Chronologies

US - Japan

Chronology


: Abe says that he will publish a new statement on ballistic missile defense strategy before his planned resignation on Sept. 16.

: The Liberal Democratic Party announces that it will not include votes from rank-and-file members in the party election to decide Abe’s successor.

: Abe and Trump speak by telephone.

: The American Institute in Taiwan declassifies documents on the Six Assurances offered to Taipei during the Reagan administration.

: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Kono meet in Guam.

: Abe announces that he will resign because of ill health.

: Abe meets with Chief of Space Operations General John Raymond in Tokyo.

: Republican National Convention convenes in Charlotte, NC and Washington, DC.

: The Democratic National Convention convenes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

: Maritime Self-Defense Force participates in the US-led, 10-country Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises off the coast of Hawaii.

: The US Navy and Maritime Self-Defense Force conduct joint operations in the East China Sea and Philippine Sea.

: Newspaper reports suggest that the Japanese government may abandon its plan to buy three US-made Global Hawk surveillance aircrafts.

: US Forces Japan extends public health emergency for Japan until Sept. 12, 2020.

: Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar visits Taipei to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and meet with President Tsai Ing-wen.

: US Department of Treasury designates 11 individuals under Executive Order 13936.

: US Ambassador to Japan nominee Kenneth Weinstein testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

: Department of State appoints Donna Welton as senior advisor for security negotiations and agreements, where she will lead negotiations over the costs of stationing US forces in Japan.

: Government of Japan and United States Forces Japan issue joint press release on their efforts to combat COVID-19.

: US Forces Japan announces that all arriving personnel must undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing before being released from two weeks of quarantine.

: Pompeo delivers a speech on China at the Nixon Library.

: Maritime Self-Defense Force, Australian Defense Force, and US Navy begin a trilateral exercise in the Philippine Sea.

: Trump issues Executive Order 13936 revoking Hong Kong’s special trading and economic status with the United States and signs the Hong Kong Autonomy Act into law.

: The US Marine Corps in Okinawa officially reports 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the prefectural government.

: Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki calls the large number of COVID-19 cases at US bases in Okinawa “extremely regrettable” after being notified by the US military that the number of confirmed cases had risen to 62.

: United States approves Japan’s planned purchase of 105 F-35 joint strike fighters.

: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Koichi Hagiuda sign Joint Exploration Declaration of Intent on space cooperation.

: US Forces Japan extends public health emergency in Japan until Aug. 13.

: Deputy Secretary of State and Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun travels to Tokyo to meet Motegi, Kono, Vice Foreign Minister Akiba Takeo, and other officials.

: Liberal Democratic Party adopts a resolution against Xi’s visit to Japan.

: Koike Yuriko wins reelection as governor of Tokyo.

: The US Senate approves the Hong Kong Autonomy Act by unanimous consent.

: US House of Representatives passes the Hong Kong Autonomy Act by unanimous consent.

: Chinese President Xi Jinping signs a new security law for Hong Kong.

: Pompeo condemns China over Hong Kong’s national security law.

: Kono announces that the National Security Council has decided to cancel deployment of the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system in Yamaguchi and Akita prefectures.

: Japan and the United States mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security entering into force.

: Pompeo and Motegi join G7 foreign ministers in issuing a joint statement of concern for China’s national security law in Hong Kong.

: Defense Minister Kono Taro announces that Japan will suspend deployment of the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system.

: Abe lifts the state of emergency for COVID-19.

: Pompeo warns China of punishment if it goes ahead with the planned security law for Hong Kong.

: Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ annual Diplomatic Bluebook describes Taiwan as an “extremely important partner,” a stronger description than the previous year’s description of a “crucial partner and an important friend.”

: US Forces Japan extends public health emergency in Japan until June 14, 2020.

: Minister of Foreign Affairs Motegi Toshimitsu and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo participate in a teleconference on COVID-19 with foreign ministers of Australia, Brazil, Israel, India, and South Korea.

: President Trump and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo speak by phone about COVID-19.

: Okamoto Yukio, veteran diplomat, adviser to prime ministers, and staunch advocate for the US-Japan alliance, passes away at the age of 74.

: Abe extends the state of emergency until May 31.

: Navy officials recommend the reinstatement of Capt. Crozier.

: Trump announces plan to suspend immigration to the US.

: Trump encourages protests against social distancing restrictions in some US states.

: Abe and Trump attend the G7 Summit by video conference.

: Abe declares nationwide state of emergency.

: US Forces Japan declares a Japan-wide public health emergency.

: Trump announces that he will cut off funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) over its response to COVID-19.

: Modly resigns as Acting Secretary of the Navy.

: Abe declares a state of emergency over COVID-19 for one month beginning April 7 in Tokyo, Osaka, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Hyogo, and Fukuoka prefectures.

: US Forces Japan declares a public health emergency for the Kanto region.

: Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly travels to Guam to explain his removal of Capt. Crozier to the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

: Capt. Crozier is removed from command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

: Abe announces plan to send two masks to every household amid growing concerns over shortages.

: A letter from Capt. Brett Crozier, captain of aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, to Navy officials pleading for help with COVID-19 cases aboard his ship is published by the San Francisco Chronicle.

: Trump signs a $2 trillion stimulus package into law in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

: Japan enacts entry restrictions on travelers from the United States.

: Trump and Abe attend the G20 Summit by video conference.

: Pompeo and Motegi attend the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting by video conference.

: First US Forces Japan active duty member tests positive for COVID-19.

: Trump and Abe speak by telephone about the Tokyo Olympics and COVID-19.

: Japan and the International Olympic Committee agree to postpone the Olympic Games until 2021.

: Australia announces that it will not attend the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

: United States and Japan expand access for US and Japanese air carriers to fly between the United States and Tokyo’s Haneda airport.

: Canada announces that it will not attend the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

: Motegi and Pompeo speak by telephone about COVID-19.

: Trump and Abe attend G7 Summit by video conference. Leaders’ Statement.

: Trump declares national emergency over the COVID-19 outbreak.

: Pompeo and Motegi hold a US-Japan Summit Telephone Talk on COVID-19.

: Japan revises existing law to allow Abe to declare a state of emergency for the COVID-19 outbreak.

: Japan adopts a 1 trillion yen ($9.6 billion) stimulus package to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

: Japan implements two-week quarantine and travel restrictions for visitors from China and South Korea.

: United States enacts an emergency spending package to combat the spread of COVID-19.

: A report by SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. projects that cancelling the Olympic Games will reduce Japan’s annual GDP by 1.4%.

: Japanese government announces postponement of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Japan.

: CDC lifts all federal restrictions on testing for COVID-19.

: Final Diamond Princess crew members disembark from the cruise ship.

: Princess Cruises reports that all guests have disembarked from the Diamond Princess.

: Governor of Hokkaido Naomichi Suzuki declares a state of emergency over coronavirus.

: Abe asks all elementary, junior high, and high schools nationwide to close through the end of spring break in early April.

: White House asks Congress for $1.25 billion in emergency funds to fight COVID-19.

: Disembarkation begins for passengers confirmed as not being infected on the Diamond Princess.

: Japanese epidemiologist Iwata Kentaro (Kobe University) posts a YouTube video criticizing unacceptable quarantine practices onboard the Diamond Princess.

: Two charter flights carrying passengers from the Diamond Princess depart Tokyo for the United States.

: Emperor of Japan cancels his birthday celebration.

: US Embassy in Japan announces that the US government will charter an aircraft to evacuate its citizens off the Diamond Princess. CDC Statement.

: Pompeo, Motegi, and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang hold a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

: Trump is acquitted of two impeachment charges by the Senate.

: Authorities extend the quarantine for the Diamond Princess by 14 days after 10 people onboard test positive for COVID-19.

: US Forces Japan implements a 14-day quarantine for people returning from China.

: The Diamond Princess docks off Daikaku Pier in Yokohama Port and is immediately quarantined.

: Diamond Princess cruise ship stops in Naha, Okinawa, and completes a short quarantine before departing for Yokohama.

: Hong Kong government announces that a passenger on the Diamond Princess who disembarked on Jan. 25 has tested positive for COVID-19.

: President Trump enacts travel restrictions on foreign nationals who had visited China in the past 14 days.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announces ban on entering Japan for foreign nationals from China’s Hubei province.

: WHO declares a global health emergency over the COVID-19 outbreak.

: Joint meeting of Japan-United States Strategic Energy Partnership is held in Washington, DC. Joint Statement.

: United States confirms its first case of COVID-19.

: Motegi, Kono, Pompeo, and Esper issue a joint statement to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States.

: Japan confirms its first case of COVID-19.

: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu in Palo Alto, CA

: Secretary of State Pompeo, Foreign Minister Motegi, and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha hold a trilateral meeting in Palo Alto, CA.

: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper meets Defense Minister Kono Taro at the Pentagon.

: United States, Japan, and Mongolia hold trilateral meeting in Washington, DC. Joint Statement.

: Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun meets with National Security Secretariat Secretary General Kitamura Shigeru in Washington, DC.

: United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), which consolidates OPIC and USAID’s Development Credit Authority, officially begins operations.

: Abe names Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, and Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare Katsunobu Kato as his possible successors on Nikkei Sunday Salon television program.

: Abe’s cabinet announces plan to deploy Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) on an intelligence-gathering mission in the sea off Yemen and Oman in early February.

: Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako visit Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures to meet with victims of Typhoon Hagibis.

: The United States and Japan release a joint statement on cooperation to advance innovations in quantum information science and technology.

: Trump is impeached by the House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

: Biegun travels to Seoul and Tokyo for meetings on North Korea.

: The House Judiciary Committee approves two articles of impeachment against Trump.

: Newspaper reports suggest that the Japanese government is considering a new location for the US-developed Aegis Ashore missile defense system, which was originally set to be deployed in Akita’s Araya district.

: Senior officials from the United States and Japan hold a meeting of the Extended Deterrence Dialogue in Tokyo.

: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announces that the House Judiciary Committee will draw up articles of impeachment against Trump.

: Japan’s Upper House approves US-Japan trade deal, paving the way for its entry into force in 2020.

: The House Judiciary Committee begins the next phase of the impeachment hearings for Trump.

: Former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone passes away.

: Sullivan meets with Motegi on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya, Japan.

: The G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting takes place in Nagoya.

: US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan travels to Nagoya, Japan to lead the US delegation to the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

: Abe admits involvement in the guest selection process for the 2019 cherry blossom viewing party.

: Abe’s administration reveals that the guest list for the 2019 cherry blossom viewing party was shredded on May 9, the same day that the document was requested by an opposition lawmaker.

: Japan’s Lower House approves US-Japan trade deal.

: Stilwell travels to Tokyo and Nagoya for bilateral meetings and to attend the Nagoya G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

: Senior officials from the United States and Japan hold a bilateral policy planning conference in Washington, DC.

: Public impeachment hearings for Trump begin in the Intelligence Committee.

: Abe cancels cherry blossom viewing party in 2020.

: Abe answers questions in the Diet from opposition parties regarding accusations that he used taxpay-funded cherry blossom viewing parties to reward political supporters.

: Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach meets with National Security Adviser Shigeru Kitamura and other senior officials in Tokyo.

: Senior officials from the United States, Japan, Australia, and India meet for quadrilateral consultations on advancing a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific on the sidelines of the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Bangkok, Thailand.

: The United States, Japan, and Australia announce the Blue Dot Network, an infrastructure development plan led by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in cooperation with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

: The United States and Japan release a joint statement on Furthering the Development of Smart Cities in the Indo-Pacific on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Bangkok.

: Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai resigns over allegations that his wife violated election campaign laws.

: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announces the next stages in the impeachment inquiry, which will be led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

: Japan’s Ministry of Defense calls up Self-Defense Forces (SDF) reserves to aid with Typhoon Hagibis disaster relief, marking the first time SDF reserves have been mobilized since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

: Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Isshu Sugawara resigns over allegations that he violated election campaign law.

: US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell visits Japan to attend the Mt. Fuji Dialogue and meet with senior officials.

: Abe meets with US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in Tokyo.

: Pompeo and Motegi speak by telephone to discuss coordination on Iran.

: Typhoon Hagibis makes landfall in Japan.

: The 7th US-Japan Cyber Dialogue takes place in Tokyo.

: The 10th meeting of the US-Japan Policy Cooperation Dialogue on the Internet Economy takes place in Tokyo, Japan.

: Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun meets with Japanese Director General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Shigeki Takizaki and Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Lee Do-hoon in Washington to discuss North Korea.

: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Ambassador of Japan to the United States Shinsuke Sugiyama sign the US-Japan Trade Agreement and US-Japan Digital Trade Agreement in Washington, DC.

: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Motegi meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Meeting in New York.

: Motegi, Pompeo, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, and Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar hold a quadrilateral Japan-US-Australia-Indian ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Meeting in New York. Readout.

: Trump and Abe hold a US-Japan Summit Meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. Remarks. During their summit meeting, they sign the US-Japan Trade Agreement and the US-Japan Digital Trade Agreement.

: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announces formal impeachment inquiry into Trump.

: Abe gives a speech at the UN General Assembly Meeting in New York.

: Vice President Mike Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Meeting in New York.

: Abe visits New York to attend the UN General Assembly Meeting.

: Abe participates in the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.

: Motegi visits New York to attend the UN General Assembly Meeting.

: The Wall Street Journal publishes a story alleging that Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden’s son in a July 25 phone call.

: US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation on President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request for East Asia and the Pacific.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on US policy in the Indo-Pacific region.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo reshuffles his cabinet. Taro Kono is appointed defense minister and Toshimitsu Motegi becomes the new foreign minister.

: Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono speaks at the 51st Annual Joint Meeting of the Japan-Midwest US Association in Chicago, Illinois.

: Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Kiyoto Tsuji meets with families of former prisoners of war in Tokyo.

: President Trump and PM Abe meet  on sidelines of G7 Summit in Biarritz, France.

: Economic Revitalization Minister Motegi and USTR Lighthizer announce Japan and the US have agreed to the outlines of a trade agreement.

: US and Japan propose an amendment to the Open Skies air transport agreement to expand passenger service between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and the US.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun travels to Japan.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga suggests that Japan may send Maritime Self-Defense Force ships to join the US in protecting shipping off the coast of Iran.

: Defense Secretary Mark Esper urges Prime Minister Abe and Defense Minister Iwaya to consider joining the US-led coalition to protect shipping in the Persian Gulf.

: Seventh Japan-US Non-Proliferation Dialogue is held in Tokyo.

: Secretary of State Pompeo, Foreign Minister Kono, and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN-related meetings in Thailand.

: US and Japan release a joint statement on Japan-United States Mekong Power Partnership (JUMPP).

: Secretary Pompeo, FM Kono, and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia Marise Payne hold ninth US-Japan-Australia Trilateral Strategic Dialogue on the sidelines of the ASEAN-related meetings in Thailand. Joint Statement

: Secretary Pompeo calls for a “standstill agreement” between Japan and South Korea to lessen tensions.

: FM Kono and Secretary Pompeo speak by telephone about North Korea and other issues.

: Japan and US agree to revise Guidelines Regarding Off-Base US Military Accidents in Japan.

: Sixth meeting of US-Japan Comprehensive Dialogue on Space. Joint Statement

: National Security Adviser John Bolton visits Tokyo and meets Foreign Minister Kono, Defense Minister Iwaya, and Yachi Shotaro, a security adviser to Prime Minister Abe.

: Japan holds election for the House of Councillors.

: US Embassy in Tokyo confirms that Ambassador William Hagerty will step down later in July to prepare for a Senate run in 2020.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell visits Tokyo.

: Secretary Pompeo and FM Kono speak by telephone about North Korea and Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un.

: Prime Minister Abe, President Trump, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hold the second Trilateral Summit Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka.

: FM Kono and Secretary Pompeo meet on sidelines of G20 Summit in Osaka.

: FM Kono meets Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, Commander of US Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force, in Tokyo.

: Newspaper reports suggest that President Trump has discussed withdrawing from the US-Japan Security treaty with advisers. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga later says that the White House denied any such considerations took place.

