Japan - Korea

Chronology from Sep 2014 to Dec 2014

: United States, Japan, and South Korea sign a trilateral agreement on intelligence sharing about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

: Japan’s NHK reports on the findings of the annual poll conducted by the Japanese government on views of the Japanese people toward their neighbors. A total of 66.4 percent reported no affinity toward South Koreans, an increase of 8.4 percent from 2013.

: South Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Baek Seung-joo and Japanese counterpart Tokuchi Hideshi meet for talks in Seoul.

: South Korean experts arrive in Japan to start investigation into food safety.

: Court hearing for Kato Tatsuya begins.

: Japan urges North Korea to release an update of its investigation into the abduction of Japanese citizens.

: Supreme Court in Japan dismisses appeal by Zaitokukai of ruling that it engaged in hate speech against a Korean school in Kyoto, which finalizes a ruling that banned the group from demonstrating near the school and ordered it to pay compensation to the school’s operator.

: The Japan Times announces that Japan’s National Police Agency describes the anti-Korean group, Zaitokukai, as a potential threat to law and order in its annual security report, claiming the group is “one of the rightist civic groups operating based on radical nationalistic and anti-foreigner assertions.”

: Japan, China, and South Korea trade ministers meet in Tokyo.

: Yomiuri Shimbun releases an apology for using the term “sex slaves” for women who were forced to work in brothels operated by the Japanese military during World War II.

: Asahi Shimbun reports that figures for North Korean squid poaching in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has increased by three-fold in 2014.

: Lee Sang-deok, director general for Northeast Asia affairs at the South Korean Foreign Ministry, and Japanese counterpart Ihara Junichi meet in Seoul for consultations.

: Preliminary hearings begin for Kato Tatsuya, head of the Seoul bureau of the Sankei Shimbun, who was indicted over article about President Park’s whereabouts on the day the Sewol ferry sank.

: Sixth round of China, Japan, and South Korea FTA talks are held in Tokyo.

: Tokyo lodges protest against Seoul for military drill carried out by the South Korean military near the waters of Dokdo/Takeshima.

: Japan, China, and South Korea health ministers meet in Beijing.

:  The Japan Times reports that North Korea has denounced a recent UN resolution that condemns Pyongyang for human rights violations, claiming that it will retaliate against Japan, one of the bill’s sponsors.

: Japan denies entry to Lee Seung-chul, a well-known South Korean singer, in retaliation for his performance on Dokdo/Takeshima in August, according to a release by the singer’s management.
Nov. 10, 2014: Prime Minister Abe and President Park talk when they sit beside one another at the APEC dinner hosted by China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

: Reuters quotes Korean central bank chief that South Korea will take action to reduce the impact of the falling yen, which is undercutting South Korean exports.

: Prime Minister Abe delivers a message through Ambassador to Korea Bessho Koro urging President Park to agree to a bilateral summit.

: JoongAng Daily reports that the South Korean Foreign Ministry has rejected remarks by Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide in response to Seoul’s decision to scrap plans of a safety support center on Dokdo/Takeshima, which he claimed reflected Japan’s continued sovereignty of the island.

: Figures released by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) show that Japan-South Korea bilateral trade has decreased for three consecutive years.

: South Korean government announces cancellation of plans to establish a safety support center on Dokdo, claiming “a further review is necessary in terms of safety management, environment, and the scenery of the cultural property.” The decision incurs a backlash from Korean public amid concerns of its ramifications for Japan-Korea diplomatic relations.

: Group of family members of Koreans drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II file a lawsuit with the South Korean government for compensation.

: Yonhap reports that Japanese lenders represent more than half the market (56.2 percent) for small private lending in South Korea, despite their higher interest rates.

: Seoul court rules that Japanese company Nichi-Fujikoshi Corp. must pay 80-100 million won ($75,800-94,800) to 31 former laborers and their family members as compensation for forced labor during World War II.

