Japan - Korea

Chronology from Oct 2003 to Dec 2003

: South Korea announces it will lift its ban on Japanese cable and satellite TV programs.

: Pro-North Korean Chosen High School in Osaka for the first time plays in the national high school rugby championship tournament in Japan.

: Japan’s Justice Ministry says it will maintain vigilant surveillance of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryun) as part of its heightened antiterrorism campaign.

: South Korea and Japan launch first round of government-level negotiations aimed at reaching a bilateral free-trade agreement.

: Press reports state that six-party talks unlikely in December as Japan, the ROK and the U.S. are unable to reach agreement with the DPRK and PRC over the outlines of a joint statement.

: A senior U.S. official says it is too early to say diplomatic efforts had failed.

: Kyodo News reports at least 50 documented incidents in more than 20 countries since 1976 link the DPRK to drug trafficking.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda releases a statement officially announcing that Japan will build a missile defense system.

: Senior Vice FM Abe says it may not be necessary to complete a joint statement for six-party talks before participants meet for the next round.

: Japanese announce that South Korean trade deficit with Japan rose to a record $16.72 billion in 2003.

: ROK Foreign Minister Yoon Young-Kwan says publicly for the first time he had effectively given up on hopes for resuming six-party talks this year.

: U.S. Congressional Research Service report surmises that Japanese funding to DPRK in conjunction with diplomatic normalization, could be used for Kim Jong-il’s regime and military.

: ROK and Japanese negotiators meet ahead of a three-way meeting involving the United States.

: U.S. warns the DPRK not to delay or postpone six-party talks, after Pyongyang balked at Japan’s bid to keep the abduction issue on the agenda.

: Japan fails to launch rocket carrying spy satellites.

: Japanese Foreign Ministry official states that Japan might be willing to put a higher priority on resolving North Korea’s nuclear issue over the abduction issue in advance of a possible second round of six-party talks.

: Trade Ministry official states that Japan has prioritized Mexico, South Korea, and ASEAN in its strategy for negotiating free trade agreements.

: Terakoshi Akio, whose father disappeared while fishing in the Sea of Japan in 1963, files a criminal complaint with prefectural police against a North Korean agent whom he claims murdered his dad and dumped his body.

:   ROK Defense Minister Cho and Japan Defense Agency chief Ishiba hold consultations on North Korea.

: Mongolian Prime Minister Enhbayar says that he has conveyed to the DPRK’s leaders that Japan is placing top priority on resolving the issue of abductions of Japanese citizens, and is seeking a comprehensive solution to security issues.

: ROK, U.S., PRC, Russia, and Japan agree in principle that the six-party talks should be regularly held until DPRK nuclear problem is entirely solved.

: Korean Central News reports that Japanese rightist are raising terrific outcries for “Japan-U.S. security alliance” under the pretext of the DPRK military threat. The commentary accuses Japanese rightists of intending to reinvade with U.S. backing.

: Defense Agency chief Ishiba in meetings with Assistant Secretary of State Kelly states that “pressure” is necessary to ensure peace with North Korea

: DPRK wants Japan to pay $40 billion in war compensation. DPRK deputy ambassador to the UN asks Japan to stop what he termed “terrorist” acts, referring to harassment of pro-Pyongyang Korean residents in Japan.

: North Korean ferry Mangyongbong-92 arrives at Niigata port amid protests by abductee groups.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda states that any bilateral talks over compensating North Korea for Japan’s colonial rule must include the abduction issue.

: Japan’s Justice Ministry turns down request for refugee status by a former North Korean agent, overturning an earlier recommendation by the Tokyo regional immigration bureau.

: Japan agrees to exempt visa requirements for ROK students on school excursions to Japan from March at the latest.

: Japan protests DPRK diplomat’s use of the term “Japs.”

: A DPRK diplomat at the UN refers, in English, to the Japanese as “Japs” during a General Assembly discussion of its nuclear program.

: Tokyo Gov. Ishihara claims that Koreans “chose” Japanese rule rather than face Chinese or Russian governance when Japan annexed the Korean Peninsula in 1910.

: Japanese woman seeks asylum in the DPRK after swimming across a river from the PRC.

: Japan’s METI hosts first region-wide meeting on export controls of sensitive military and dual-use technologies.

: Japanese government investigates unconfirmed reports that the DPRK test-fired a second short-range missile towards the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

: PM Koizumi and ROK President Roh Moo-Hyun agree at a meeting during APEC summit in Bangkok to start formal negotiations this year toward a free trade agreement.

: President Bush and PM Koizumi meet in Japan in advance of APEC summit in Bangkok where discussions include policy on North Korea.

: Cabinet-level talks between the DPRK and the ROK over the nuclear crisis.  DPRK insists that Japan be excluded from any future nuclear crisis negotiations.

: At the UN, DPRK officials accuse Japan of forcing 200,000 Korean women to serve as sex slaves during World War II.

: Police in southern Japan arrest several used car dealers over the export to the DPRK of a large trailer that could be used for launching missiles.

: PRC rejects DPRK’s call for Japan to be dropped from talks on the DPRK nuclear standoff.

: PM Koizumi praises China’s role in promoting talks to resolve the North Korea nuclear crisis during ASEAN summit in Bali; Japan, China, and South Korea sign first joint declaration pledging security dialogues to promote peace and stability in Asia.

: DPRK says it will not allow Japan to participate in any new multilateral talks aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programs; Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda dismisses North Korea’s demands.

: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yamazaki condemns North Korean claims that it has almost finished reprocessing 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods.

: A bilateral study group commissioned during the Kim-Koizumi summit in March 2002 advocates Japan-ROK free trade arrangements.

: Japan’s Defense Agency decides to develop a new type of radar with improved detection capabilities by fiscal 2006 as part of its plan to build a missile defense system.

Date Range