: President Trump and PM Abe speak by telephone about the upcoming G20 Summit and Iran.

: Japan-US Extended Deterrence Dialogue is held in Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

: Finance Minister Taro Aso Taro and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin meet to discuss the global economy and trade tensions between the US and China.

: Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan meets Prime Minister Abe, Defense Minister Iwaya, Foreign Minister Kono, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga in Tokyo.

: Senior officials from Japan, the United States, Australia, and India meet for consultations in Bangkok on a free and open Indo-Pacific.

: President Trump visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe and others.

: Economic Revitalization Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and USTR Lighthizer hold talks on a bilateral trade deal in Tokyo.

: FM Kono and Secretary Pompeo speak by telephone about President Trump’s upcoming visit to Tokyo.

: President Trump directs US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer to explore raising tariffs on automobiles and related products, particularly from Japan and the EU, to 25% within six months.

: Foreign Minister Kono Taro meets Gen. Robert Abrams, commander of United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea, in Tokyo.

: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue meets Agricultural Minister Yoshikawa Takimori to discuss the removal of tariffs on farm products in Niigata.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide visits the United States and meets Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence.

: President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo speak by telephone about North Korea and Trump’s upcoming visit to Japan.

: The United States and Japan hold a Joint High-Level Committee Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation. Joint Statement

: Emperor Naruhito succeeds Akihito as the new emperor of Japan.

: Emperor Akihito abdicates his position as emperor of Japan.

: PM Abe meets President Trump in Washington, DC. Remarks.

: Finance Minister Aso Taro meets Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Washington, DC.

: Foreign Minister Kono’s interview is published in the Washington Post.

: Second round of unified local elections is held in Japan.

: Secretary of State Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan host Foreign Minister Kono and Defense Minister Iwaya Takeshi in Washington, DC for a Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) meeting. Joint Statement, Fact Sheet, Remarks to the Press

: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announce that they will pay a state visit to Japan from May 25-28, 2019.

: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Fiscal Policy Minister Motegi Toshimitsu hold talks on a US-Japan trade deal in Washington, DC.

: PM Abe publishes article on women’s empowerment in Japan in Medium.

: First round of unified local elections is held in Japan.

: PM Abe meets Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the United States Marine Corps in Tokyo.

: Second TOFU program participants visit New York for meetings at the United Nations and with former ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.

: PM Abe meets delegation of legislators participating in the US-Japan Legislative Exchange Program in Tokyo.

: First TOFU (Think of Okinawa’s Future in the United States) program participants visit Washington, DC for meetings at the Department of State and White House.

: United States and Japan release a joint statement on the Japan-United States Strategic Energy Partnership.

: Senior US defense officials tell NBC News that the Trump administration will end large-scale military exercises with South Korea.

: PM Abe and President Trump speak by telephone about US-DPRK summit.

: President Trump meets North Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un in Hanoi.

: In a prefecture-wide referendum on the relocation of US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, 72% of Okinawan voters say that they oppose the Henoko relocation plan.

: Secretary of State Pompeo speaks by phone with Foreign Minister Kono about engagement with North Korea.

: PM Abe meets US Congressional Study Group on Japan delegation in Tokyo.

: Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Francis Fannon travels to Japan to discuss energy security and regional cooperation on energy issues.

: PM Abe says he will not comment on President Trump’s announcement that Abe nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize.

: Reports suggest that PM Abe nominated President Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize at the request of the US government.

: President Trump says PM nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize.

: Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider takes over as the new commander of US Forces Japan.

: Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson travels to Japan to discuss defense trade and nonproliferation.

: Secretary of State Michael Pompeo speaks with Japanese Foreign Minister Kono Taro by phone about engagement with North Korea.

: PM Abe attends the first Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission held in Tokyo.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meets Adm. John Richardson, chief of US Navy operations, in Tokyo.

: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Seko Hiroshige, and European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom hold a trilateral meeting on trade in Washington, DC.

: The 11-nation Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, or TPP-11) enters into force.

: Japanese Ministry of Defense releases video footage of the incident with the South Korean destroyer on Dec. 20.

: President Trump announces that he will remove Secretary of Defense Mattis early from his office on Jan. 1. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan will take over as acting secretary of defense.

: USTR releases its negotiating objectives for possible US-Japan trade agreement.

: South Korean Navy destroyer locks fire-control radar onto a Maritime Self-Defense Force P-1 patrol aircraft in the Sea of Japan, according to Japanese Ministry of Defense.

: Secretary of Defense James Mattis announces resignation and plan to leave office by the end of February.

: US Trade Representative (USTR) holds a public hearing regarding a proposed US-Japan Trade Agreement.

: President Trump announces that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will resign by the end of the year.

: Prime Minister Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agree on a framework for talks on a bilateral peace treaty.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Trump meet on sidelines of G20 Summit in Argentina.

: President Trump, Prime Minister Abe, and Prime Minister Modi meet on sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina.

: Okinawa Gov. Tamaki announces he will hold the relocation referendum for US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Feb. 24, 2019.

: Senior officials from the US, Japan, Australia, and India meet in Singapore for consultations on the Indo-Pacific region.

: Governor of Okinawa Tamaki pledges to hold a referendum on the relocation of US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma sometime in early 2019.

: Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan meets Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Akiba Takeo in Tokyo.

: Vice President Mike Pence visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe and Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro. Joint Statement.

: Mid-term elections take place for US congressional, state, and local offices.

: Foreign Minister Kono discusses US-Japan trade talks and disputes with South Korea in an interview with Bloomberg.

: Japanese central government resumes work on relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma after reversing the ban by Okinawa’s Prefectural government.

: Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi hold Japan-India summit meeting in Tokyo.

: Senior officials from Japan and the US hold bilateral Extended Deterrence Dialogue in Tokyo.

: Prime Minister Abe visits China where he meets President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

: US and Japan hold the second meeting of the Japan-United States Strategic Energy Partnership in Tokyo.

: Central Japanese government asks land ministry to review and invalidate Okinawa Prefectural government decision that suspended relocation work on US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

: Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Tsuji Kiyoto meets family members of former Prisoners of War (POWs) in Tokyo.

: Secretary of State Pompeo and Foreign Minister Kono speak by telephone about Pompeo’s visit to North Korea on Oct. 7.

: Secretary of State Pompeo meets Prime Minister Abe during his trip to Tokyo. Remarks.

: Secretary of State Pompeo and Foreign Minister Kono meet in Tokyo.

: Denny Tamaki is elected governor of Okinawa.

: President Trump and Prime Minister Abe meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. They announce the two countries will enter into negotiations for a Japan-United States Trade Agreement on goods and services. Joint Statement.

: Prime Minister Abe and Foreign Minister Kono visit New York for UN General Assembly meeting.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Trump meet for dinner at Trump Tower in NYC.

: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) sign a Memorandum of Cooperation to strengthen cooperation in financing private sector investment projects.

: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister Kono Taro speak by telephone about North Korean denuclearization.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo wins re-election as president of the Liberal Democratic Party.

: Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh travels to Tokyo to discuss the administration’s approach to trade and economic growth in the region.

: Secretary of State Pompeo and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kono speak by telephone on North Korea.

: President Trump and Prime Minister Abe speak by phone about North Korea.

: Economy Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer hold trade talks in Washington, DC.

: Secretary of State Pompeo, Foreign Minister Kono, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meet in Singapore for the eighth ministerial meeting of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue.

: Secretary of State Pompeo and Foreign Minister Kono meet in Singapore to discuss North Korea policy.

: US, Japan, and Australia announce agreement to invest in infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific.

: Secretary of State Pompeo gives a speech during the Indo-Pacific Business Forum at the US Chamber of Commerce on “America’s Indo-Pacific Economic Vision.”

: US hosts trilateral cyber experts meeting with officials from Japan and South Korea.

: Sixth US-Japan Cyber Dialogue is held in Washington, DC.

: Ninth US-Japan Policy Cooperation Dialogue on the Internet Economy is held in Washington, DC.

: Fifth US-Japan Comprehensive Dialogue on Space is held in Tokyo.

: Prime Minister Abe meets Secretary of State Pompeo in Tokyo.

: Foreign Minister Kono and Secretary of State Pompeo meet in Tokyo.

: Foreign Minister Kono, Secretary of State Pompeo, and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang hold a trilateral meeting in Tokyo.

: Japan ratifies Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

: Prime Minister Abe meets Defense Secretary James Mattis in Tokyo.

: Defense Secretary Mattis meets Foreign Minister Kono in Tokyo.

: Second US-Japan Pacific Dialogue held at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo.

: Officials from Japan and the US hold consultations on U.S. sanctions on Iran in Tokyo. The US delegation was led by Christopher Ford, assistant secretary of State for international security and nonproliferation, while the Japanese delegation was led by Hiroshi Oka, director-general/assistant minister for foreign affairs for Middle Eastern and African affairs.

: Secretary of State Pompeo, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kono, and South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha hold a trilateral meeting in Seoul.

: Secretary of State Pompeo and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kono meet in Seoul.

: Secretary of Defense Mattis speaks by telephone with Japanese Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori about the results of the US-North Korea summit.

: President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet in Singapore.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Trump speak by telephone about the outcomes of the US-North Korea summit.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Trump speak by telephone about the US-North Korea summit.

: President Trump and Prime Minister Abe attend G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Canada.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Trump hold a summit in Washington, DC.

: Senior officials from the US, Japan, Australia, and India meet in Singapore on the sidelines of the ASEAN-centered Senior Officials Meeting.

: Minister for Foreign Affairs Kono and Secretary of State Pompeo meet in Washington, D.C. to discuss the upcoming US-North Korea summit. Press Conference.

: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announces US Pacific Command’s name will be changed to US Indo-Pacific Command.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Trump speak by telephone about the inter-Korean summit and upcoming US-North Korea summit.

: Fourth Inter-Korean summit held between South Korean President Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

: Minister for Foreign Affairs Kono Taro and Secretary of State Pompeo meet in Washington, D.C. to discuss the upcoming US-North Korea summit.

: Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton visits Japan to participate in the second annual Wall Street Journal CEO Council Conference and meets Japanese officials.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Trump speak by telephone about the upcoming US-North Korea summit.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hold a trilateral summit in Tokyo.

: President Donald Trump announces that three US citizens held in North Korea have been released and are on their way home.

: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Japan, where he gives remarks on the release of the three US citizens from North Korea at Yokota Air Base.

: Secretary of State Pompeo and Japanese Foreign Minister Kono meet in Amman, Jordan.

: Prime Minister Abe and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un express willingness in separate instances to set up a Japan-North Korea summit meeting.

: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un hold an inter-Korean summit in Panmunjom, South Korea.

: The United States, Japan, and Mongolia hold a trilateral meeting in Tokyo.

: Mike Pompeo is confirmed as secretary of State by the Senate in a 57-42 vote, and is sworn in to the office later in the day.

: Prime Minister Abe and Commander of US Pacific Command Adm. Harry Harris meet in Tokyo.

: Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton travels to Tokyo for meetings on US-Japan cooperation and regional security.

: US Department of State and Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs host Second Public-Private Sector Roundtable Discussion on US-Japan Cooperation on Third Country Infrastructure.

: US Department of State and the Business Council for International Understanding co-host a business roundtable, in cooperation with Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss opportunities for US-Japan collaboration on infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region in Washington, DC.

: Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan and Japanese Foreign Minister Kono meet on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Toronto.

: Japanese Parliament takes up discussion of TPP-related bills in the lower house.

: Prime Minister Abe visits the United States for a summit with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Joint Press Conference.

: President Trump says that he is open to rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if the US can secure a better deal than that negotiated under President Obama.

: Prime Minister Abe receives meets legislators participating in the US-Japan Legislative Exchange Program in Tokyo.

: The 9th US-India-Japan Trilateral Meeting is held in New Delhi, India.

: CIA Director Pompeo meets secretly with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang to lay the groundwork for a Trump-Kim summit.

: Minister of Finance Aso Taro says that Japan should not allow Washington to use tariffs to pressure Tokyo into talks for a bilateral FTA. He further says that Japan should avoid bilateral negotiations given the power imbalance between the two countries.

: Kim Jong Un visits Beijing and meets President Xi Jinping

: Lt. Gen. H.R McMaster resigns as National Security Advisor. President Trump names John Bolton as his replacement.

: US Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador Nathan Sales visits Tokyo to lead the US delegation at the Thirteenth Coordinating Committee Meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF).

: Foreign Minister Kono visits the US, where he meets Vice President Pence, Secretary of Defense Mattis, and Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan. Press conference.

: President Trump dismisses Rex Tillerson as secretary of State, and announces nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to the office.

: The 11 remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) sign a revised pact in Chile.

: Japan and 10 other countries sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, or TPP-11).

: President Trump issues new tariffs on steel and aluminum, with exemptions for Canada and Mexico, but not Japan.

: South Korea’s National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong announces that Trump has agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

: President Trump and Prime Minister Abe talk by telephone about the announcement that Trump will meet Kim.

: Gary Cohn resigns as President Trump’s top economic advisor.

: Prime Minister Abe meets Japanese American Leadership Delegation in Tokyo.

: Second International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2), which includes the United States, Japan, and 43 other countries, is held in Tokyo.

: Prime Minister Abe meets a delegation of the US Congressional Group on Japan in Tokyo.

: Prime Minister Abe meets Chief of Staff of the US Army Gen. Mark Milley in Tokyo.

: President Trump and Prime Minister Abe talk by telephone about US-Japan and US-Japan-ROK cooperation on North Korea.

: Vice President Pence and Prime Minister Abe meet in Tokyo for a bilateral meeting to discuss issues such as North Korea and regional security.

: Vice President Pence and Deputy Minister Aso Taro meet in Tokyo.

: Karen Pence, spouse of Vice President Mike Pence, and Akie Abe, first lady of Japan, meet in Tokyo to discuss US-Japan bilateral exchange through sister city relationships.

: US Department of Defense releases its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).

: Foreign Minister Kono issues a statement welcoming the NPR and the US resolve to ensure the effectiveness of its extended deterrence to allies including Japan.

: President Trump and Prime Minister Abe talk by telephone about North Korea and trilateral US-Japan-ROK cooperation ahead of Vice President Pence’s visit to attend the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun travels to Japan to participate in the International Colloquium on Building Stable Peace in Northeast Asia.

: CIA Director Mike Pompeo says North Korea is only “a handful of months” from being able to deliver a nuclear attack to the territorial United States.

: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Foreign Minister Kono Taro meet on the sidelines of the Foreign Minister’s Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula, held in Vancouver, Canada. Remarks.

: Secretary Tillerson, Foreign Minister Kono, and Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha hold a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Foreign Minister’s Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula in Vancouver.

: Japan’s Cabinet approves installation of two Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense batteries.

: FM Kono delivers a statement on the threat posed by North Korea at the UN National Security Council meeting in New York.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga Yoshihide says that Tokyo and Washington remain in “100 percent agreement” on pressuring North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

: A window drops from a US helicopter and crashes on a school in Okinawa. One boy reported to have minor injuries from the incident.

: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun travels to Japan to meet officials following North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test.

: US, Japan, and South Korea conduct a two-day exercise to practice tracking missile launches from North Korea.

: Japan and the European Union finalize the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

: Special Advisor for Children’s Issues Suzanne Lawrence travels to Tokyo to lead the US delegation for a conference on the Hague Abduction Convention.

: FM Kono visits Okinawa and meets Gov. Onaga and Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, Okinawa Area Coordinator of the US forces.

: North Korea launches an ICBM, a Hwasong-15.

: President Trump puts North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, a designation that allows the US to impose more sanctions on North Korea.

: US Marine member in Okinawa, driving under the influence of alcohol, gets involved in a traffic incident in which a Japanese man is killed.

: US and Japanese naval forces begin annual bilateral training exercises. More than 14,000 US personnel participate in the waters surrounding Okinawa.

: President Trump, PM Abe, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hold a trilateral US-Japan-Australia summit on the sidelines of the EAS in Manila.

: Ambassador to Japan William Haggerty visits Okinawa to meet Gov. Onaga Takeshi.

