Japan - Korea

Chronology from Sep 2017 to Dec 2017

: Japanese government source says PM Abe might decline to attend the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February given South Korean government’s report casting doubt on the 2015 comfort women agreement.

: South Korean Navy conducts military exercise for the defense of Dokdo. The head of Japan Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau protests.

: South Korea issues report that casts doubt on 2015 comfort women deal, saying it did not fully reflect “a victim-oriented approach.” Japan dismisses the criticism saying the accord “followed a legitimate negotiation process between the two governments.”

: Nuclear envoys Lee Do-hoon and Kanasugi Kenji discuss “plans to bring North Korea to a venue for serious dialogue while toughening sanctions and pressure.”

: Foreign Minister Kang visits Japan – for the first time since taking office – to meet Foreign Minister Kono. They discuss North Korea and the controversy over Japan’s wartime sex slavery.

: South Korean Navy and Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Forces conduct a joint search and rescue drill in waters southwest of Yokosuka.

: South Korean man jailed for detonating a bomb at Yasukuni Shrine in 2015 claims that he is suffering from human rights abuses during his incarceration.

: Kyodo reports that Japan plans to publicize testimony denying that Korean were forced to work “under harsh conditions” at UNESCO-listed Hashima island.

: South Korea, US, and Japan conduct a joint missile tracking exercise.

: ROK Foreign Ministry expresses regret over Japan not commemorating victims of its forced hard labor after adding Hashima Island to UNESCO World Heritage list in 2015.

: South Korea, Japan, and China’s senior financial regulators meet in Incheon to discuss steps to ease volatility over US interest rates hikes.

: President Moon and PM Abe agree in a telephone conversation to seek additional UN sanctions against North Korea after its missile launch earlier in the day. Foreign Ministers Kang and Kono also have emergency phone conversation to discuss the launch.

: Foreign Minister Kono says Japan may use its military airplanes and ships to evacuate its Japanese nationals from the Korean Peninsula in the event of a contingency.

: South Korea’s National Assembly passes bill to designate Aug. 14 as a day to commemorate comfort women.

: Osaka Mayor Yoshimura Hirofumi decides to end the six decades of sister-city relationship with San Francisco over a comfort women monument set up in the city.

: President Moon and the head of New Komeito Yamaguchi Natsuo vow to improve South Korea-Japan relationship during their meeting at Cheong Wa Dae.

: Ambassador Lee Su-hoon meets Foreign Minister Kono and they agree to resume shuttle diplomacy between two countries’ leaders.

: South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun meets Vice Foreign Minister Sugiyama, other senior government officials, and heads of main business associations to discuss ways to provide more job opportunities for Koreans in Japan.

: Health ministers of South Korea, Japan, and China meet in Jinan, China and vow to enhance cooperation on the growing aging population.

: South Korea’s Foreign Ministry issues a statement congratulating Japan on the launch of its new Cabinet and voices hopes for “a future-oriented, cooperative partnership based on the right understanding of shared history.”

: UNESCO postpones its review of multinational civic group’s request to register document related to comfort women on the list of “Memory of the World.”

: Japan renews territorial claim to Takeshima in teaching materials posted on a government website.

: Poll conducted by the Japan’s Cabinet Office in July shows Japanese have grown less interested in Dokdo/Takeshima issue than three years ago.

: Seoul High Court overturns a lower-court’s acquittal of Park Yu-ha and convicts her of defaming wartime sexual slavery victims and charges a fine.

: South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says the government supports efforts to register documents related to comfort women as a “Memory of the World” listing of UNSCO.

: South Korea’s new Ambassador to Japan Lee Su-hoon reaffirms a two-track approach to Japan, separating historical disputes from future-oriented cooperation on North Korea and economy. Lee expresses hopes for a visit by Emperor Akihito to Seoul.

: South Korean civic groups urge Japan to apologize over its claim over Dokdo/Takeshima and abolish the designation of “Takeshima Day.”

: President Moon extends congratulations to PM Abe on his re-election and reaffirms coordination on North Korean issues over a summit telephone talk.

: South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, and US Secretary of Defense James Mattis hold a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in the Philippines.

: South Korea, Japan, and the US carry out joint missile warning exercise, designed to prepare against North Korean provocations.

