Japan - Korea
Chronology from Sep 2022 to Dec 2022
: Yamaguchi Natsuo of Komeito meets South Korean FM Park Jin in Seoul.
: Yamaguchi Natsuo of Komeito, the junior party of Japan’s ruling coalition, meets with President Yoon in Seoul.
: Yoon government publishes South Korea’s Strategy for a Free, Peaceful, Prosperous Indo-Pacific Region.
: South Korea conducts biannual drills on the disputed islet of Dokdo/Takeshima.
: South Korea and Japan hold working-level online consultations on the Fukushima water discharge plan.
: Mainichi Shimbun polls show that the Kishida administration’s approval ratings are at 25%, 6% down from polls a month earlier.
: South Korean First Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Lee Ki-il starts his four-day trip to Japan to learn about Japan’s national pension system.
: South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs Kim Gunn and US and Japanese counterparts, Sung Kim and Funakoshi, meet trilaterally in Jakarta to discuss North Korean provocations.
: South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announces that Korean Air Lines and Asiana Airlines will gradually increase the number of flights on the Gimpo-Haneda route from 56 per week to 84 per week.
: South Korean Ambassador to the US Cho Taeyong and Japanese Ambassador to the US Tomita Koji agree during a conference that bilateral and trilateral cooperation are important to deal with the North Korean threat and economic issues.
: Japan announces additional sanctions against North Korea, targeting two trading companies, one hacking group, and an official for involvement with nuclear and missile programs. South Korea also announces additional sanctions on North Korea, targeting eight individuals and seven institutions involved with the nuclear and missile programs.
: US sanctions three officials of North Korea’s Workers’ party of Korea for supporting the nuclear and missile programs.
: South Korean Ambassador to Japan Yun Duk Min calls for return of “shuttle diplomacy” between the two leaders in an interview with the Japanese newspaper, Kyodo News.
: Jeju Air Co., a South Korean budget carrier, resumes Incheon-Nagoya route, offering seven flights a week for the first time since the route was suspended in March 2020 due to OVID-19.
: Japanese FM Hayashi, US Deputy Secretary of State Sherman and South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho have trilateral call to discuss North Korea’s Nov. 18 ICBM test.
: Mainichi Shimbun polls show that 43% of Japanese respondents want Kishida to quit soon, while 14% respond that they hope he stay in office as long as possible.
: South Korean FM Park and Japanese FM Hayashi speak on the phone about North Korea’s latest ICBM test.
: US President Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon and Japanese PM Kishida meet at the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, their second trilateral meeting in 2022. They released a comprehensive trilateral joint statement, their first, to increase trilateral cooperation and work together toward a free and open Indo-Pacific. Kishida and Yoon also hold an official summit meeting in Cambodia.
: Japanese FM Hayashi, US Deputy Secretary of State Sherman and South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho discuss and condemn North Korea’s latest missile tests as a “serious threat, including an ICBM.
: South Korean President Yoon meets visiting Japanese lawmaker delegation in Seoul and asks them to help increase people-to-people exchanges.
: A ferry between Fukuoka in Japan and Busan in South Korea resumes service, the first regular international sea route Japan has restarted since the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular ferry service was suspended in March 2020.
: 18-member delegation of Japanese Diet members meet South Korean Prime Minister Han o in Seoul, the first meeting of the annual general meeting of the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians’ Union in three years. In congratulatory remarks read by Japanese ambassador to South Korea Aiboshi Koichi, PM Kishida stresses the importance of Japan-Korea cooperation. The Japanese delegation also meets Chung Jin-suk, leader of the ruling People Power Party and head of the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians’ Union, who stresses the importance of Korea-Japan security cooperation. In their joint statement, members of the two countries’ parliamentarians’ union called for swiftly normalizing Korea-Japan relations.
: South Korean FM Park and Japanese FM Hayashi speak on the phone to discuss North Korea’s latest missile launches of an ICBM and two SRBMs, including one that flew into South Korea’s de facto maritime border.
: Former Japanese PM Aso meets South Korean FM Park in Seoul to discuss ways to improve bilateral relations.
: An 18-member delegation of Japanese Diet members affiliated with the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians’ Union visiting Seoul paid respects to victims of the Itaewon incident.
: Aso Taro, vice president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and former prime minister, meets President Yoon in Seoul.
: South Korean logistics support ship Soyang arrives in Yokosuka port to participate in Japan’s international fleet review on Nov, 6, South Korea’s first participation since 2015.
: Air Seoul Inc, a South Korean carrier announces it will resume flights from Incheon to Osaka and Fukuoka in Japan starting on October 30.
: Japanese FM Hayashi hosts Deputy Secretary of State Sherman and South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho in Tokyo to discuss the North Korean threat, deepening trilateral cooperation, and the recent 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
: US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley hosts trilateral meeting with Korean and Japanese counterparts, Gen. Kim Seung-Kyum and Gen. Yamazaki Koji at the Pentagon to discuss regional security challenges, including the North Korean threat and the importance of trilateral security cooperation.
: Japan announces additional sanctions on North Korea and freezes the assets of five organizations for their involvement with the nuclear and missile programs.
: South Korea announces new unilateral sanctions against North Korea, the first in five years, designating 15 individuals and 16 organizations for their involvement with the nuclear and missile programs.
: South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs Kim Gunn holds separate phone calls with US and Japanese counterparts, Sung Kim and Funakoshi over North Korea’s recent provocations, including flying more than 10 North Korean warplanes close to the South Korean border and missile launches into the South’s maritime buffer zones.
: South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs Kim Gunn hosts Japanese counterpart Funakoshi in Seoul for consultations on North Korean provocations and joint security cooperation.
: Japan lifts border restrictions. About 5000 South Koreans traveled to Japan on the first day of lifted restrictions.