: Senior officials from Japan, US, Australia, and India meet in Manila to discuss free and open trade in the Indo-Pacific on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit (EAS).

: The remaining 11 countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal announce that they are committed to moving forward with the trade agreement without the United States.

: Deputy PM Aso tells reporters that Japan is not willing to use an FTA to address the trade imbalance with the US.

: PM Abe and President Trump hold a bilateral summit in Tokyo.

: FM Kono meets with US Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer during his visit to Japan.

: FM Kono meets Secretary of State Tillerson during his visit to Japan.

: President Trump visits Japan.

: FM Kono meets Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner during his visit to Japan.

: US Navy releases report of the Fleet Comprehensive Review of Surface Force Incidents. The report focuses on the collisions involving the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain over the past year.

: The 48th general election for members of the House of Representatives takes place in Japan.

: Reports suggest that US Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of Pacific Air Forces, is the leading nominee to become the next head of US Pacific Command.

: Vice President Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro hold the second round of the Japan-US Economic Dialogue in Washington, DC. Joint Press Release.

: Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan travels to Tokyo en route to a deputies-level US-Japan-Korea trilateral meeting in Seoul on Oct. 18.

: US transport helicopter makes an emergency landing after catching fire in a US military training area in northern Okinawa.

: PM Abe dissolves House of Representatives and calls an election for Oct. 22.

: Adm. Scott Swift, commander of US Pacific Fleet, requests to retire from the service after learning that he is not the Navy’s choice to replace Adm. Harry Harris as the next commander of US Pacific Command.

: Trump and PM Abe hold a bilateral summit meeting on the sidelines of UNGA.

: President Trump, PM Abe, and President Moon hold a trilateral US-Japan-Korea summit meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA.

: Eighth meeting of the US-Japan Policy Cooperation Dialogue on the Internet Economy convenes in Washington, DC.

: PM Abe gives a speech at the New York Stock Exchange.

: PM Abe delivers an address to the UNGA.

: FM Kono, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj hold trilateral Japan-US-India foreign ministers’ meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA.

: PM Abe meets group of US chief executive officers on sidelines of the UNGA.

: PM Abe visits New York to attend 72nd Session of the UNGA.

: PM Abe publishes an op-ed in The New York Times about the need for solidarity in the face of the threat posed by North Korea.

: Foreign Minister Kono Taro visits New York for 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

: North Korea launches a ballistic missile, which travels approximately 2,300 miles before landing in the sea off Hokkaido.

: Five US governors—Eric Holcomb (Indiana), Bruce Rauner (Illinois), Pete Ricketts (Nebraska), Rick Snyder (Michigan), and Scott Walker (Wisconsin)—visit Tokyo for 49th Annual Joint Meeting of the Japan-Midwest US Association and meet Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

: North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear test, a powerful nuclear device that it claims is a hydrogen bomb.

: North Korea conducts sixth nuclear test, a powerful device that it claims is a hydrogen bomb.

: North Korea launches a Hwasong-12 IRBM over northern Japan. The missile lands approximately 733 miles east of the island.

: North Korea tests three short-range ballistic missiles. One explodes immediately after launch, while two others flew approximately 155 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan.

: US Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift announces that Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, head of the 7th US Fleet, will be relieved from duty following the collisions of the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain.

: US and South Korea hold annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise.

: Aegis destroyer USS John S. McCain collides with Alnic MC, a Liberian tanker, in the Strait of Malacca, resulting in 10 missing US sailors and injuries to five others.

: US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson announces that the Navy will conduct a fleet-wide review and halts some operations to focus on safety procedures.

: US Ambassador to Japan William Haggerty arrives in Tokyo.

: Japan-US Security Consultative Committee (“2+2 Meeting”) convenes in Washington. The meeting is attended by FM Kono, DM Onodera, Secretary of State Tillerson, and Defense Secretary Mattis. A joint statement is issued.

: Following an initial review of the USS Fitzgerald collision, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, head of the 7th Fleet, announces that the commanding officer, executive officer, and command master chief of the ship will be relieved from duty.

: FM Kono and DM Onodera meet National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster in Washington. Kono and Onodera also visit Arlington National Cemetery.

: President Trump and PM Abe speak on the phone to discuss the growing threat from North Korea.

: US Navy releases a preliminary report on the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine freighter on June 17.

: North Korea announces it is reviewing plans to strike US military targets in Guam with four ballistic missiles.

: President Trump threatens to unleash “fire and fury” if North Korea endangers the US or its territories.

: FM Kono and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Manila.

: FM Kono, Secretary Tillerson, and South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha hold a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ARF in Manila.

: UN Security Council passes Resolution 2371 imposing new sanctions on North Korea.

: US Navy suspends search for missing sailor from the USS Stethem.

: PM Abe reshuffles his Cabinet. Onodera Itsunori is appointed minister of defense and Kono Taro is appointed minister of foreign affairs.

: US sailor is reported missing and assumed overboard from the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem while it is conducting routine operations about 140 miles west of Subic Bay in the Philippines.

: PM Abe and President Trump speak on the phone to exchange concerns about North Korea’s recent missile test.

: North Korea tests an ICBM that appears capable of reaching the West Coast of the US. It flies 620 miles and lands in the sea near Hokkaido, Japan.

: Japan’s Ministry of Finance announces that the country will raise tariffs on frozen beef imports from the US and other countries to 50 percent (up from 38.5 percent) until March 2018 to protect domestic farmers.

: Defense Minister Inada Tomomi announces that she will resign following allegations that she withheld information from the Diet about the dangers facing Japanese soldiers on a UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

: House of Councillors lawmaker Renho announces that she will resign as president of Japan’s opposition Democratic Party.

: Prime Minister Abe appears in a special Diet hearing to reassert that he never rigged the government’s decision to back a new veterinary department at a university run by his close friend, Kake Kotaru.

: Fifth Japan-US Cyber Dialogue is held in Tokyo. The Japanese delegation is led by Deputy Director General of the Foreign Policy Bureau and Ambassador for Cyber Policy Otaka Masato. The US delegation is led by Christopher Painter, Coordinator for Cyber Issues at the State Department.

: Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State and Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook, Deputy Foreign Minister for Foreign Policy Suzuki Satoshi, and Director General of the Policy Planning Bureau Ma Sang-yoon hold trilateral policy planning dialogue in Washington, DC.

: US Senate confirms William Hagerty (86-12 vote) as US ambassador to Japan.

: President Trump and PM Abe meet on sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. They condemn North Korea’s July 4 missile test.

: President Trump, PM Abe, and President Moon hold a US-Japan-ROK trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

: North Korea tests its Hwasong-14 ICBM, which flies 578 miles before landing in the Seat of Japan.

: Tokyo Gov. Koike Yuriko’s Tokyo First party scores sweeping victory in Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly elections, upsetting the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Supporters of Koike now control 79 of 127 seats, including 49 held by Tokyo First.

: President Trump and PM Abe speak by phone to exchange views on the threat posed by North Korea.

: North Korea tests a rocket engine that, according to US officials, could be part of a program to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

: Aegis destroyer USS Fitzgerald collides with Philippines freighter ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan, resulting in the deaths of seven US sailors and injuries to three others. US Navy search and rescue efforts begin with the help of the Japan Coast Guard and JMSDF.

: Missing US sailor from USS Shiloh is found hiding in an engineering space on the ship.

: US-Japan bilateral Extended Deterrence Dialogue convenes in Tokyo. Japan is represented by Deputy Director General of the North American Affairs Bureau Ono Keiichi and Deputy Director General of the Defense Policy Bureau Oka Masami. US is represented by Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance Anita Friedt and Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Capabilities Thomas Harvey.

: US Navy suspends search for missing US sailor from the USS Shiloh after US Navy, JSMDF, and Japan Coast Guard assets spend more than 50 hours in a comprehensive search of 5,500 square miles of the Philippine Sea.

: North Korea test-fires cruise missiles from its east coast into the Sea of Japan.

: US sailor is reported missing and assumed overboard from the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh while it is conducting routine operations 180 miles east of Okinawa.

: Acting Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation Eliot Kang travels to Japan to attend the biannual Plenary Meeting of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

: North Korea tests a Scud-class short-range ballistic missile, which flies 280 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan.

: President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meet in Taormina, Italy on the sidelines of the G7 Summit. They discuss cooperation on North Korea, maritime issues, and terrorist threats.

: North Korea tests a Pukguksong-2 medium-range ballistic missile, which flies 310 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan.

: Fourth US-Japan Comprehensive Dialogue on Space convenes in Washington. The dialogue is co-chaired by the Executive Office of the President’s National Security Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy for the US, and by representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Space Policy Secretariat, Cabinet Office for Japan.

: North Korea tests a Hwasong-12 intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), which it says is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The missile flies 430 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan.

: US Senate confirms Robert Lighthizer (82-14 vote) as US Trade Representative.

: Guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain collides with a South Korean fishing vessel in international waters east of the Korean Peninsula. No injuries are reported.

: Japan sends its largest destroyer, the Izumo, to accompany the USS Carl Vinson on regional patrols.

: North Korea test-fires a ballistic missile from Pukchang airfield, which breaks apart minutes after takeoff.

: Secretary Tillerson and Foreign Minister Kishida speak at the UN Security Council about threats posed by the North Korean nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

: Secretary Mattis and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issue joint statement condemning North Korean missile launches and stressing coordination with Japan and Korea.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Yun travels to Tokyo for trilateral meeting with Director General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Kanasugi and Special Representative for Korea Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Kim.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Trump speak over telephone about recent North Korean missile tests and the role of China.

: Finance Minister Aso and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin meet on the sidelines of the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in Washington to discuss economic cooperation and currency issues.

: Vice President Pence visits Tokyo to host the first meeting of the Japan-US Economic Dialogue with Deputy Prime Minister Aso. They issue a joint press release.

: Foreign Minister Kishida meets with Secretary of Commerce Ross in Tokyo to discuss US-Japan economic relations.

: North Korea test-fires a ballistic missile from eastern port of Sinpo that explodes almost immediately after launch.

: Foreign Minister Kishida and Secretary Tillerson meet on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Italy.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Trump speak over telephone about US actions in Syria and exchange views on North Korea and China.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Trump speak over telephone about North Korea’s ballistic missile launch.

: Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Mar-a-Lago for a summit with President Trump.

: North Korea test fires a medium-range ballistic missile from eastern part of Sinpo into the Sea of Japan.

: Kanasugi Kenji, director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and Joseph Yun, special representative for North Korea policy, hold teleconference on the situation in North Korea, and agree to urge North Korea to refrain from further provocations and comply with relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

: Prime Minister Abe and Secretary Tillerson meet in Tokyo. Press Conference. Remarks.

: Defense Department announces that three CV-22 Osprey aircraft to be based at Yokota Air Base are expected to arrive in fiscal 2020 (delayed from the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017).

: North Korea test-fires four ballistic missiles from the Tongchang-ri launch site in northwest North Korea; some fall in the Sea of Japan.

: Secretary Mattis phones Defense Minister Inada Tomomi to discuss North Korea’s missile launches.

: Wilbur Ross is confirmed as Commerce secretary by the US Senate.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Joseph Yun hosts trilateral meeting in Washington with Kanasugi Kenji, director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and Kim Hong-kyun, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs.

: Secretary of State Tillerson, Foreign Minister Kishida, and Korea’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se meet on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bonn, Germany and issue joint statement on North Korea’s ballistic missile.

: Steven Mnuchin is confirmed as Treasury secretary by the US Senate.

: North Korea test-fires an intermediate-range Pukguksong-2 ballistic missile over the Sea of Japan.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Trump hold joint press conference in Palm Beach, Florida, to condemn North Korea’s missile launch.

: Prime Minister Abe visits Washington DC, and Florida for a summit with President Trump. Joint Statement.

: Secretary of Defense James Mattis meets Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo to reaffirm the importance of the US-Japan alliance. Readout.

: Rex Tillerson is confirmed as secretary of State by the US Senate.

: Prime Minister Abe calls President Trump to congratulate him on his inauguration. They agree that Abe will visit the US in February for a Japan-US summit.

: Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Inaugural Address. Mike Pence is inaugurated as the 48th vice president.

: James Mattis is confirmed as secretary of Defense by the US Senate.

: Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio and Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy sign the Agreement on Cooperation with regard to the Implementation Practices relating to the Civilian Component of the US Armed Forces in Japan, supplementary to the Status of US Forces Agreement.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Vice President Joe Biden hold a telephone conference, in which Abe thanks Biden for his strong support of the Japan-US alliance.

: Prime Minister Abe visits Pearl Harbor with President Obama.

: Japan’s Supreme Court rules in favor of the central government in the lawsuit brought by Okinawan Gov. Onaga concerning the Futenma base relocation, likely allowing construction to resume.

: US hosts a US-Japan-Korea trilateral cyber experts meeting on cybersecurity of critical infrastructure in Washington.

: Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel travels to Japan to discuss bilateral and regional issues of mutual concern.

: US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey crashes off Okinawa, crew members are rescued.

: US and Japan hold a bilateral Extended Deterrence Dialogue (EDD) in Honolulu, Hawaii.

: Japan’s House of Councillors votes to approve the TPP trade agreement, ensuring its ratification.

: Defense Secretary Carter and Japanese Defense Minister Inada meet in Tokyo to discuss security within the Asia-Pacific Region.

: Defense Secretary Ash Carter meets Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo.

: Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Takisawa Motome meets family members of former US prisoners of war (POWs) in Tokyo.

: Defense Secretary Ash Carter says that he welcomes the Japan-Korea GSOMIA security agreement signed today.

: President-elect Trump publishes a video message on his first 100 days in office, and announces that he plans to withdraw from the TPP trade deal on his first day as president.

: President Obama and Prime Minister Abe hold informal talks on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Peru.

: Secretary of State Kerry and Foreign Minister Kishida meet on the sidelines of the APEC Ministerial Meeting in Peru.

: Prime Minister Abe travels to New York to meet President-elect Trump.

: Naha District Court orders Japanese government to pay damages due to aircraft noise from US air base in Okinawa, but rejects plaintiffs’ demand to halt flights.

: Japan’s House of Councillors begins deliberations on the TPP trade agreement.

: Japan’s House of Representatives votes to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

: Prime Minister Abe speaks with President-elect Trump over the phone for 20 minutes to congratulate Trump and discuss US-Japan relations.

: Donald Trump is elected 45th US president.

: The 53rd Japan-US Business Conference is held in Tokyo.

: US Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work and Japanese Administrative Vice Defense Minister Kuroe Tetsuo meet at the Pentagon.

: Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Sugiyama and Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam for the fifth round of Deputy-level trilateral consultations in Tokyo.

: US Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance Frank Rose visits Tokyo to discuss space security, arms control, and international security.

: Chief of Japanese Joint Staff Adm. Kawano Katsutoshi, Commander of  Combined Forces Command and US Forces Korea Gen. Vincent Brooks, Chairman of the Korean Joint Staff Gen. Lee Sun-jin, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, and Commander of the US Pacific Command Adm. Harris meet at the Pentagon to discuss trilateral cooperation in response to North Korean nuclear and missile threats.

: US Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues Robert King meets Minister for the Abduction Issue Kato Katsunobu and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Osuga Takeshia in Tokyo.

: Vice Minister Sugiyama Shinsuke meets US Permanent Representative to the UN Samantha Power in Tokyo to discuss North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile launches.

: Adm. Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command, visits Japan and meets Minister of Defense Inada Tomomi.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on trilateral cooperation between the US, Japan, and South Korea.

: Prime Minister Abe and Vice-President Biden meet on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Obama hold informal talks on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton meet on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York.

: US Secretary of State John Kerry, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio, and South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se hold trilateral US-Japan-Korea ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

: Naha branch of the Fukuoka High Court rules that Okinawan Gov. Onaga Takeshi’s cancellation of the landfill project for construction of a replacement facility for Futenma was illegal.

: Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meets Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Vientiane and agrees to provide two large-sized patrol ships and lend up to five used surveillance aircraft to the Philippines.

: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that the Senate will not vote on TPP before Obama leaves office.

