where he held talks and dinner with leader Kim Jong-un. During a meeting with Suh, Kono voices his “respect” for South Korea’s diplomatic efforts to bring North Korea back to negotiations and describes the situation as a “moment right before the miracle.

: South Korean businesses in Japan forecast increased sales in 2018 due to Japan’s economic recovery, according to Korean International Trade Association (KITA).

: In a speech marking the anniversary of the March 1 Movement, President Moon strongly urges Japan to sincerely reflect on past wrongdoings and says that Japan has no right to claim that the sex slave issue is settled.

: Japan allows import of processed poultry from South Korea following six years of negotiations.

: During her keynote speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Foreign Minister Kang says efforts to resolve the issue of Japan’s sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II “lacked a victim-centered approach.”

: Japan’s Shimane Prefecture holds annual event to promote its claim to Takeshima, which was designated “Takeshima Day” in 2005. South Korean Foreign Ministry lodges an official protest with Tokyo.

: South Korea’s trade ministry says that it will appeal the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on import restrictions on Japanese seafood after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster to safeguard public health and safety.

: Seoul Central District Court orders South Korean government to pay 7 million won in compensation to Kato Tatsuya, a former Seoul bureau chief of the Sankei Shimbun, acquitted of defaming ex-President Park Geun-hye in a news article regarding the Sewol Ferry sinking in 2014.

: South Korean man is detained for threatening to blow up the Japanese Embassy in Seoul after an NBC commentator’s favorable remark about Japan’s colonial rule of Korean Peninsula.

: Japan’s Education Ministry posts new textbook guidelines with its renewed claim to Takeshima on Tokyo’s e-government website for public view. South Korea voices strong protest against the textbook guidelines.

: Lawmakers from South Korea and Japan discuss North Korea’s Olympics charm offensive as the key topic at the second annual forum.

: Cheong Wa Dae official says President Moon rejected Prime Minister Abe’s call to resume South Korea-US military drills.

: Prime Minister Abe makes his first visit to South Korea since President Moon took office. The two meet in Pyeongchang.

: Korean residents in Japan commemorate the centennial of the Feb. 8 Independence Declaration in Tokyo. Historians say that the Declaration paved the way for the March 1 Independence Movement and the establishment of Korea’s provisional government in Shanghai. President Moon sent a social media message.

: South Korea’s export of agricultural products and food increase in January, aided by a jump in shipments to Japan. A cheering squad of Chongryon, a pro-North Korea organization in Japan, arrives in South Korea for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide says South Korea’s use of flag showing Dokdo/Takeshima islets during PyeongChang Winter Olympics is “extremely regrettable” and urges Seoul to take “appropriate measures.”  South Korea’s Foreign Ministry reaffirms it will not use a unification flag showing Dokdo/Takeshima during the Olympics.

: Ferrotec Korea Corp., the local subsidiary of Japanese semiconductor parts firm Ferrotex, is referred to South Korean prosecutors over industrial spying allegations.

: South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo suggests that the navies of South Korea, Japan, the US, China, and Russia hold a joint forum on peace and maritime order in Northeast Asia.

: Nikkei reports that Abe’s decision to attend the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang winter Olympics was prompted by the US.

: South Korea strongly protests Japan’s establishment of an exhibition hall intended to promote its claims to Dokdo/Takeshima.

: Japanese Embassy in Seoul officially requests Prime Minister Abe’s attendance at the opening ceremony of PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Cheong Wa Dae welcomes Abe’s offer to visit South Korea.

: Ambassador Lee Su-hoon says South Korea needs to take a long-term approach in dealing with sexual slavery issue with Japan. South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson says Seoul has yet to determine the fate of a fund worth ¥1 billion paid by Japan under the 2015 comfort women deal and will also consult with Japan about how to handle the fund.

: At the 196th session of the Diet, Foreign Minister Kono reaffirms Japan’s commitment to closely cooperating with South Korea on North Korea issue and building a future-oriented relationship. He stresses that the Japan-ROK agreement on the comfort women issue is “final and irreversible.” and reaffirms Tokyo’s position that Takeshima is an inherent part of the territory of Japan.

: South Korea’s Finance Ministry levies a 56.3 percent preliminary anti-dumping duty on coated paper from Japan to protect its local industry.

: Foreign Ministers Kang and Kono attend “a Foreign Minister’s Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula” in Vancouver, Canada, where foreign ministers of 20 countries express support for inter-Korean talks and the importance of diplomatic efforts to resolve the North Korea’s nuclear issue.

: In a nationally televised press conference, President Moon calls for Japan’s sincere apology to resolve wartime sexual slavery issue.

: Foreign Minister Kang says South Korea will not seek renegotiation of the 2015 comfort women deal with Japan, but demands Japan’s fresh “voluntary and heart-felt apology” to victims. In response, Foreign Minister Kono Taro says, “ It’s totally unacceptable that South Korea demands Japan carry out more measures, even though the 2015 Japan-South Korea agreement confirmed a final and irreversible resolution.”

: South Korean Foreign Ministry Director General for Northeast Asian Affairs Kim Yong-kil meets Director General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Kanasugi to discuss bilateral issues.

: Choi Jong-ku, chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), says South Korea seeks deeper cooperation with Japan and China in regulating cryptocurrencies.

: Yonhap reports that Foreign Minister Kang has begun efforts to listen to views of former wartime sex slaves of Japan since the Foreign Ministry task force concluded that the 2015 comfort women deal had procedural problems and did not fully reflect opinions of the victims and civic groups.

: South Korean President Moon Jae-in holds a lunch meeting with eight former wartime sex slaves of the Japanese military at Cheong Wa Dae as an apparent demonstration of his objection to 2015 comfort women agreement. It followed Moon’s visit to Kim Bok-dong, a 90-year-old former sex slave at a local hospital.

: Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, talks by telephone with Japanese counterpart Kanasugi Kenji to share assessments of the security situation of the Korean Peninsula.

: South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha cites strained bilateral relations with Japan over comfort women issues as one of the diplomatic challenges confronting South Korea in her New Year speech.

Date Range