Japan - Korea

Chronology from May 2022 to Aug 2022

: Japanese PM Kishida sends a ritual offering, instead of visiting himself, to Yasukuni shrine for the anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II.

: South Korean President Yoon calls Japan a “partner” to face common threats together during his Liberation Day’s speech.

: South Korean Supreme Court delays making a decision on the forced labor issue case for further deliberations.

: Yun Duk-min, new South Korean ambassador to Japan, calls for holding off the liquidation process, and warns of “great damage” to the South Korean economy.

: South Korean government-private consultative body to resolve the forced labor issue meets for the third time, with boycotts by legal representatives and victims’ support group.

: South Korea, Japan, and the US participate in a trilateral ballistic missile defense exercise during the broader multinational Pacific Dragon exercise in Hawaii. This was the first trilateral drill since 2017.

: South Korean and Japanese foreign ministers meet on sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A Japanese newspaper reports that South Korean side asked Japan to put Korea back on its whitelist and to remove the export controls on three chemicals.

: Legal representatives and supporters of forced labor victims criticize the South Korean foreign ministry’s written opinion to the Supreme Court.

: A Japanese poll shows that the Kishida Cabinet’s approval rating goes down to 51%, a record low since he came to office in October 2021.

: During a visit to Washington, Japanese FM Hayashi calls Japan-Korea and trilateral coordination “really indispensable.”

: South Korean foreign ministry files a written argument to the Supreme Court to explain its position on the forced labor issue and its efforts for a diplomatic solution with Japan.

: Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority approves Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO)’s final plan to begin discharging the wastewater next spring.

: South Korean FM Park meets Japanese PM Kishida in Tokyo, and relays President Yoon’s message to improve bilateral relations.

: South Korean FM Park visits Japan, and meets his counterpart, FM Hayashi. This was the first visit to Japan by a South Korean foreign minister since November 2019.

: Yun Duk-min, new South Korean ambassador to Japan, arrives in Tokyo to begin his posting. He is a fluent Japanese speaker, and calls the two neighbors “the most important partners that share strategic benefits” upon his arrival.

: Japan holds Upper House election. The ruling LDP-Komeito coalition increase their majority from 57 % of the seats to 60 %.

: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, South Korean FM Park, and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa hold trilateral meeting at the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

: Former Prime Minister of Japan Abe Shinzo is assassinated.

: Yoon government launches a government-private consultative body to look for a resolution to the forced labor issue.

: A support group for Korean victims of forced labor rejects a government proposal for a “subrogation payment” to resolve the forced labor issue with Japan.

: US Sresident Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio hold a trilateral summit on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.

: During a visit to the US, South Korean FM Park speaks about “normalizing” GSOMIA, the intelligence-sharing agreement between Korea and Japan.

: South Korean DM Lee expresses willingness to have a “serious dialogue” to work together with Japan during his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue.

: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and Japanese defense Minister Kishi Nobuo hold trilateral ministerial meeting at the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

: US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong, and Japan’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Mori Takeo express commitment to advance trilateral cooperation and security ties to respond to the North Korean threat during a trilateral meeting in Seoul.

: South Korean President Yoon announces the appointment of Yun Duk-min, the former chancellor of the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, as ambassador to Japan.

: Air service resumes between South Korea’s Gimhae International Airport in Busan and Japan’s Fukuoka after a two-year suspension due to the pandemic.

: South Korean Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Cho Seung-hwan announces Yoon government’s intention to keep the ban on Fukushima seafood import.

: South Korean foreign ministry says it will participate in the IAEA-led monitoring of the planned discharge of contaminated wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

: Japanese government announces it will exempt travelers arriving from South Korea from quarantines if they test negative for Covid-19 upon arrival. The exemption takes effect the next day.

: South Korean FM Park vows to build “future-oriented partnership” with Japan during his inauguration ceremony.

: Yoon Suk Yeol takes office as the 20th president of the Republic of Korea.

: Japan’s Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa attends Yoon’s inauguration, and also meets Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin.

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