: North Korea launches a ballistic missile from a submarine, which travels over 300 miles and lands in the Sea of Japan.

: Japan, Korea, and China hold a trilateral foreign ministers meeting in Tokyo.

: Abe Cabinet approves a 4.11 trillion yen ($39.5 billion) supplementary budget, which includes 431.7 billion yen ($4.2 billion) intended to strengthen Japan’s agricultural sector ahead of TPP ratification.

: Government of Japan announces that Prime Minister Abe will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sept. 2 in Vladivostok, Russia.

: Japan Coast Guard releases video showing Chinese intrusions into waters near the Senkaku Islands.

: SEALDS, one of Japan’s leading liberal youth political groups, announces that it has disbanded. The group is most known for helping to organize mass protests last summer against Prime Minister Abe’s security legislation.

: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gives a speech saying, “I oppose [TPP] now, I’ll oppose it after the election, and I’ll oppose it as president.”

: Japan Coast Guard rescues six members of a Chinese fishing boat near the Senkaku Islands after it collided with a Greek cargo ship and sank.

: State Department spokeswoman notes the unusual Chinese behavior near the Senkaku Islands in a press briefing, and reiterates that the islands fall within the scope of Article 5 of the US-Japan security treaty.

: Emperor Akihito releases a video message expressing concern about how his advanced age may be affecting the performance of his public duties. The speech is widely interpreted as the emperor intends to abdicate his position in the coming years.

: Group of 230 Chinese fishing boats and 6 coast guard vessels enter the contiguous zone in waters near the Senkaku Islands.

: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticizes US defense of Japan as one-sided, saying that if the US is attacked, Japan would “sit at home and watch Sony TV.”

: Legal battle resumes in court between the central and Okinawa governments over the relocation of US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. A ruling in the case is set for Sept. 16.

: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan says the Obama administration still has a lot to do if it hopes to secure the necessary votes to ratify TPP in the lame-duck session of Congress.

: Prime Minister Abe reshuffles his Cabinet.

: Tokyo elects Yuriko Koike as city’s first female governor.

: Democratic Party (DP) leader Okada Katsuya announces he will not seek reelection in September, saying the party needs a fresh face to take on the Abe’s administration.

: Fourth US-Japan Bilateral Cyber Dialogue is held in Washington.

: Secretary of State John Kerry, Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida, and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop meet in Vientiane, Laos for the sixth ministerial meeting of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD).

: Democratic National Convention is held in Philadelphia.

: Former Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) member Hirano Tatsuo joins the LDP, giving the LDP a majority in the Upper House for the first time in 27 years.

: Republican National Convention is held in Cleveland.

: China’s Foreign Ministry expresses strong opposition to the tribunal’s ruling on the South China Sea, and reiterates that it will not abide by the case.

: UNCLOS Arbitral Tribunal issues an award on the dispute between the Philippines and China over claimed rights and activity in the South China Sea. The tribunal concludes “there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’.”

: Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio releases a statement on the tribunal’s South China Sea award, saying that Japan “has consistently advocated the importance of the rule of law.” He urges both China and the Philippines to comply with the ruling.

: Japan and the US hold a bilateral Extended Deterrence Dialogue in Tokyo.

: Election is held for Japan’s Upper House. The ruling LDP/Komeito coalition gains 10 seats, bringing their total to 146, a clear majority of the total 242 seats.

: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders publishes an op-ed arguing that the Democratic Party should include an amendment rejecting TPP in its platform at the national convention.

: Special Advisor for Children’s Issues, Ambassador Susan Jacobs, travels to Tokyo to participate in the “Asia Pacific Symposium on the 1980 Hague Convention.”

: Assistant Secretary for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance Frank Rose travels to Japan to co-chair the third plenary meeting of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV).

: Official campaign period begins for the Upper House election on July 10.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal travel to Tokyo to co-lead the US delegation for the US-Japan-India Trilateral Dialogue and Ninth US-India Consultations on East Asia.

: The 27th Plenary Session of the US-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON) convenes in Tokyo.

: Tokyo Gov. Masuzoe Yoichi announces resignation over expenses scandal.

: US, Japan, and Korea hold a trilateral dialogue in Washington, DC.

: Chinese PLA Navy vessel enters Japanese contiguous waters near the Senkakus.

: Secretary Carter and Defense Minister Nakatani meet on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue to discuss regional security challenges and opportunities. South Korean Minister of National Defense Han Min-koo joins them later for a trilateral meeting.

: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, clarifying earlier comments, says that he does not want Japan to go nuclear but to instead pay more for US military support.

: Prime Minister Abe announces that he will delay a scheduled sales tax increase (from 8 percent to 10 percent) from April 2017 to October 2019.

: President Obama becomes the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the site of the US atomic bombing on August 6, 1945. He gives a speech.

: Japan hosts the 42nd G7 Summit in Ise-Shima.

: President Obama travels to Japan to attend the G7 Summit and visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

: President Obama and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meet on the sidelines of the G7 Summit. Obama expresses condolences for the crime committed by a US forces member in Okinawa. The two leaders discuss global economy, TPP, and North Korea.

: US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter speaks by phone with Japanese Minister of Defense Nakatani Gen to convey his sadness and regret over the murder of a young woman in Okinawa. He pledges that the Department of Defense will cooperate with the investigation.

: US and Japan hold the fourth annual Nonproliferation Dialogue in Tokyo.

: Cabinet gives areas in Kumamoto the “extreme severity” designation, allowing the central government to subsidize up to 90 percent of the costs of restoring facilities.

: PM Abe flies to Kumamoto to meet with quake victims.

: Japan’s House of Representatives special committee resumes deliberations on TPP. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other ministers attend the debates.

: Deputy Secretary of State Blinken travels to Tokyo to meet FM Kishida and other senior officials ahead of the third round of the US-Japan-Republic of Korea deputy-level trilateral consultations in Seoul, April 19-20.

: A second, even more powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake hits Kumamoto Prefecture. As of the end of April, 48 people have died, and 47,000 evacuees are staying in temporary shelters.

: Okinawa and central government officials begin working-level talks under the court-mediated settlement deal.

: Powerful 6.2 magnitude earthquake hits city of Kumamoto in Kyushu, Japan.

: Diet Affairs Chief Sato Tsutomu tells reporters that the LDP may give up trying to get the TPP ratified during the current session if resistance from opposition parties means that it is delayed beyond April. The current Diet sessions runs until June 1.

: Two MSDF destroyers that earlier visited Manila arrive in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, for a port visit, the first of its kind since the end of World War II.

: Foreign ministers at the G7 meeting in Hiroshima issue a joint statement on maritime security.

: Secretary of State John Kerry visits Hiroshima for the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting, becoming first secretary of state to visit Hiroshima since the end of World War II.

: Debate on TPP is suspended in the Diet after opposition party lawmakers walk out in protest of what they claim to be insufficient responses from Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Ishihara Nobuteru and Nishikawa Koya, chairman of the special committee.

: Japan participates as an observer in the Balikatan military exercises between the US and the Philippines.

: Two Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers and a training submarine arrive in the Philippines for a port call, the first to include a Japanese submarine in fifteen years.

: PM Abe attends the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.

: PM Abe responds to comments made by Trump saying “whoever will become the next president of the United States, the Japan-US alliance is the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy.” FM Kishida says “it is impossible that Japan will arm itself with nuclear weapons.”

: Tokyo brings its new radar station on Yonaguni Island in Okinawa online.

: Democratic Party of Japan officially merges with the Japan Innovation Party to create a new opposition party, the Democratic Party (DP).

: In an interview with the New York Times, Donald Trump suggests that he would support Seoul and Tokyo acquiring nuclear weapons capabilities.

: Okinawa and central government officials begin talks over the Futenma relocation, the first since the court-mediated agreement on March 4.

: In an interview with the Washington Post, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says that he does not believe the US gains anything by having bases in Japan and South Korea, and that both should pay more for their own defense.

: Fifth anniversary of Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters.

: Cabinet approves a bill seeking the ratification of the TPP agreement and eleven TPP-related measures, submitting them to the Diet for deliberation.

: Land Minister Ishii Keiichi orders Okinawa Gov. Onaga Takeshi to “correct” his cancellation of an approval for the landfill work at the Futenma replacement site. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga says the move is in line with the March 4 settlement.

: Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare requires food processors and exporters to obtain HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) to further showcase food safety in Japan ahead of the ratification of the TPP agreement.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo agrees to an out-of-court settlement for three lawsuits filed over the Futenma relocation.

: Third senior-level US-Japan Development Dialogue is held in Washington to discuss issues including the Sustainable Development Goals and Japan’s G7 leadership.

: Adm. Harry Harris, commander of US Pacific Command, tells a security conference in New Delhi that the US, Japan, and India will hold naval exercises in waters off the northern Philippine Sea sometime this year.

: 28,000 protestors surround the National Diet to protest the plan to relocate Futenma within the Okinawa Prefecture.

: US and Japan announce that daytime flights between the US and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) are expected to begin in fall 2016 for the first time since 1978.

: Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is signed by the twelve member nations, including the US on Japan, in Wellington, New Zealand.

: Okinawa Prefectural Government files a new lawsuit against central government over the planned Futenma relocation.

: Japanese Ministry of Defense announces that it will double the number of F-15 fighter jets in Naha, bringing the total to about 40.

: USS Curtis Wilbur, a US guided-missile destroyer, conducts a freedom of navigation (FON) operation within 12nm of the Chinese-administered Triton Island in the Paracel Island chain in the South China Sea.

: Ginowan Mayor Sakima Atsushi in Okinawa is reelected with the backing of the Abe government.

: FM Kishida and Ambassador Kennedy sign a new Special Measures Agreement, which outlines the costs that Japan will bear over the next five years under the Status of Forces Agreement for US armed forces in Japan.

: US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Saiki Akitaka, and Korean Vice Minister Lim Sung-nam meet in Tokyo to discuss the recent North Korean nuclear test, regional issues, and cooperation on health security and development.

: G7 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction holds its first meeting under Japan’s chairmanship in Tokyo.

: North Korea conducts its fourth nuclear test.

: Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio and US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy meet to jointly condemn North Korea’s nuclear test.

: Okinawa Gov. Onaga files lawsuit at Naha District Court against the central government over its attempt to override the governor and move ahead with the Futenma relocation plan.

: Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel visits Tokyo after stopping in Bangkok, Thailand and Vientiane, Laos.

: US and Japan agree in principle to a new five-year package of host-nation support for US armed forces stationed in Japan. Under the agreement, Japan will spend about ¥189.9 billion ($1.6 billion) annually. The agreement will take effect April 1, 2016.

: Joint survey conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun and Gallup finds that 58 percent of Japanese respondents say that they consider Japan-US relations to be “good” or “very good,” up from 49 percent who felt this way in the previous poll in November 2014.

: Ministry of Foreign Affairs awards the Foreign Minister’s Commendations in honor of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II to 28 individuals and 14 groups for their outstanding contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and the US.

: US and Japan conduct a second successful test of their jointly developed Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile off the coast of Malibu, California.

: Trial begins at Fukuoka High Court’s Naha branch for the lawsuit filed by the central government against Okinawa Gov. Onaga for halting the Futenma relocation.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim hosts a trilateral meeting in Washington with ROK Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Hwang Joon-kook and Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Ishikane Kimihiro to exchange views on a wide range of issues related to North Korea.

: Department of State approves the sale of three RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned surveillance systems to Japan.

: President Obama and Prime Minister Abe meet on the sidelines of the APEC forum in Manila, where they discuss regional security and the TPP trade deal.

: Land Minister Ishii files a lawsuit with the Naha branch of the Fukuoka High Court, demanding that Okinawa Gov. Onaga retract his decision to nullify government approval to begin landfill work for the new US military facility in Henoko.

: US and Japan hold bilateral Extended Deterrence Dialogue (EDD) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

: More than thirty US and Japanese warships participate in Annual Exercise 16 (AE16) aimed at responding to the defense of Japan or a regional crisis in the Asia-Pacific.

: Full text of the TPP deal is released to the public as President Obama indicates his intent to sign the agreement.

: Prime Minister Abe meets US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford in Tokyo.

: Fourth Meeting of the Bilateral Commission on Civil Nuclear Cooperation between the US and Japan is held in Washington. The meeting is co-chaired by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama and Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.

: Landfill work for the Futenma relocation facility at Henoko resumes.

: Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism Ishii Keiichi suspends Okinawa governor’s attempt to block the building of the Futenma replacement facility at Henoko, saying the validity of the request must be examined.

: Nine former US prisoners of war (POWs) visit State Minister for Foreign Affairs Muto Yoji in Tokyo. Muto apologizes for the suffering inflicted by Japan.

: Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force joins the US and Indian navies in the annual Malabar training exercise in Chennai, India. Japan had taken part in these exercises as an invited guest in the past, but joined this year as a permanent member.

: Okinawa Gov. Onaga revokes permission for construction work to begin on the proposed Futenma relocation site at Henoko. Onaga’s predecessor, Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima HIrokazu, had given the central government permission for landfill work in December 2013.

: Thirteenth US-Japan Joint High-Level Committee meeting on science and technology is held in Tokyo.

: Third Japan-United States Open Forum is held following the Joint High-Level Committee meeting. Government officials and scientists from both countries discuss future cooperation, particularly in areas such as medical and data sciences.

: Ministers of the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries, including the US and Japan, announce the conclusion of an agreement after more than five years of negotiations.

: US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan arrives in Yokosuka.

: US-Japan-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers Meeting is held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Secretary Kerry, ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se, and Foreign Minister Kishida discuss North Korea and cooperation on regional affairs.

: Vice President Joe Biden calls Prime Minister Abe after the passage of the security legislation to thank him for his continued efforts at strengthening the US-Japan alliance.

: Secretary of State John Kerry hosts the inaugural US-India-Japan Trilateral Ministerial Dialogue with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

: Special Seminar of the United States-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON) is held in Washington.

: Prime Minister Abe publishes an article on CNN entitled “Lessons Learned for a Better World.” The article discusses Japan’s contributions to human security, assistance for developing nations, and emphasis on sustainable growth.

: Prime Minister Abe visits the US to attend the UN General Assembly Meeting in New York. Abe also meets members of the US business community and attends the Invest Japan Seminar as well as the Visit Japan Tourism Seminar hosted by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

: Japan’s Upper House votes to pass security bills. The Lower House had passed the bills on July 16.

: Japan and the US hold the second Energy Strategic Dialogue in Tokyo. Japanese delegation is led by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General for Economic Affairs Bureau Saiki Naoko and the US delegation is led by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau of Energy Resources Mary Bruce Warlick.

: Special Committee on Security-Related Legislation in the Upper House of the Diet of Japan approves security bills that expand the overseas role of the Self-Defense Forces and allow Japan to exercise the right to collective-self-defense.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meets Okinawa Gov. Onaga Takeshi in Tokyo to discuss the relocation of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

: Prime Minister Abe hosts the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo.

: Prime Minister Abe meets members from a bipartisan congressional delegation of the US-Japan Caucus.

: Prime Minister Abe delivers a speech marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Kuala Lumpur. They discuss the upcoming anniversary of World War II, coordination on China and North Korea, and the TPP.

: Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller visits Hiroshima and Nagasaki to attend peace memorial ceremonies and then to Tokyo to lead US delegation to Japan-US Commission on Disarmament and Nonproliferation.

: Vice President Joseph Biden calls Prime Minister Abe to apologize for “causing trouble” after WikiLeaks alleges NSA spied on Tokyo.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga announces that Japan will temporarily halt construction on the base at Henoko for one month (from Aug. 10 to Sept. 9) to give time for the government to continue discussions with Okinawa Gov. Onaga.

: US Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks Sydney Seiler travels to Tokyo to meet senior officials, including Deputy Director General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Takizaki.

: US hosts a meeting of the TPP trade ministers in Maui, Hawaii.

: The third US-Japan Cyber Dialogue is held in Tokyo. Officials discuss bilateral cooperation on cyber issues such as infrastructure protection, capacity building, and cybercrime.