: South Korean Health and Welfare Minister Park Neung-hoo and Japanese counterpart Matsuyama Masaji agree to jointly address the low birthrate in both countries.

: South Korean and Japanese nuclear envoys meet to discuss a coordinated approach toward North Korea.

: South Korea’s Marine Corps unveils plans to set up a new military unit dedicated to defending Dokdo. Foreign Minister Kono strongly protests the plan.

: South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam, Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister Sugiyama Shinsuke, and US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan agree to seek all possible diplomatic options on North Korea in trilateral talks held in Seoul.

: South Korea’s Foreign Ministry expresses concerns over a ritual offering sent by PM Abe to Yasukuni Shrine.

: A comfort women statue is unveiled at the Museum of Korean American Heritage in Manhattan, New York.

: South Korea’s new envoy on the North Korean nuclear program Lee Do-hoon has first telephone conversation with Japanese counterpart Kanasugi Kenji.

: South Korean parliamentary panel passes bill to designate a day commemorating victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery. An elderly South Korea sexual slavery victim visits the US Embassy and calls for Washington’s help in pressuring Tokyo to offer an official apology and compensation.

: About 300 business leaders gather in Seoul to attend a meeting hosted by the Korea-Japan Economic Association to discuss ways to boost ties in the technology and energy sectors and facilitate multilateral free trade with other Asian nations.

: South Korea expresses regret over Deputy Prime Minister Aso’s remarks on North Korean refugees in Japan. Japanese government expresses concern over South Korea’s plan to install comfort women statue in a national cemetery.

: Korean comedy-drama, “I Can Speak,” a movie about a woman who served as a sex slave during Japan’s colonial rule of Korea, attracts over 480,000 people on its opening weekend in South Korea.

: South Korea’s Ministry of Gender Equality and Family announces plan to build a comfort women monument at the National Mang-Hyang Cemetery in Cheonan, South Korea. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide says the plan runs counter to the spirit of a 2015 bilateral agreement. South Korean Foreign Ministry says that the monument installation is not in breach of the agreement.

: Regarding the potential inflow of North Korean refugees to Japan in a contingency on the Korean Peninsula, Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro says, “Can police handle them? Will the Self-Defense Forces be dispatched and shoot them down? We’d better think about it seriously.”

: South Korea’s Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon proposes Emperor Akihito’s visit to South Korea before his abdication to enhance the bilateral relationship.

: South Korea’s and Japan’s foreign ministers affirm their close coordination on the issue of North Korea during a bilateral meeting in New York.

: South Korea, Japan, and the US hold a trilateral summit in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

: Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visit Koma Shrine, which is related to the Koguryo Kingdom, in Hidaka South Korea.

: Japan and the US vow “maximum pressure” on North Korea in response to the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile test by Pyongyang.

: The army chiefs of South Korea, US and Japan – Gen. Kim Yong-woo, Gen. Mark A. Milley, and Gen. Koji Yamazaki Koji – exchange views on North Korea at a meeting held on the sidelines of the 10th Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (PACC) in Seoul.

: House of Sharing in Gwangju says a statue of victims of Japan’s wartime sexual enslavement will be unveiled at St. Mary’s Square in San Francisco on Sept. 21.

: South Korea’s and Japan’s foreign ministers hold telephone talk on North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile earlier in the day.

: South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posts video clips online in Japanese and four other languages to promote wider use of the name “East Sea” for the waters lying between Korea and Japan instead of “Sea of Japan.”

: The heads of the central banks of South Korea, Japan, and China hold an annual meeting in Songdo, South Korea to exchange views on recent economic and financial developments in the three countries.

: A stolen cultural asset of Korea’s Joseon Dynasty returns to South Korea from Japan after 20 years, according to the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation.

: President Moon and PM Abe meet in Vladivostok on the sidelines of a regional economic forum and vow to seek an oil supply cut to pressure North Korea. The foreign ministers also agree to coordinate closely on North Korea.

: South Korea’s Defense Minister Song Young-moo and Japan’s Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori talk by telephone and condemn North Korea’s nuclear test.

: South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo hold telephone talks to discuss the North Korean nuclear test.

: Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kono Taro and South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha hold telephone talks following the North Korean nuclear test.

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