Japan - Korea

Chronology from May 2014 to Aug 2014

: The newly-appointed South Korean Ambassador to Japan Yoo Heung-soo assumes his post in Tokyo.

: Sankei Shimbun’s Seoul bureau chief appears at the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s office for questioning regarding the alleged defamation of President Park.

: Prime Minister Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine, but opts not to visit in person.

: In a liberation day speech, President Park urges Japan to make efforts to resolve ongoing history issues.

: Foreign Minister Kishida holds informal meeting with North Korean counterpart Ri Su Yong on the sidelines of the ARF.

: Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida meets South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Myanmar.

: Asahi Shimbun retracts some earlier reports on the  “comfort women,” admitting that there were factual errors concerning testimonies by Yoshida Seiji (deceased).

: Lawsuit filed by a group of Japanese-Americans with the US federal court to have the “comfort women” statue removed from Glendale, California, is dismissed.

: Kyodo News reports that the Japanese Coast Guard rescued four North Korean fishermen that had drifted into Japanese waters due to engine failure.

: Citing data released by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), Yonhap News reports Japanese leasing companies are gaining more ground in the Korean secondary financial market through acquisition of local savings banks.

:  Korea Times states that President Park has rebuffed proposals for meetings put forth by Prime Minister Abe including the scheduling of a bilateral summit.
July 25, 2014: President Park meets Masuzoe Yoichi, the governor of Tokyo and Prime Minister Abe’s envoy, at the Blue House in Seoul.

: Officials from Japan and South Korea meet for the third round of high-level talks in Seoul, on the subject of sexual slavery or “comfort women.”

: Seoul Administrative Court orders the government to disclose the negotiation process involved in the Japan-Korea military information sharing deal that fell through in 2012.

: UN Human Rights Committee tells Japan to adopt the phrase “enforced sex slaves” in reference to those who were forced into military brothels during the Pacific War, resulting in disapproval by the Japanese delegates at the meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

: South Korean Ministry of Gender Equality and Family announces that it plans to apply for UNESCO designation for documents regarding those women forced into sexual slavery under the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

: Poll conducted by the Genron NPO and the East Asia Institute shows percentage of Japanese that hold a negative impression of South Korea increased from 37.3 percent in 2013 to 54.4 percent in 2014, while those with a positive impression fell from 31.1 to 20.56 percent.

: Poll conducted for Reuters by Nikkei Research reveals one-third of Japanese firms believe their business is hurt by political tensions with China and South Korea.

: According to Kyodo News, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio via phone that trilateral cooperation among the US, Japan, and South Korea could be disrupted if Japan-North Korea relations progress along separate tracks.

: Korea Football Association (KFA) announces that there will be no friendly match this year between South Korea and Japan.

: Heads of the Japanese and South Korean delegations to the six-party talks, Ihara Junichi and Hwang Joon-kook, meet in Tokyo for talks regarding North Korea.

: South Korean National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee passes resolution denouncing latest moves by the Abe administration to expand the role of its military.

: Bloomberg News reports that Kyocera has filed a suit with the Tokyo District Court against the Japanese arm of the South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group – Hanwha Q Cells – for patent infringement on its solar panels technology.

: Japanese wrestler-turned-politician Kanji “Antonio” Inoki announces that he and Chang Ung, North Korea’s official International Olympic Committee member, will organize an international wrestling exhibition on Aug. 30-31 in Pyongyang.

: In an address at the Seoul National University, Chinese President Xi Jinping stresses the joint suffering of China and South Korea under Japanese colonial rule. According to The Japan Times, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide reportedly said that “Any attempt by China and South Korea to coordinate in picking apart past history unnecessarily and making it an international issue is utterly unhelpful for building peace and cooperation in the region.”

: Asahi Shimbun reports that Prime Minister Abe has announced that sanctions regulating travel and money transactions involving North Korea will be lifted.

: Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reports on inter-governmental talks between Japan and North Korea in Beijing.

: Trilateral military talks take place in Hawaii among Gen. Iwasaki Shigeru from Japan, Adm. Choi Yun-hee from South Korea, and Gen. Martin Dempsey from the US during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercises.

: US state of Virginia’s law regarding the use of “East Sea” alongside “Sea of Japan” in all new public school textbooks goes into effect.

: Abe Cabinet adopts a resolution lifting the ban on exercising collective self-defense and outlines a shift that relaxes restrictions placed on Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to aid an ally under attack along with activities in UN-led peacekeeping operations.

: South Korean National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee adopts resolution denouncing Japan’s review of the Kono Statement.

: Japan Times reports on the “embarrassing distraction” for the South Korean government of a lawsuit brought on by its own nationals – 122 Korean survivors or “comfort women” who are claiming that the South Korean government abused them as prostitutes for US troops stationed in Korea during the 1960s and ‘70s.

: South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yong meets US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns in Washington to relay Seoul’s concerns regarding Japan’s review of the Kono Statement.

: South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-Yong summons Japanese ambassador to protest Japan’s review of the Kono statement.

: In an interview with the Korea Times, CEO of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), Byun Choo-suk, cites the need to reduce dependence on foreign visitors from China and Japan, and to diversify the targets of Korean tourism.

: Abe administration announces the decision to uphold the 1993 Kono Statement that includes an apology for sexual enslavement of women by the Japanese imperial army during World War II. The finding that there were multiple consultations between Tokyo and Seoul over the wording of the statement sparks outcry from the South Korean government.

: South Korean Navy holds live-fire drills near Dokdo/Takeshima Islands. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide denounces the exercises.

: During his confirmation hearing in the US Senate, Mark Lippert, nominee for US ambassador to South Korea, expresses his intention to work to enhancing dialogue between Seoul and Tokyo.

: Korea Herald reports that Standard Chartered Korea has agreed to sell two of its units – SC Savings Bank and SC Capital – to a Japan-based finance company, J Trust. Pending approval from financial regulators in both Japan and Korea, this will mark the first acquisition of a Korean-based savings bank by a Japanese lender.

: Korea Times reports the Japanese embassy rejected all South Korean female applicants 26 years or older for working holiday visas in Japan, in a bid to curb prostitution.

: Bae Chun-hee, a former South Korean “comfort woman” or “sexual slave” for the Japanese Imperial Army during World War 2 passes away at the age of 91. Her death leaves 54 Korean “sexual slave” survivors, from an initial 237 that were registered on the government list.

: Letter to the US White House endorsed by Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Mark Begich (D-AK) urges President Barack Obama to increase efforts to address the issue of Japan’s sexual enslavement of women during World War II.

: Japan Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori, South Korea Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel meet on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

: Yonhap News reports that Seoul and Washington’s support for improvement in Japan-North Korea relations is conditioned on progress in denuclearizing North Korea.

: As a result of negotiations in Stockholm, North Korea agrees to open a new investigation into the abduction of Japanese citizens, reversing Pyongyang’s earlier insistence that the abduction issue had already been settled.

: Ihara Junichi, director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, and Song Il-ho, North Korea’s ambassador for talks to normalize relations with Japan, meet in the Swedish capital of Stockholm.

: Japan and South Korea hold director-general level talks in Tokyo regarding the Japanese Army’s sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II.

: Japan’s Toyo Engineering Corporation (TOYO) announces that a consortium including TOYO and three South Korean companies has won a contract worth $3 billion to build a large gas chemical complex in western Turkmenistan.

Date Range