: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim travels to Tokyo to participate in alliance and other bilateral discussions.

: Japan’s Lower House votes to pass new security legislation, and the bills are sent to the Upper House. If the Upper House does not vote on the legislation within 60 days, then the bills will return to the Lower House and can be enacted by a two-thirds vote.

: Japan’s Lower House Special Committee on Security-Related Legislation approves security bills, paving the way for a vote by the full House.

: Approximately 20,000 protesters, including students, NPO groups, and older citizens, gather in Hibiya Park to demonstrate their opposition to the security bills.

: Total of 9,766 Japanese scholars, artists, and other public intellectuals, including Nobel laureate Toshihide Masukawa, sign a petition opposing the new security legislation.

: Assistant Secretary for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance Frank Rose visits Tokyo to meet Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, and Cabinet Office officials to discuss space security, missile defense, and arms control.

: About 750 members of Gambare Nippon!, a conservative activist group in Japan, organize a protest to support the security legislation.

: Japan Innovation Party (JIP) submits bills as a counterproposal to the LDP’s proposed security legislation.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide and Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi hold talks in Tokyo, and Suga apologizes for the criticism by several LDP lawmakers of Okinawan newspapers in a meeting on June 25.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan Ambassador Sung Kim visits Tokyo to meet senior officials including Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director General Junichi Ihara.

: US Special Advisor for Children’s Issues Ambassador Susan Jacobs visits Tokyo to discuss continued cooperation consistent with the Abduction Convention and the resolution of pre-Hague Convention cases.

: President Obama signs both TPA and TAA into law.

: US hosts the seventh trilateral dialogue with India and Japan in Honolulu.

: House votes 286-138 to pass TAA, sending the final trade-related bill to the president’s desk.

: At a meeting of an LDP study group set up to discuss the Abe administration’s culture and art policies, several lawmakers deeply criticize the Okinawa Times and the Ryukyu Shimpo. Hyakuta Naoki, a former governor at NHK and close adviser of Prime Minister Abe, is quoted as saying the papers “must be closed down by any means,” while other lawmakers advocate punishing the papers by targeting their advertising sources.

: Adm. Kawano Katsutoshi, Japan’s chief of the Joint Staff of the Self-Defense Forces, acknowledges concerns about China’s behavior in the South China Sea in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. He suggests that Japan may consider conducting surveillance of the South China Sea.

: Senate votes 60-13 (with 13 Democrats joining all but five Republicans) to give TPA to President Obama, allowing him to keep on track with negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

: Prime Minister Abe announces that the current Diet session will be extended to Sept. 27 to ensure passage of the new security legislation.

: House votes 218-208 (with 28 Democrats joining all but 50 Republicans) to narrowly pass legislation to give TPA to President Obama.

: Hawaii Gov. David Ige visits Tokyo and meets Prime Minister Abe to promote expanded travel between Japan and Hawaii.

: Adm. Harry Harris, newly appointed commander of US Pacific Command, visits Tokyo and meets Prime Minister Abe.

: US House of Representatives votes in favor of TPA (219-211), but votes against Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which defeats the trade package passed by the Senate.

: House approves the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, but TAA is voted down 126-302.

: Three constitutional law professors­ – Hasebe Yasuo (Waseda University), Kobayashi Setsu (Keio University), and Sasada Eiji (Waseda University) – appear before the Lower House Commission on the Constitution. All agree that the package of security bills before the Lower House is unconstitutional.

: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe and expresses interest in bringing Japan’s new high-speed maglev train technology to Maryland.

: Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga visits Washington and meets Office of Japanese Affairs Director Joe Young, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Cara Abercrombie, and Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to discuss the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

: Lower House deliberations begin on the security legislation.

: US Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers leads a delegation of House members to Tokyo, where they meet with Prime Minister Abe and discuss missile defense and the broader US rebalance efforts in Asia.

: US Senate approves a trade package (62-37) including Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).

: The Special Committee on Security-Related Legislation is created in the Lower House to discuss the Abe government’s proposed security bills.

: Abe Cabinet submits the two security bills to the Lower House for deliberation.

: Abe Cabinet approves two security bills meant to expand the overseas role of the Self-Defense Forces in international security efforts and the US-Japan alliance.

: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi visits Tokyo to accept the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun and meets with Prime Minister Abe.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo travels to Los Angeles to attend the Japan-US Economic Forum and lays a wreath at the “Go for Broke” monument, which commemorates Japanese-American World War II soldiers.

: Prime Minister Abe travels to San Francisco to meet entrepreneurs and venture capitalists and participate in a public forum at Stanford University.

: A Kyodo News survey posts a 52 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.  Thirty-five percent of respondents supported the revised guidelines for US-Japan defense cooperation and 47 percent opposed.

: Prime Minister Abe visits the World War II Memorial, addresses a joint session of Congress and attends a roundtable with US business leaders.

: President Obama hosts Prime Minister Abe at the White House for a bilateral summit meeting followed by a joint press conference.  The two leaders issue a joint vision statement for the US-Japan relationship, a fact sheet on US-Japan cooperation and a joint statement on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).  Abe also attends a luncheon at the State Department hosted by Vice President Joseph Biden and a State Dinner at the White House.

: US-Japan Security Consultative Committee convenes in New York and issues new guidelines for bilateral defense cooperation and a joint statement on the US-Japan alliance.

: Prime Minister Abe visits site of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, delivers a speech at Harvard University, and visits the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for an exchange with faculty and researchers.  Abe later arrives in Washington, DC, and is accompanied to the Lincoln Memorial by President Obama.

: Prime Minister Abe visits the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston and attends a dinner hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

: US Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman and Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira meet in Tokyo to discuss bilateral negotiations linked to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

: US Congress introduces Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation to establish rules for international trade negotiations.

: Acting Deputy US Trade Representative Wendy Cutler and Chief Agricultural Negotiator Darci Vetter meet Ambassador Oe Hiroshi and Ambassador Mori Takeo for bilateral trade talks linked to TPP.

: Deputy Secretary of State Blinken leads a town hall discussion on the US-Japan relationship at the State Department in Washington.

: Japanese Diet approves a record $810 billion budget for Japan Fiscal Year 2015 including record-high defense spending.

: Deputy Secretary of State Blinken hosts Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Saiki Akitaka and Republic of Korea Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yong for trilateral consultations in Washington and also meets each of his counterparts bilaterally.

: Defense Secretary Carter and Japanese Defense Minister Nakatani Gen meet in Tokyo to discuss the US strategic rebalance and bilateral defense cooperation.  Carter also visits Prime Minister Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide.

: A public opinion poll on US-Japan relations published by the Pew Research Center finds 75 percent of Japanese and 68 percent of Americans trust the other country.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel visits Tokyo for consultations with Japanese officials.

: The Abe government submits a labor reform bill to the Diet addressing such issues as increased overtime pay, paid leave, and performance-based evaluation systems.

: Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin visits Japan to discuss the digital economy, trade and global economic cooperation with senior Japanese government officials and business leaders.

: LDP Vice President Komura Masahiko meets Defense Secretary Ash Carter in Washington and delivers an address on Japanese security policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

: Public opinion survey by Yomiuri Shimbun finds 51 percent of the Japanese public supports revising the constitution with 46 percent opposed.  Forty percent said Article 9 of the constitution should not be revised but could be reinterpreted if necessary.

: Acting Deputy US Trade Representative Wendy Cutler hosts Ambassador Mori Takeo for bilateral trade talks in Washington.

: Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) and coalition partner Komeito reach an agreement on the parameters for implementing legislation based on the Abe government’s decision to reinterpret the constitution to exercise collective self-defense.

: First Lady Michelle Obama visits Japan to promote the Let Girls Learn international girls education initiative.

: Government of Japan revises its estimate for annualized GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2014 from 2.2 percent to 1.5 percent, citing a decline in consumer spending.

: US hosts a meeting in Hawaii among chief negotiators of the TPP.

: Acting Deputy US Trade Representative Wendy Cutler visits Tokyo to continue bilateral negotiations linked to TPP.

: Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Frank Rose visits Tokyo to meet Japanese officials on space security, strategic stability, extended deterrence and multilateral arms control.

: US congressional delegation led by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) visits Tokyo and meets Prime Minister Abe, Foreign Minister Kishida, Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Amari, as well as senior members of the Japanese Diet and business leaders.

: Government of Japan declares the Japanese economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.

: Prime Minister Abe delivers a policy speech to the Diet with particular emphasis on the government’s economic growth strategy.

: Government of Japan Economic Outlook predicts Japanese economy will grow 1.5 percent in Fiscal Year 2015.

: Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Tokyo to meet senior government officials and deliver an address on US economic policy in the Asia-Pacific region.

: Government of Japan revises official development assistance charter to allow funding on a case-by-case basis for non-military activities of another nation’s armed forces such as disaster relief.

: Second Japan-US Development Dialogue is held in Tokyo, Japan focused on global health, women’s empowerment, disaster risk reduction, and other issues.

: The Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives in Japan (JA-Zenchu) accepts the Abe government’s plan to reform agricultural cooperatives, stripping the Central Union’s power to audit and supervise local cooperatives.

: A public opinion survey by Yomiuri Shimbun reveals a 58 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet and a disapproval rating of 34 percent.

: National Security Adviser Susan Rice announces in a speech that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo would be invited to Washington for an official visit within the year.

: Government of Japan’s supplemental budget for JFY 2014 is approved by the Diet.

: Acting Deputy US Trade Representative Wendy Cutler and Chief Agricultural Negotiator Darci Vetter host Ambassador Oe Hiroshi and Ministry of Agriculture, Finance and Fisheries Director General Osawa Makoto to discuss market access issues related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Cutler also meets Ambassador Mori Takeo regarding motor vehicle trade.

: Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman visits Tokyo to discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues with senior Japanese government officials and political figures.

: Sung Kim, US special envoy for North Korea policy, Ihara Junichi, director general for Asian and Oceanian affairs, Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Hwang Joon-kook, South Korean special representative for peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, meet in Tokyo to discuss North Korea policy.

: United States Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman testifies before the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee on US trade policy.

: Members of the US Marines and Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Forces begin the annual bilateral training exercise Iron Fist, to include amphibious operations, at Camp Pendleton in Southern California.

: Abe Cabinet approves a record-high budget for fiscal year 2015 totaling ¥96.3 trillion (approx. $814 billion).  The defense budget also reached a record high of ¥4.98 trillion, a 2 percent increase year-on-year and the third annual increase in a row.

: NHK poll finds a 50 percent public approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.

: Abe Cabinet approves a ¥3.5 trillion ($29 billion) supplementary budget for Japan Fiscal Year 2014.

: Japan’s ruling coalition approves a 2.51 percent decrease in corporate tax rate to 32.1 percent beginning in JFY 2015, and an additional 0.8 percent decrease the following year.

: The United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea sign an intelligence sharing agreement regarding North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

: The Abe government unveils an economic stimulus package ¥3.5 trillion ($29 billion) stimulus package to support local economies.

: Prime Minister Abe’s third Cabinet is officially inaugurated with only one new appointment, that of Nakatani Gen as minister of defense.

: Public approval rating of the Abe Cabinet stands at 53 percent according to a public opinion poll by Kyodo News.

: A joint survey by Yomiuri Shimbun and Gallup finds 49 percent of Japanese and 45 percent of Americans consider US-Japan relations in good condition.

: President Obama signs the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act including partial funding for the transfer of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

: US-Japan Security Consultative Committee (SCC) issues a joint statement announcing an extension of discussions on revising guidelines for bilateral defense cooperation with the aim of revising the guidelines in the first half of 2015.

: President Obama calls Prime Minister Abe to congratulate him on the LDP’s election victory.

: When asked to choose among possible reasons for the LDP’s convincing victory in the Lower House election, 7 percent of respondents to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey choose support for Abe’s economic policies.  Most popular, at 65 percent, is the relative attractiveness of the LDP compared to other parties.

: The ruling LDP and Komeito prevail in the Lower House election, securing a two-thirds majority in the chamber.

: The White House issues a statement congratulating Prime Minister Abe on the LDP’ success in the Lower House election.

: Japanese government revises its estimate for third quarter real GDP growth downward from -1.6 to -1.9 percent on an annualized basis.

: Sung Kim, US special representative for North Korea policy and deputy assistant secretary of state for Japan and Korea, meets senior officials in Tokyo to discuss North Korea and U.S.-Japan alliance issues.

: President Obama discusses TPP and Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in an address to the Business Roundtable in Washington.

:  Nikkei Shimbun poll posts a 44 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet; 51 percent support Abe’s decision to postpone the consumption tax increase, but 51 percent do not support economic policies known as “Abenomics.”  When asked which party they would support in the upcoming Lower House election, the ruling LDP garners 35 percent support, followed by the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) with 9 percent, and 45 percent undecided.  Surveys by Yomiuri, Asahi, and Sankei indicate similar levels of support for the LDP.

: Prime Minister Abe calls for a snap election and announces a plan to dissolve the Lower House of the Diet on Nov. 21.  Abe also postpones a planned increase in the consumption tax from October 2015 to April 2017 due to weak economic numbers.

: Cabinet Office of Japan announces that GDP decreased at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in the third quarter.

: President Obama, Prime Minister Abe, and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott conduct a trilateral leaders’ meeting on the margins of the G-20 Summit in Brisbane.

: Onaga Takeshi, an opponent of the plan to relocate Marine Corps Air Station Futenma within Okinawa Prefecture, defeats incumbent Nakaima Hirokazu in the Okinawa gubernatorial election. 

: Leaders of the parties to TPP meet on the margins of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Beijing to assess progress in the multilateral trade negotiations.

: Robert King, US special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, meets Japanese officials in Tokyo to discuss a range of human rights and humanitarian issues.

: NHK  poll shows 44 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.

: Japanese government provides up to $100 million of additional support to counter the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, supplementing a previous pledge of $40 million made at the UN General Assembly in September.

: Ministry of Foreign Affairs releases poll on the image of Japan in the US indicating Japan is considered the most important partner for the US in Asia.  Seventy-three percent of US public and 90 percent of opinion leaders perceive Japan as a dependable partner.

: Republican Party wins a majority in the Senate and retains control of the  House of Representatives in the US midterm elections.

: US Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks Sydney Seiler visits Tokyo to meet Japanese officials to discuss North Korea policy.

: Bank of Japan unexpectedly announces a package of monetary stimulus spending including an acceleration of government bond purchases at an annual pace of ¥80 trillion and a tripling of exchange-traded fund (ETF) and real estate investment trust (REIT) purchases.

: Ministers and heads of delegation for the TPP countries meet in Sydney, Australia to take stock of the multilateral trade negotiations.

: Officials from the US, Australia and Japan participate in the trilateral US-Australia-Japan Security and Defense Cooperation Forum (SDCF), which promotes cooperation in areas such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping support, and maritime capacity building.

: Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Obuchi Yuko and Justice Minister Matsushima Midori resign from the Abe Cabinet due to alleged misuse of political funds and violation of the election law, respectively.

: US and Japanese governments issue a joint statement announcing progress toward an Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Stewardship Relating to the United States Armed Forces in Japan.

: US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker leads 20 US firms on a trade and business development mission to Japan.

: President Obama and Prime Minister Abe discuss the importance of bilateral and international cooperation on Ebola in a telephone call.

: Acting Deputy USTR Wendy Cutler meets Japanese counterparts in Tokyo to discuss bilateral trade negotiations linked to TPP.

: Following a meeting of the US-Japan Subcommittee for Defense Cooperation (SDC) in Tokyo, the two governments issue an interim report on the revision of the bilateral guidelines for defense cooperation.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies visits Tokyo to meet senior Japanese government officials.

: President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet in Washington and issue a joint statement referencing the importance of US-Japan-India ties.

: Prime Minister Abe addresses the UN General Assembly in New York.

: United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Michael Froman and Japanese Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira meet in Washington to discuss bilateral trade negotiations linked to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

: Japan imposes additional sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

: Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio meet in New York on the margins of a G-7 foreign ministers’ meeting to discuss US-led airstrikes in Syria and other issues.