: 2014 Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD) is held in Seoul. Yonhap News reports that South Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Baek Seung-joo meets Tokuchi Hideshi, Japan’s vice defense minister for international affairs, and expresses concern over Japan’s assertions of the right to collective self-defense and exercising its rights in situations on the Korean Peninsula.

: Japanese delegation headed by Ihara Junichi, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, travels to Pyongyang in hopes of receiving an update from the North about progress on the abduction issue.

: PM Abe meets South Korea’s National Assembly speaker Chung Ui-hwa in Tokyo. According to Kyodo News, Abe expresses hopes for a one-on-one meeting with President Park in the near future.

: President Park greets a Japanese delegation headed by Nukaga Fukushiro at the presidential office in Seoul.

: Representatives from China, Japan, and South Korea gather in Beijing to discuss issues of cyber security.

: Mayor of Osaka Hashimoto Toru and Sakurai Makoto, leader of Zaitokukai, meet for an “exchange of ideas” at Osaka city hall amidst concerns of rising hate speech.

: South Korea’s National Security Advisor Kim Kwan-jin meets Japanese counterpart Yachi Shotaro in Seoul.

: ROK Foreign Ministry denounces PM Abe’s ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine.

: Japanese government calls for revisions to the 1996 UN report condemning the comfort women/sex slaves issues in light of the recent retraction by Asahi Shimbun that relied on questionable wartime accounts by Yoshida Seiji.

: Seoul announces that it has extended a travel ban on Kato Tatsuya.

: Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro, meets South Korea’s Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington. This marks the first such bilateral meeting in almost two years.

: South Korea’s prosecutors indict Kato Tatsuya, the head of the Seoul bureau of Japan’s Sankei Shimbun, on charges of defamation.

: Japan Times reports that Ho Jong Man, head of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), has concluded a one-month trip to Pyongyang.

: Coalition of the Korean Federation for Environmental Movements and the South Korean chapter of the Friends of the Earth International urge the South Korean government to maintain its import ban on Japanese fishery products due to concerns of contamination.

: Tokyo and Seoul hold a strategic dialogue in Tokyo to discuss issues including the denuclearization of North Korea.

: Leader of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Kaieda Banri urges Prime Minister Abe to denounce demonstrations, particularly by ultra-nationalists groups in Japan.

: Japan and North Korea hold talks in Shenyang as part of the negotiations over the abduction of Japanese nationals.

: South Korea’s trade commission announces that it will levy punitive duties of up to 21.79 percent on ethanolamine imports from four countries including Japan.

: South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

: South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yong meets Japanese counterpart Saiki Akitaka in Tokyo for a strategic dialogue for the first time in nearly two years.

: US Congressional Research Service (CRS) releases a report on US-Japan relations, containing a grim assessment of Japan’s ties with South Korea.

: Ultra-right wing group, Zaitokukai, clashes with anti-racism groups in Tokyo.

: Finance ministers of China, Japan, and South Korea meet and agree to greater trilateral cooperation on the sidelines of the G-20 Finance and Central Bank Governors meeting in Cairns, Australia.

: Ihara Junichi, director general of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau at Japan’s Foreign Ministry, meets Lee Sang-deok, director general of Northeast Asian Affairs Bureau of the Korean Foreign Ministry to resume talks on the comfort women/sex slaves issue in Tokyo. The first round of talks began April (Seoul) with the second and third rounds occurring in May (Tokyo) and July (Seoul), respectively.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s goodwill envoy Mori Yoshiro delivers a personal message to President Park Geun-hye, urging the leader to engage in top-level talks.

: The 16th bilateral meeting of the directors general for cultural affairs takes place in Tokyo. This is the first such meeting in four years.

: Japan, China, and South Korean finance ministers meet for first time in two years on sidelines of G-20 in Australia.

: South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se meets Japanese Ambassador to Seoul Bessho Koro. Yun also meets officials from the Japan-Korea Cultural Foundation a few days later to discuss ways to promote cultural exchange between the two countries.

: South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Lee Kyung-soo, Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Sugiyama Shinsuke, and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin meet in Seoul to discuss the state of trilateral relationship.

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