: South Korean Director General for Asia and Pacific Affairs hosts Japanese counterpart Funakoshi in Seoul for working-level consultations on forced labor and other bilateral issues.
: South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs Kim Gunn and US and Japanese counterparts, Sung Kim and Funakoshi Takehiro agree to increase joint efforts to stop North Korea’s cryptocurrency theft, illicit trade and sanctions evasion that help finances its nuclear and missile program.
: South Korean Deputy Defense Minister for Policy Heo Tae-keun holds conference call with US and Japanese counterparts, Ely Ratner and Masuda Kazuo to discuss North Korea’s missile launches and potential joint responses.
: South Korea, Japan, and the US hold a joint naval exercise involving the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier strike group in response to North Korea’s launch of an IRBM over Japan the previous day. The exercise also involved South Korea’s King Sejong the Great Destroyer and Japan’s Chokai destroyer.
: South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs Kim Gunn holds separate phone calls with US and Japanese counterparts, Sung Kim and Funakoshi Takehiro over North Korea’s recent missile launches, voicing “serious concerns.”
: South Korean President Yoon and Japanese PM Kishida discuss North Korea’s missile launches in a 25-minute phone call and agree to work together to respond to North Korea’s “reckless provocations.” Kishida tells reporters after the call that he had agreed with Yoon to build a “future-oriented” relationship.
: US Deputy of State Wendy Sherman, South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyundong, and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Mori Takeo hold a trilateral call to discuss North Korea’s IRBM launch over Japan.
: In separate bilateral phone calls, top diplomats of South Korea, Japan, and the US condemn North Korea’s launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRMB) that flew about 4,500 km (about 2800 miles) over Japan. Both FM Park Jin and Secretary of State Blinken called it a “grave provocation.”
: Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports Science and Technology Nagaoka Keiko announces that Japan has submitted to UNESCO a “tentative” revised recommendation letter for the Sado mine to be added to the World Heritage list. In July, ministry officials said UNESCO found the initial application to be incomplete and therefore did not forward the recommendation to its advisory body by the deadline to be considered for inclusion in the 2023 list.
: South Korea, Japan, and the US hold a day-long trilateral anti-submarine exercise off the coast of the Korean Peninsula in the sea between Korea and Japan. The anti-submarine exercise was the first in five years, and it involved South Korea’s Munmu the Great destroyer, Japan’s Asahi-class destroyer, the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the USS Chancellorville missile cruiser and the USS Barry missile destroyer. The exercise comes a day after North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the sea.
: South Korean PM Han meets Prime Minister Kishida in Tokyo and reemphasizes the Yoon administration’s desire to “swiftly improve and develop Korea-Japan relations.” They also discussed bilateral issues such as forced labor.
: Asiana Airlines, South Korea’ second largest carrier, announces plans to expand flights to Japan from 10 to 32 starting on Oct. 30, in response to Japan’s decision in mid-September to lift the ban on the number of inbound passengers and to resume visa-free travel for visitors from South Korea.
: During his memorial address at the state funeral for Prime Minister Abe, Prime Minister Kishida promises to “do everything in my power” to fulfill Abe’s mission of bringing back Japanese abductees by North Korea.
: South Korean delegation led by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo visits Japan to attend the state funeral of former Prime Minister Abe.
: South Korean Deputy National Assembly Speaker Chung Jin-suk begins three-day trip to Tokyo to attend the state funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. This is Chung’s first trip as president of the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians’ Union.
: Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Aiboshi Koichi describes the Kishida-Yoon meeting on Sept. 22 as a “forward-looking” step to improve bilateral relations.
: Former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio apologizes for Japan’s actions toward Korea during a memorial event for the 1587 Battle of Myeongnyang on Jindo Island in South Korea.
: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Japanese and Korean counterparts, Hayashi Yoshimasa and Park Jin on the sidelines of the UNGA. Blinken stresses the “trilateral partnership matters” to the US, and that “we are even more effective” when the three countries are working together. In their joint statement, the US and Japan also express support for South Korea’s “Audacious Initiative.”
: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio meet for 30 minuteson the sidelines of the UNGA to discuss bilateral relations, the importance of bilateral and trilateral cooperation with the US, and the North Korean threat. This is the first in-person sit-down meeting between the two countries’ leaders since December 2019.
: South Korean FM Park Jin and Japanese FM Hayashi meet for 50 minutes in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss bilateral relations, including working toward an early resolution of the forced labor issue.
: Seoul Central District Court dismisses case for Japan to disclose its state assets in South Korea to pay compensation to comfort women because of its refusal to comply. This follows previous attempts in June and September 2021 for Japan to submit this full list of assets.
: South Korea’s Deputy National Security Director Kim Tae-hyo announces that South Korea and Japan agreed to meet for a summit in New York. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu say that Kishida’s schedule has not been determined.
: South Korean Vice Defense Minister Shin Beom-chul holds discussion with Japanese Vice Defense Minister for International Oka Masami on the sidelines of the Seoul Defense Dialogue in Seoul, the first vice defense minister-level talks between Korea and Japan since September 2016, and the two sides agreed to work together to normalize defense cooperation. Japan also invites the South Korean Navy to attend its fleet review to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF).
: US special representative for North Korea Sung Kim meets Japanese counterpart Funakoshi Takehiro and South Korean counterpart Kim Gunn in Tokyo to discuss “specific steps” to respond to a potential North Korean nuclear test.
: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa discuss the need for improving bilateral relations at a forum. Park says “a starting point for improving South Korea-Japan relations is being created,” while Hayashi believes “there has never been a time when progress in Japan-South Korea, Japan-US-South Korea cooperation is more important than now.”
: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin meets two Korean plaintiffs in Japanese wartime forced labor cases and promises to solve the issue as soon as possible.