: The US and Japan hold the sixth director general-level meeting of the US-Japan Policy Cooperation Dialogue on the Internet Economy in Washington.

:   A Jiji Press survey finds only 20 percent of the Japanese public supports a planned increase in the consumption tax from 8 to 10 percent in October 2015.

: US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell visits Tokyo to attend the World Assembly for Women Symposium and meet Japanese government officials and private sector leaders.

: Japan’s Cabinet Office reports GDP fell at an annualized rate of 7.1 percent in the period April-June 2014 compared to a previous estimate of 6.8 percent.

: Japanese newspapers publish public opinion surveys on the Abe Cabinet with Yomiuri Shimbun posting a 64 percent approval rating, Nikkei 60 percent, Kyodo News 55 percent and Mainichi Shimbun 47 percent.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo reshuffles his Cabinet, appointing a record-tying five women to Cabinet posts.

: President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo agree in a telephone conversation to work closely to improve the situation in Syria.

: Japan’s Defense Ministry approves a draft budget totaling approximately $49 billion for the fiscal year beginning April 2015, a 3.5 percent increase over current fiscal year.

: Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work meets Defense Minister Onodera, Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Defense Takeda Ryota, and Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kishi Nobuo in Tokyo.

: Japan’s Defense Ministry begins an underwater drilling survey at the planned site for the Futenma Replacement Facility off the coast of Nago in Okinawa Prefecture.

: Cabinet Office announces that Japan’s real gross domestic product fell 6.8 percent on an annualized basis in the second quarter of 2014.

: Japanese and US officials continue bilateral trade talks on automobile market access issues in Tokyo.

: Secretary Kerry, Foreign Minister Kishida, and ROK Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se meet on the margins of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Myanmar.

: Government of Japan imposes sanctions against Russia, restricting imports from Crimea and freezing assets in Japan of individuals and organizations associated with Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.

: Japan’s Ministry of Defense publishes its annual defense white paper focused mainly on concerns over North Korea and Chinese assertiveness in the East China Sea.

: Yomiuri Shimbun survey reveals a 51 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.

: Acting Deputy USTR Cutler and Ambassador Oe meet in Washington to continue bilateral trade talks on agriculture market access issues.

: Prime Minister Abe and Vice President Joe Biden discuss regional and global security issues in a telephone call.

: House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking Member Charles Rangel (D-NY), together with 138 other House members, submit a letter to President Obama expressing concerns about agricultural market access negotiations with Japan and Canada in the TPP negotiations.

: South Korea, Japan, and the US conduct a search-and-rescue exercise (SAREX) near the island of Jeju.

: Jiji Press poll posts a 44 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.

: Japanese and US officials meet in Tokyo to begin talks aimed at revising guidelines for bilateral defense cooperation.

: US Marine Corps begins relocating KC-130 refueling aircraft from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma in Okinawa to MCAS Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

: Defense Secretary Hagel and Minister of Defense Onodera discuss bilateral defense cooperation and regional security issues at the Pentagon in Washington.

: Defense Minister Onodera addresses the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.

: North Korea launches multiple ballistic missiles toward the Sea of Japan.

: Secretary of State Kerry and Foreign Minister Kishida discuss North Korea issues in a telephone call.

: Abe Cabinet posts a 48 percent approval rating in a public opinion survey published by Kyodo News.

: Abe Cabinet issues a decision on defense policy reforms including measures that would allow the Self-Defense Forces to exercise the right of collective self-defense.

: Deputy USTR Cutler visits Tokyo to resume parallel negotiations to TPP, meeting Ambassador Oe Hiroshi and Ambassador Mori Takeo to discuss agriculture and automobile market access issues, respectively.

: Mainichi Shimbun poll shows 58 percent of the public opposes Japan reinterpreting the constitution to exercise the right of collective self-defense.

: Advisory panel supports a report to Foreign Minister Kishida including recommendations for revising Japan’s ODA charter.

: Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise, is hosted by US Pacific Fleet in Hawaii.  Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force leads a scenario-based humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) response portion of the exercise and conducts an amphibious landing exercise with US counterparts on the margins of RIMPAC.

: Abe Cabinet approves a revised growth strategy including a blueprint for structural reforms.

: The LDP makes a strong showing in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, taking 59 of 127 seats.

: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio discuss the situation in Iraq as well as regional security issues in a telephone call.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel visits Tokyo for consultations with Japanese officials on bilateral and regional issues.

: Acting Deputy USTR Cutler addresses a conference on Asia-Pacific economic integration co-hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

: US Special Representative for North Korea policy Glyn Davies hosts Ihara Junichi, director general for Asian and Oceanian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for consultations on North Korea at the State Department in Washington.

: US and Japan hold bilateral Extended Deterrence Dialogue in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

: Acting Deputy USTR Wendy Cutler and Ambassador Mori Takeo lead US-Japan Parallel Negotiations to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Washington focused on motor vehicle trade.

: G-7 issues a declaration at the conclusion of a summit in Brussels including a statement on tensions in the East and South China Seas, declaring opposition to any unilateral attempt to assert maritime or territorial claims by the use of intimidation, coercion or force.

: A survey by Yomiuri Shimbun on scenarios in which Japan might exercise the right of collective self-defense suggests 75 percent of the public would support authorizing the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to guard US vessels carrying Japanese nationals fleeing a foreign country.  The poll also finds 74 percent would support SDF involvement in minesweeping operations during armed conflicts at sea.

: Secretary Hagel, Minister Onodera, and ROK Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin hold trilateral defense ministerial talks regarding North Korea and regional security on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

: Prime Minister Abe delivers the keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

: US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Japanese Minister of Defense Onodera Itsunori, and Australian Defense Minister David Johnston conduct trilateral defense ministerial talks regarding regional security and trilateral defense cooperation on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

: Prime Minister Abe reveals that North Korea agreed to reinvestigate past abductions of Japanese citizens.  Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide announces Japan will partially lift unilateral sanctions against North Korea once the investigation is under way.

: Japanese and North Korean officials meet in Stockholm to discuss Japan’s demand for a reinvestigation into the fate of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

: USTR Froman and Minister for Economic Revitalization Amari Akira meet to discuss bilateral trade negotiations on the margins of the TPP ministerial meeting in Singapore.

: Mainichi Shimbun publishes a survey indicating 54 percent of the public opposes Japan reinterpreting the constitution to exercise the right of collective self-defense and 39 percent is in favor.

: Government advisory panel submits a report to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo recommending changes in defense policy to exercise the right of collective self-defense.

: Yomiuri Shimbun poll reveals 63 percent of the public supports Japan exercising the right of collective self-defense in a limited capacity.

: Survey by public broadcaster NHK finds 31 percent of the public supports Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, 16 percent oppose, and 45 percent are undecided.

: The second meeting of the Japan-US Comprehensive Dialogue on Space is held in Washington, DC.

: Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications releases data indicating that the estimated number of people under age 15 in Japan decreased for the 33rd consecutive year to 16.33 million, the lowest total since comparable data became available in 1950.

: United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman testifies before the US Senate Finance Committee on the Obama administration’s trade agenda.

: Japan imposes visa bans on 23 Russian individuals in announcing expanded sanctions against Russia in line with similar decisions by the US and the European Union.

: President Obama makes a state visit to Japan.  The two governments issue a joint statement and fact sheet outlining priorities for bilateral cooperation on regional and global issues.

: According to a Mainichi Shimbun survey, 60 percent of the Japanese public considers the consumption tax increase burdensome, and 40 percent report curbing household spending since the increase took effect April 1.

: Congressional delegation led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) meets Prime Minister Abe and other political leaders in Tokyo.

: USTR Froman hosts Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari for another round of bilateral trade negotiations in Washington.

: US Defense Department hosts US-Japan-ROK Defense Trilateral Talks in Washington.

: Congressional delegation organized by the Aspen Institute visits Prime Minister Abe and other political leaders in Tokyo.

: Abe government approves a new basic energy plan including support for the use of nuclear power.

: Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller visits Tokyo for consultations with Japanese officials on regional security issues.

: Second US-Japan Cyber Dialogue convenes in Washington.

: Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari hosts USTR Froman for bilateral trade negotiations in Tokyo.

: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies hosts a consultation on North Korea with Director General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Ihara Junichi and Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Hwang Joon-kook.

: According to a poll published by Asahi Shimbun, 63 percent of the Japanese public wants the government to maintain the ban on collective self-defense.  Ninety-five percent of respondents in China and 85 percent in South Korea expressed the same sentiment.

: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel meets Prime Minister Abe and Defense Minister Onodera in Tokyo to discuss bilateral and regional security issues.  Hagel announces that the US plans to forward deploy two additional Aegis-equipped ballistic missile defense (BMD) ships to Japan by 2017.

: USTR Michael Froman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee on the US trade policy agenda.

: US Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues Robert King visits Tokyo for meetings with government officials and civil society groups.

: Japanese government increases the consumption tax from five to eight percent, the first of a two-stage increase mandated by legislation passed in 2012.

: Abe Cabinet approves new principles on the transfer of defense equipment, previously dubbed the three arms export principles.

: Hague Convention enters into force between the United States and Japan.

: Mainichi Shimbun survey shows 57 percent of the Japanese public opposes the government exercising the right of collective self-defense.  Sixty-four percent reject efforts by the Abe government to reinterpret the constitution to exercise that right; 30 percent are in favor.             

: State Department issues a statement commemorating the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Japan.

: Abe government releases a list of regions and cities designated as “national strategic special zones” in support of a national growth strategy touting structural reform.

: Japan’s Ministry of Defense launches a new cyber defense unit.

: Prime Minister Abe pledges $1.5 billion in Japanese aid to Ukraine.       

: At the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, President Obama and Prime Minister Abe issue a joint statement announcing Japan’s plans to remove hundreds of kilograms of highly enriched uranium and plutonium to the United States for disposition.

: Secretary of State Kerry and Foreign Minister Kishida confer via telephone call on Russia’s annexation of Crimea ahead of a G-7 meeting in The Hague.

: Representatives Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Joaquin Castro (D-TX) inaugurate a bipartisan caucus to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Japan.
March 25, 2014: President Obama, Prime Minister Abe, and President Park Geun-hye of South Korea convene a trilateral summit on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

: Japan suspends bilateral talks on an investment pact with Russia to protest its recognition of Crimea as an independent state.

: Yomiuri Shimbun survey posts a 59 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet and finds that 42 percent of the Japanese public supports amending the constitution, with 41 percent opposed.  On the right of collective self-defense, 43 percent of respondents said Japan should not exercise that right, 27 percent suggested the government should reinterpret Article IX of the constitution to do so, and 22 percent favored constitutional revision as a prerequisite.

: Prime Minister Abe tells the Diet his government has no intention of revising the Kono Statement.

: Abe Cabinet’s approval rating falls to 48 percent according to a Jiji Press poll.  Seventy-five percent of respondents express doubt about the economic recovery.

: Secretary of State Kerry issues a statement on the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

: Japan and the US send a joint letter to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) asking for its opinion on China’s ADIZ in the East China Sea.    

: Acting Deputy USTR Wendy Cutler hosts Ambassador Oe Hiroshi for two days of discussions in Washington on TPP market issues.   

: Prime Minister Abe and President Obama agree during a telephone call to coordinate closely on developments in Ukraine.

: Assistant Secretary of State Russel and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia David Helvey testify before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific regarding US alliances in Northeast Asia.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide announces that the Abe government will examine how the decision to issue the 1993 Kono Statement was made.

: Forty-nine percent of the Japanese public supports the government exercising the right of collective self-defense according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey.

: During testimony in the Diet, Former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Ishihara Nobuo says the 1993 Kono Statement on comfort women was based on witness accounts and that no direct evidence of the government and military’s role in recruitment was found.

: Inaugural meeting of the US-Japan Development Dialogue is held in Washington.

: Delegation representing the US Congressional Study Group on Japan meets Prime Minister Abe and other political leaders in Tokyo.

: Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, pays a courtesy call on Prime Minister Abe and participates in a meeting of the US-Japan Parliamentary League in Tokyo.

: US Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman meets Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira in Washington to discuss bilateral trade negotiations linked to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

: US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy visits Okinawa.

: Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio and Secretary of State John Kerry meet at the State Department in Washington to discuss the US-Japan alliance.

: United States and Japan sign a bilateral agreement on Preventing and Combating Serious Crime (PCSC) to improve efforts to combat terrorism and transnational crime.

: Japanese Diet passes a supplementary budget totaling ¥5.5 trillion, or 1.1 percent of GDP, to sustain growth.

: NHK Board member Hyakuta Naoki alleges the Tokyo war crimes trial was designed to cover up US atrocities during World War II. State Department subsequently issues a statement calling Hyakuta’s comments “preposterous.”

: Survey by Nikkei Shimbun shows that 84 percent of the Japanese public feels very or somewhat uneasy about the US-Japan alliance.

: In an interview with Kyodo News, Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council Evan Medeiros warns China not to establish another Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in Asia.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies leads a US delegation to Tokyo to discuss North Korea policy.

:  Kyodo News survey indicates that 53 percent of the Japanese public opposes a reinterpretation of the constitution to exercise the right of collective self-defense, with 37 percent in favor.   

: NHK President Momii Katsuto states during a press conference that the use of “comfort women” was widespread during World War II.

: Deputy Secretary Burns and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel meet senior Japanese government officials in Tokyo to discuss bilateral, regional, and global issues.

: Government of Japan formally declares that Japan has ratified the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

: Inamine Susumu wins reelection as mayor of Nago City in Okinawa and vows to oppose the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko.

: Japanese media reports suggest Senior Adviser to Prime Minister Abe Eto Seiichi criticized the US reaction to Abe’s December 2013 visit to Yasukuni Shrine in a YouTube video but the post is deleted, reportedly at the request of the Abe Cabinet.

: Yachi Shotaro, Japan’s national security adviser, meets US National Security Adviser Susan Rice and other senior US officials in Washington.

: Jiji Press survey posts a 52 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.

: Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishi Nobuo meets Deputy Secretary of State William Burns in Washington to discuss the US-Japan alliance and issues in Northeast Asia.

: Abe Cabinet posts a 62 percent approval rating in a poll by the Yomiuri Shimbun.

: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel calls Minister of Defense Onodera Itsunori to express appreciation for the government of Japan’s efforts in securing approval of a landfill permit request to build the Futenma Replacement Facility at Camp Schwab-Henoko Bay.

: Okinawa Gov. Nakaima Hirokazu approves a landfill permit for the Futenma Replacement Facility at Henoko.

: Prime Minister Abe visits Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.  US Embassy in Tokyo issues a statement expressing disappointment and urging Japan and its neighbors to deal with sensitive issues of the past in constructive ways and improve relations.

: President Obama signs the 2014 NDAA bill.

: US and Japan announce bilateral consultations toward a framework regarding environmental stewardship of US military facilities and areas in Japan.

: 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) including the repeal that prohibits funding for the realignment of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam clears the Senate.

: Abe Cabinet approves the country’s first National Security Strategy as well as new National Defense Program Guidelines and Midterm Defense Plan.

: Yomiuri Shimbun and Gallup publish an annual survey of US and Japanese views on US-Japan relations and other issues.

: Ministers and heads of delegation for the 12 TPP countries finish a four-day ministerial in Singapore and announce “substantial progress” towards an agreement with a pledge to continue discussions in January 2014.

: Kyodo News survey finds 82 percent of the Japanese public wants the new secrecy of information law revised or abolished.

: Legislation stiffening penalties for leaks of classified information passes the Diet.

: Japanese government announces a $182 billion economic stimulus package.

: Vice President Joe Biden meets Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo and reaffirms bilateral coordination on China’s ADIZ.  Abe and Biden also issue a joint statement outlining other initiatives on the bilateral agenda.

: Asahi Shimbun survey indicates a 49 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.

: State Department states that the US government generally expects commercial airlines operating internationally to operate consistent with Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs), but that this expectation does not indicate US government acceptance of China’s requirements for operating in the East China Sea ADIZ.

: Japanese Diet approves legislation establishing a National Security Council in the Prime Minister’s Office.

: Defense Secretary Hagel and Defense Minister Onodera discuss the situation in the East China Sea during a telephone call.

: Japanese government asks Japanese commercial airlines not to submit flight plans to Chinese authorities as requested by China when it announced an East China Sea ADIZ.

: US sends two B-52 bombers into China’s ADIZ to demonstrate freedom of navigation in international airspace.

: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Davies visits Tokyo for consultations on North Korea policy.

: Defense Secretary Hagel and Secretary of State Kerry each issue statements expressing concern about China’s announcement of an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

: Chief negotiators for the 12 TPP countries meet in Salt Lake City, Utah, to address outstanding issues.

: US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy presents her credentials to Emperor Akihito in Tokyo.

: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Cho Tae-yong, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Junichi Ihara meet in Washington, DC for a trilateral dialogue on North Korea.

: Abe Cabinet approval rating stands at 60 percent according to a Kyodo News survey.  Fifty percent of the Japanese public opposes a bill to stiffen penalties for leaking classified information.

: US and Japanese negotiators meet in Washington for the third round of bilateral trade talks conducted in parallel with the TPP negotiations.

: Jiji Press poll yields a 55.8 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.  Forty-seven percent of respondents approve of Prime Minister Abe visiting the Yasukuni Shrine.

: US Senate approves the nomination of Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to Japan.

: Kerry, Kishida, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop convene for a ministerial of the US-Japan-Australia Trilateral Strategic Dialogue on the margins of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bali, Indonesia.

: Deputy Secretary of State William Burns discusses the US-Japan relationship in an address to the US-Japan Council in Washington, DC.

: Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori convene in Tokyo for a Security Consultative Committee (SCC) or “2+2” meeting and issue a joint statement outlining priorities for the US-Japan alliance.  They also sign a protocol amending the 2009 Guam International Agreement regarding the realignment of US forces in Japan.

: Kerry and Hagel pay their respects at Chidorigafuchi, a cemetery in Tokyo for the remains of unidentified Japanese who died overseas during World War II.

: Prime Minister Abe announces a decision to increase the consumption tax from 5 to 8 percent beginning in April 2014.

: US and Japanese negotiators meet in Tokyo for the second round of bilateral trade negotiations taking place in parallel to TPP negotiations.

: Abe addresses the United Nations General Assembly to outline his diplomatic agenda across a range of issue areas including women’s empowerment.

: US and Japanese governments reach an agreement on trade in organic foods, noting that beginning in January 2014 foods certified as organic in Japan or the US can be sold as organic in either country.

: Prime Minister Abe discusses his economic policies at the New York Stock Exchange and outlines his vision for Japan as a “proactive contributor to peace” in a separate address to the Hudson Institute in New York City.

: Yomiuri Shimbun survey posts a 67 approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.

: Chief negotiators for the 12 TPP countries convene in Washington, DC.

: Kyodo News survey finds 46.8 percent of the public favors an increase in the consumption tax while 50 percent disapprove.

: Komeito leader Yamaguchi Natsuo meets Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and other US officials regarding the US-Japan alliance and regional issues.

: Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William Brownfield meets officials in Tokyo to discuss bilateral and international cooperation on rule of law issues.

: Cabinet Office of Japan revises estimates for second quarter real GDP growth upward from 2.6 to 3.8 percent and reports that business investment turned positive for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2011.

: International Olympic Committee selects Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel meets officials in Tokyo to discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues.

: Obama and Abe discuss security issues including Syria and North Korea, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, and other issues in a meeting on the margins of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

: State Department releases fact sheet on economic and strategic imperatives of TPP.

: Defense Minister Onodera and Defense Secretary Hagel meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM+) in Brunei.

: METI Motegi announces the central government will assume control of efforts to contain radioactive water leaking from storage tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

: The 19th round of TPP negotiations is held in Brunei.

: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), ranking member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe and other Japanese government officials.

: USTR Froman visits Tokyo for meetings with counterparts on TPP.

: Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe and other Japanese government officials.

: Government of Japan reports that the economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the second quarter.

: Public opinion survey by NHK reveals a 57 percent approval rating for the Abe cabinet and a disapproval rating of 29 percent.

: US and Japanese officials conduct the first round of bilateral trade negotiations on autos, insurance and non-tariff measures in parallel to the TPP trade talks.

: US military helicopter crashes on the grounds of Camp Hansen in Okinawa.

: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso issues a statement retracting his comments on Nazi Germany in reference to Japan’s debate on constitutional revision.

: US Senate adopts a resolution condemning “the use of coercion, threats, or force by naval, maritime security, or fishing vessels and military or civilian aircraft in the South China Sea and the East China Sea to assert disputed maritime or territorial claims or alter the status quo.”

: Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Defense Eto Akinori meets Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in Washington to discuss the Japanese government’s review of defense policy.

: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso references lessons to be learned from Nazi Germany while discussing the debate in Japan over whether to revise the constitution during a speech in Tokyo.

: Japan’s Ministry of Defense issues an interim report of a government review of defense policy that will inform new National Defense Program Guidelines due later in the year.

: Prime Minister Abe meets with Vice President Joe Biden in Singapore to discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues.

: President Obama nominates Caroline Kennedy to succeed John Roos as US ambassador to Japan.

: Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Motegi Toshimitsu meets Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in Washington and issue a joint statement on bilateral energy cooperation.  Motegi also meets USTR Froman to discuss Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations and US-Japan cooperation on multilateral trade issues.

: The US and the other parties to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks welcome Japan as the 12th member country at the 18th round of negotiations held in Malaysia.

: Ruling coalition of the LDP and Komeito secure a majority in elections for the Upper House of the Diet, together winning 76 seats out of 121 contested for a total of 135 in the 242-seat chamber.

: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro meets US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on the margins of the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in Moscow.

: US Trade Representative Michael Froman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee on the Obama administration’s trade policy agenda.

: Daniel Russel is appointed assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

: Japan releases its annual defense white paper expressing concern about China’s military build-up.

: US Secretary of State John Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida, and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se conduct a trilateral meeting on the margins of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum meeting in Brunei.  Kerry and Kishida also confer separately on bilateral issues.

: Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority issues new safety regulations for nuclear power plants.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies hosts a US-Japan-South Korea trilateral meeting in Washington to exchange views on North Korea.

: The Abe Cabinet approves the economic revitalization strategy outlined previously by Prime Minister Abe.

: President Obama telephones Prime Minister Abe to brief him on his meeting with Xi Jingping at the Sunnylands resort in California.

: Japanese Diet ratifies the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

: The government of Japan revises first quarter economic growth numbers to an annualized rate of 4.4 percent from 3.5 percent.

: Yomiuri Shimbun survey on the Upper House election in Japan finds 44 percent support for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), 7 percent for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), and 5 percent for the Japan Restoration Party (JRP).  When asked which policy issues are most important, 86 percent of respondents cited the economy and employment, followed by social security at 84 percent and recovery from the March 11, 2011 disasters at 79 percent.  Prime Minister Abe’s approval rating stands at 67 percent.

: Japan Self-Defense Forces participate in the amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz hosted by the US Navy and Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, California.

: The Abe government approves legislation to set up a National Security Council housed in the Prime Minister’s Office.

: Prime Minister Abe unveils additional details of his strategy to revive the Japanese economy.

: Australian Minister for Defense Stephen Smith, Japanese Minister of Defense Onodera Itsunori, and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel meet on the margins of Shangri-La Dialogue and issue a joint statement outlining strategic goals for trilateral cooperation.

: Japanese Minister of Defense Onodera, Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin, and Defense Secretary Hagel meet on the margins of the Shangri La dialogue in Singapore to discuss the regional security situation and North Korea.

: US Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues Robert King visits Tokyo for consultations with Japanese government officials.

: Prime Minister Abe posts a 65 percent public approval rating in a survey by Asahi Shimbun.

: Fifty-two percent of the Japanese public opposes amending Article 96 of the constitution, which includes criteria for revising the constitution; 41 percent support the measure.      

: Prime Minister Abe outlines his government’s growth strategy in a speech to business leaders in Tokyo.

: The Cabinet Office of Japan announces the economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent in the first quarter.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies visits Tokyo for meetings with senior Japanese government officials.
May 17, 2013: The US Energy Department conditionally authorizes exports of domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Freeport LNG Terminal on Quintana Island, Texas to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.

: Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Toru states that comfort women were necessary for Japanese soldiers during World War II.       

: Survey by Yomiuri Shimbun reveals a 72 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.  Fifty-five percent of respondents support Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, while 28 percent disapprove.     

: US and Japanese governments host first US-Japan Cyber Dialogue in Tokyo.

: Prime Minister Abe reflects on World War II during an Upper House Budget Committee hearing, stating that Japan “caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of Asian nations.”

: Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio states that Prime Minister Abe shares the views expressed in the 1995 Murayama Statement apologizing for Japan’s actions during World War II and Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide indicates that the government would abide by the 1993 Kono Statement on the issue of comfort women.

: Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller visits Tokyo to discuss extended deterrence, missile defense cooperation, and arms control and nonproliferation issues with Japanese counterparts.

: A report on military and security developments in China issued by the US Department of Defense states that in September 2012, China began using improperly drawn straight baseline claims around the Senkaku Islands, adding to its network of maritime claims that are inconsistent with international law.

: Eighty-nine percent of over 120 Japanese corporations surveyed by Mainichi Shimbun express confidence in Japan’s economic recovery.

: Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake, Jr. and Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs James Zumwalt co-host the fourth US-Japan-India trilateral dialogue in Washington.

: The 12th US-Japan Joint High Level Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation convenes in Washington.

: Defense Secretary Hagel and Defense Minister Onodera meet at the Pentagon in Washington to discuss bilateral and regional defense issues.

: US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey meets Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori, Japan Self-Defense Forces Joint Staff General Iwasaki Shigeru, and FM Kishida in Tokyo.

: Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal publish editorials expressing concern over PM Abe’s comments on history.

: Obama administration notifies Congress of intent to include Japan in TPP negotiations.

: Deputy Secretary of State William Burns visits Tokyo for consultations with senior Japanese officials.

: PM Abe states in a Diet session that the definition of wartime aggression is open to interpretation.

: Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Motegi Toshimitsu and Acting United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis meet on the margins of an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministers Meeting in Surabaya, Indonesia.

: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Aso Taro and other Abe Cabinet members visit the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Aso Taro attends a G20 meeting in Washington and details the Abe government’s economic policies in an address at CSIS.

: Abe Cabinet posts a 74 percent approval rating in a Yomiuri Shimbun survey.

: Secretary Kerry delivers remarks at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

: Secretary of State Kerry meets FM Kishida in Tokyo to discuss bilateral and regional issues.  The two governments also announce a new bilateral dialogue on climate change.

: US and Japanese officials conclude preliminary consultations on Japan’s entry into TPP negotiations, signing a joint statement that allows the United States to maintain tariffs on automobiles and agreeing to parallel talks on non-tariff barriers in Japan.

: Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Robert Hormats visits Tokyo for consultations with senior Japanese officials.

: North Korea threatens to target US military bases in Japan.

: Secretary Kerry and FM Kishida meet in London prior to G8 foreign ministers meeting.

: US and Japanese officials convene in Washington state for a bilateral extended deterrence dialogue.

: Government of Japan decides to permanently deploy Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile defense system on Okinawa and deploys two Aegis destroyers to the Sea of Japan to defend against the North Korean ballistic missile threat.

: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel releases a statement on the US-Japan Okinawa Consolidation Plan to reduce the footprint of the US military presence on Okinawa.

: BoJ announces monetary easing measures to meet the two percent inflation target such as doubling the monetary base over two years and extending the average maturity of Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs).

: Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Joseph Yun visits Tokyo for discussions on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues.

: Government of Japan submits a landfill permit request for the Futenma Replacement Facility to the Okinawa Prefectural Government

: North Korea threatens to target US bases in Japan after the US flies B-52 bombers over South Korea during US-ROK military drills.

: Mainichi Shimbun finds a 70 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.  Sixty-three percent 63 of the Japanese public express support for Abe’s decision to join the TPP negotiations and 65 percent favor Abe’s economic policies.

: Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter meets Senior Vice Defense Minister Eto Akinori in Tokyo to discuss regional security and bilateral defense issues.

: Prime Minister Abe announces Japan’s intention to enter the TPP negotiations.

: Acting USTR Demetrios Marantis welcomes Japan’s decision to enter TPP negotiations and references bilateral consultations on market access in Japan.

: First Japan-US Comprehensive Dialogue on Space is held in Tokyo.

: US National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon addresses the Asia Society on the US rebalance to Asia.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide announces a Cabinet decision to allow exports of parts produced by Japanese firms for the F-35 stealth fighter jet as an exception to Japan’s ban on weapons exports.

: PM Abe and President Obama hold a summit. Abe also addresses the Center for Strategic and International Studies on his economic and diplomatic agendas.

: FM Kishida and Secretary of State Kerry meet in Washington.

:   Joint survey by Yomiuri Shimbun and Gallup finds 50 percent of the Japanese public and 52 percent of Americans consider US-Japan relations “good.” Seventy-four percent of Japanese respondents approve of the Abe’s policies to strengthen the US-Japan alliance.

: President Obama and PM Abe speak by telephone and pledge to work closely on a response to North Korea’s nuclear test.

: The G7 issues a statement reaffirming fiscal and monetary policies will remain oriented towards meeting respective domestic objectives using domestic instruments, and that members will not target exchange rates.

: Officials from Australia, Japan, and the US meet in Washington for the fifth Security and Defense Cooperation Forum (SDCF) to discuss humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, regional capacity development, and maritime security.

: Approval rating for the Abe Cabinet is 71 percent according to a public opinion survey by Yomiuri Shimbun.   Fifty-eight percent of respondents favor Abe’s agreement with the BoJ to pursue inflation targeting and 56 percent supported Abe’s plans to stimulate the economy through increased public works spending.  LDP posts an approval rating of 42 percent compared to 6 percent for the DPJ and 5 percent for the Japan Restoration Party.

: US Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs Lael Brainard expresses supports for Japan’s efforts to end deflation and stresses that structural reform should accompany macroeconomic policies to reinvigorate growth.

: US and Japanese officials meet in Tokyo for consultations on Japan’s possible entry into TPP negotiations.

: Mainichi Shimbun poll finds 56 percent of the public supports the Abe Cabinet’s plans to review the “zero nuclear energy” policy of the previous government, and 47 percent favor Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations.

: FM Kishida congratulates John Kerry on being appointed secretary of state.

: Abe Cabinet approves a record $1.02 trillion draft budget for the fiscal year beginning in April 2013.

: Public opinion polls by Kyodo News and Nikkei/TV Tokyo reveal support for the Abe Cabinet at 67 percent and 68 percent, respectively.  

: US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announce an agreement to further open Japan’s beef market; Japan would permit the import of beef from cattle less than 30 months of age, compared to the previous limit of 20 months.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies visits Tokyo to exchange views with senior government officials.

: Abe Cabinet decides to review the National Defense Program Guidelines and Mid-Term Defense Plan (budget) and re-release both by the end of 2013.

: Abe Cabinet and Bank of Japan issue a joint statement outlining efforts to combat deflation and achieve sustainable economic growth including an inflation target of 2 percent.

: US Marines and Japan’s Ground Self-Defense begin the annual Joint Fist bilateral amphibious exercise at Camp Pendleton, California, held over a three-week period.

: Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio meets Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department in Washington to discuss the bilateral agenda and regional issues.

: US and Japanese officials meet in Tokyo to begin a review of the bilateral defense guidelines.

:   Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Mark Lippert, and National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs Daniel Russel visit Tokyo for consultations.

: Abe Cabinet approves an economic stimulus package totaling $227 billion.

: Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Mark Lippert meets Nishi Masanori, director general of the Defense Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Defense, to discuss bilateral security cooperation.

: Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister Kawai Chikao meets US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and other officials in Washington.

: Yomiuri Shimbun survey indicates a 65 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.  When asked to choose among nine issues, with multiple answers allowed, 93 percent of respondents said recovery from the March 11 disasters and economic growth should be a top priority of the new government, followed by 81 percent who selected diplomacy and national security.  56 percent favored social security and tax reform.  The LDP approval rating stood at 38 percent, with the DPJ and JRP tied at 8 percent.

: Kyodo News survey posts a 62 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.

: Abe Shinzo is elected prime minister in a special session of the Diet.

: Bank of Japan expands its asset purchase program by ¥10 trillion to ¥101 trillion.

: US House of Representatives and the Senate pass the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2013, which includes $26 million for the transfer of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

: According to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey, 58 percent of the public views the LDP election victory favorably.  When asked about the reason for the landslide, 55 percent cited disappointment with the DPJ and 29 percent said the LDP is better than the other parties.

: President Obama calls LDP President Abe to congratulate him on the results of the Lower House election.

: Defense Secretary Panetta announces plans for the first overseas deployment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Iwakuni in 2017.

: Public opinion survey conducted jointly by Asahi Shimbun and the University of Tokyo shows 89 percent of newly elected lawmakers in the Lower House support revising Japan’s constitution, and 79 percent favor revising the government interpretation of the constitution to exercise the right of collective self-defense.

: LDP returns to power with a landslide victory in the Lower House election, winning 294 seats and, together with the Komeito’s 31 seats, securing a two-thirds majority in the chamber.  The DPJ wins 57 seats and the JRP 54.

: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison Macfarlane attends the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on nuclear safety.

: Kyodo News survey finds 22 percent of the public likely to vote for the LDP in the proportional representation portion of the Lower House election, with 11 percent support for the DPJ and 10 percent for the JRP.    

: North Korea launches a long-range Unha-3 rocket and claims to have put a satellite into orbit.

: Mainichi Shimbun survey projects the LDP and its coalition partner, the Komeito, could win over 300 seats in the Lower Election, with the DPJ falling from 308 to under 80.  The JRP is projected to secure as many as 50 seats.

: Jiji Press survey indicates 32 percent of the public favors eliminating nuclear power from Japan’s energy mix, while 54 percent suggest Japan should reduce its reliance on nuclear power but not eliminate it completely.

: In the event North Korea follows through on its rocket launch, Defense Minister Morimoto orders the Self-Defense Forces to intercept it should it threaten Japanese territory.       

: Official campaigning begins for Japan’s Lower House election.

: Japan’s Self Defense Forces begin preparations to deploy Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile interceptors to Okinawa in preparation for North Korea’s missile launch.

: Yomiuri Shimbun survey finds 19 percent of voters likely to vote for the LDP in the proportional representation portion of the Lower House election, with the DPJ and JRP tied at 13 percent.

: North Korea announces its intention to launch an “Earth observation satellite” between Dec. 10 and 22.

: Noda Cabinet approves another stimulus package of approximately $10 billion.

: Japanese government gives $5 million to the US government as a gesture of goodwill with respect to tsunami debris from the March 11, 2011 disaster.

: US Senate approves an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 noting that the US takes no position on the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands but that it acknowledges the administration of Japan over them; reaffirming the US commitment to the defense of territories under the administration of Japan.

: Kada Yukiko, governor of Shiga Prefecture, establishes a new political party, the Tomorrow Party of Japan, and forms an alliance with Ozawa Ichiro’s People’s Livelihood First Party to compete in the Lower House election.

: Yomiuri Shimbun survey finds 25 percent of respondents inclined to vote for the LDP in the proportional representation portion of the ballot in the next election.  The JRP comes in second at 14 percent, followed by the DPJ at 10 percent.

: President Obama and PM Noda discuss the TPP trade negotiations and other issues on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh.

: Former DPJ President Ozawa Ichiro is formally acquitted of charges that he was involved in falsifying political fund reports.

: Mainichi Shimbun survey finds 41 percent of the respondents support Japan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, 18 percent opposed, and 35 percent undecided.       

: Ishihara Shintaro of the Sunrise Party and Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Toru of the JRP agree to merge their parties and establish a “third force” for the Lower House election.

: Diet passes legislation authorizing the government to issue deficit-covering bonds through fiscal year 2015.

: PM Noda dissolves the Lower House of the Diet and calls for Dec. 16 election.

: During a debate in the Diet with LDP President Abe, PM Noda declares his intention to dissolve the Lower House on Nov. 16 and call a snap election.

: PM Noda congratulates President Barack Obama on his reelection in a telephone call and the two leaders pledge to further strengthen the US-Japan alliance.

: Ishihara Shintaro officially launches his new political party, The Sunrise Party, for a run in the next Lower House election.

: Japanese government announces that gross domestic product shrank 3.5 percent on an annualized basis in the third quarter of 2012.

: Prosecutors on Okinawa indict two US sailors on charges of assaulting and raping a Japanese woman the morning of Oct. 16.

: US military and Japan Self Defense Forces begin biennial exercises near Okinawa.

: LDP President Abe calls on PM Noda to dissolve the Lower House of the Diet and call a general election by the end of year.

: Bank of Japan expands its asset purchase program from ¥80 trillion to ¥91 trillion and issues a statement with the government emphasizing a commitment to combat deflation.

: Noda government convenes an extraordinary session of the Diet to try to pass pending legislation including a bill to allow the government to issue deficit-covering bonds.

: Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake visits New Delhi for the third round of the US-Japan-India Trilateral Consultations.

: Noda Cabinet approves a $5.3 billion economic stimulus package.

: Ishihara Shintaro announces his intention to resign as governor of Tokyo and form a new political party for the next Lower House election.            

: Assistant Secretary of State Campbell meets Vice Foreign Minister Kawai Chikao and other senior officials in Tokyo to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues.

: Justice Minister Tanaka Keishu resigns three weeks after his appointment amid allegations of links to organized crime.

: Bipartisan group of former US national security officials visits Tokyo and Beijing to discuss tensions over the Senkakus.

: Asahi Shimbun poll reveals an 18 percent approval rating for the Noda Cabinet; 49 percent of respondents believe a general election should be held before the end of the year.

: US military imposes a curfew on uniformed personnel in Japan after two sailors were arrested for allegedly raping a Japanese woman on Okinawa.

: US and Japan issue a joint statement at the conclusion of a policy coordination dialogue on the Internet economy.

: ROK Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Issues Lim Sung-nam joins Sugiyama and Davies in Tokyo for a trilateral meeting on North Korea.

: LDP President Abe Shinzo visits the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

: Okinawa prefectural police arrest two US servicemen in the alleged rape of a Japanese woman.

: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies meets Sugiyama Shinsuke, director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Tokyo to discuss North Korea.

: Deputy Secretary of State William Burns visits Tokyo and meets Foreign Minister Gemba, Defense Minister Morimoto, and other officials.

: International Monetary Fund issues its growth forecast for the Asia-Pacific region and encourages the Bank of Japan to further ease monetary policy to combat deflation.

: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets PM Noda and Finance Minister Jojima Koriki to address a range of economic issues including the strength of the yen and Noda’s efforts to pass legislation authorizing deficit-covering bonds.

: Japan hosts annual meetings of International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

: Bank of Japan leaves interest rates and the size of its asset purchase program unchanged and issues a statement indicating that the economy is leveling off.

:   Kyodo News survey posts a 29 percent approval rating for the Noda Cabinet.  The DPJ approval rating is 12 percent compared to 39 percent for the LDP.

: PM Noda reshuffles his Cabinet.

: Secretary of State Clinton meets Foreign Minister Gemba and ROK Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.

: Public opinion survey by Nikkei Shimbun indicates 35 percent of respondents would vote for the LDP in the next election, compared to 14 percent for the DPJ and 12 percent for the JRP.

: PM Noda addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

: Former PM Abe Shinzo is elected president of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

: PM Noda is reelected as leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).

:   Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs regarding maritime territorial disputes and sovereignty issues in Asia.

: Bank of Japan expands an asset purchase program from ¥70 trillion to ¥80 trillion to support monetary easing.

:   Noda government backs off a pledge to phase out nuclear power by the 2030s in favor of further consultations on the issue.    

: US and Japan agree on safety measures for the deployment of the V-22 Osprey aircraft to Japan.

: Japan formally launches a new Nuclear Regulation Authority charged with setting new safety standards and disaster response guidelines.

: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visits Japan to discuss alliance matters with Defense Minister Morimoto Satoshi and Foreign Minister Gemba Koichiro.

: PM Noda announces a plan for Japan to phase out nuclear power by the 2030s.    

: Japanese government nationalizes three of the Senkaku Islands by purchasing them from a private owner.

: Sasae Kenichiro is appointed Japanese ambassador to the US to succeed Fujisaki Ichiro.

: Seven Diet members resign from their respective parties to join the JRP.

: Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Toru announces his intention to form a national political party, Japan Restoration Party (JRP), with an eye toward the next Lower House election.

: Prime Minister (PM) Noda Yoshihiko meets Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the margins of the APEC forum in Vladivostok to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues.

: The US and Japanese governments issue a joint statement regarding aid coordination in the Pacific region.

: A number of opposition parties, including LDP and Komeito, pass a non-binding censure motion against Prime Minister Noda in the Upper House of the Diet, marking the beginning of the opposition parties’ boycott of future Diet deliberations.

: Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Toru announces that his party, Osaka Restoration Group, plans to propose cutting the number of seats in the House of Representatives from 480 to 240, removing 90 of 180 proportional seats and 150 of 400 single-seat constituencies.

: The opposition-controlled Upper House of the Diet adopts censure motion against Prime Minister Noda at a plenary meeting.

: The DPJ forces an electoral reform bill through a parliamentary committee of the House of Representatives, while the opposition LDP boycotts the deliberations in protest.

: Prime Minister Noda meets antinuclear demonstrators and vows to improve the safety of the two recently-restarted nuclear reactors at the Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture, but makes no further concessions.

: CSIS hosts release of third Armitage-Nye Report on US-Japan relations and US strategy in Asia.

: A team of Japanese government officials meets US counterparts at the Pentagon to discuss the US investigation into recent MV-22 Osprey accidents.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun survey finds 53 percent of respondents favor the dissolution of the Lower House by autumn, and 53 percent also consider political realignment the most desirable path toward a government framework for the future.

: Mainichi Shimbun survey finds 92 percent of the Japanese public is worried about the effects of an increase in the consumption tax; 44 percent of respondents supporting the legislation.

: Legislation to raise the consumption tax rate from 5 percent to 8 percent by April 2014 and to 10 percent by October 2015 passes the Diet.

: A bill that would allow the establishment of special wards similar to those in Tokyo passes the Lower House of the Diet. The proposed bill covers all areas with a population over 2 million (currently 10 cities would fit such a requirement) and requires the consent of both governors and mayors to rezone the administrative districts.

: Asahi Shimbun poll finds the Noda Cabinet approval rating at 25 percent, the lowest since Noda entered office in September. With respect to political parties, 15 percent support the DPJ, 13 percent favor the LDP, and 55 percent declare themselves unaffiliated.

: In exchange for support from the LDP and Komeito to help pass the government’s comprehensive tax and social security reform bills, Prime Minister Noda promises to “seek a public mandate” once the legislation passes through the Diet, but sets no date for an election.

: Minor opposition parties, including Ozawa Ichiro’s People’s Lives First Party, submit a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Noda in the Lower House and a censure motion in the Upper House in advance of an upcoming vote on the government’s tax hike bill.

: Defense Minister Morimoto and Defense Secretary Panetta meet in Washington to discuss the US-Japan alliance and Japanese concerns over Osprey aircraft scheduled for deployment to Okinawa.

: Japan’s annual defense white paper is formally endorsed by the Noda Cabinet.

: The government’s Council on National Strategy and Policy draws up a strategy for revitalizing the Japanese economy by 2020, emphasizing energy and environment, medical care and welfare, and agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

: An Asahi Shimbun poll finds support for Ichiro Ozawa’s new political party at 15 percent, with 78 percent expressing no significant expectations for Ozawa’s party.  Prime Minister Noda’s Cabinet approval rating stands at 27 percent.

: Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) releases an independent assessment of US force posture strategy in the Asia-Pacific conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) pursuant to the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

: US National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon and Prime Minister Noda meet in Tokyo to discuss U.S.-Japan relations and regional affairs.

: US Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter meets Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba, Defense Minister Morimoto and Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Watanabe in Tokyo to discuss US strategic rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific region.

: Tens of thousands of anti-nuclear protestors assemble in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park, demanding an end to the use of nuclear power in Japan.

: The government drafts a bill that would revise the existing peacekeeping operation (PKO) cooperation law to allow Japan’s Self-Defense Forces to more quickly provide protection for overseas civilian personnel during UN peacekeeping operations.

: Foreign Minister Gemba, Secretary of State Clinton and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan agree in a trilateral dialogue on the margins of ASEAN-related meetings in Cambodia to make concerted efforts to prevent North Korea from engaging in provocative acts, stating that “any provocation by North Korea, including another nuclear test or missile launch, will be met with a resolute and coordinated response from the international community.”

: Ozawa Ichiro officially launches a new party, “People’s Lives First” (Kokumin no Seikatsu ga Daiichi).

: Democratic Party of Japan finalizes decision to expel Ozawa Ichiro and 36 supporters following their decision to quit the party in opposition to the government’s consumption tax bill. The DPJ also suspends former Prime Minister HatoyamaYukio’s party membership for 3 months for voting against the bill.

: Secretary of State Clinton and Foreign Minister Gemba meet in Japan to discuss Afghanistan, US-Japan relations, and regional and global issues. Secretary Clinton also pays a courtesy call on Prime Minister Noda.

: Ozawa Ichiro resigns from the DPJ and announces his intention to launch a new political party.

: Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima reiterates his strong opposition to the US military’s plan to deploy MV-22 Osprey aircraft at MCAS Futenma and demands a thorough investigation of recent accidents involving the aircraft.

: European Union, United States, and Japan request a dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization after failing to resolve a dispute over China’s restrictions on exports of rare earths.

: The United States confirms that it will go ahead with the deployment of 12 MV-22 Osprey aircraft to American bases in Japan. The Pentagon commits to refraining from any flight operations of the MV-22 in Japan until the results of investigations are presented to the Japanese government and the safety of flight operations is confirmed.

: The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly adopts a resolution calling for the early return of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma and the cancellation of the plan to deploy US Marine Osprey aircraft to Okinawa.

: A bill to increase Japan’s consumption tax rate passes the Lower House.

: Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Mexico, Prime Minister Noda and President Barack Obama agree to proceed with consultations aimed at Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks.

: Fukui Gov. Nishikawa Issei agrees to restart reactors No. 2 and 3 at the Oi nuclear power plant during a meeting with Prime Minister Noda – the first reactivation in Japan since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011.

: US Department of Defense announces that the United States, South Korea, and Japan will conduct a joint naval exercise on June 21-22 in waters south of the Korean Peninsula.

: According to a survey conducted by Yomiuri Shimbun, 64 percent of respondents support the passage of government-sponsored bills to raise the consumption tax rate, with 25 percent opposed to the bills. Fifty-five percent of respondents regard the increase as necessary to rehabilitate the nation’s finances and maintain the current social security system.

: International Monetary Fund report states that Japan’s government and its central bank must do more to combat deflation.

: World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report raises Japan’s 2012 real gross domestic product growth outlook to 2.4 percent from the 1.9 percent projected in January, citing progress in reconstruction work after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami last year.

: Prime Minister Noda states that Japan must restart reactors No. 3 and 4 of the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture in order to protect the economy and people’s livelihoods. Noda also stresses the importance of nuclear power as a long-term energy source for Japan.

: The ruling DPJ reaches an agreement with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito to begin talks on amending government-sponsored bills on comprehensive reform of the social security and tax systems.

: Japanese government receives a US government report stipulating that the crash of an MV-22 Osprey aircraft in Morocco in April was not caused by any mechanical problem.

: Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko reshuffles his Cabinet for the second time since taking office, replacing five of 18 Cabinet members, including Defense Minister Tanaka Naoki Tanaka, and Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Maeda Takeshi, both of whom were censured by the Upper House in April. They are replaced, respectively, by Morimoto Satoshi, a professor at Takushoku University, and Hata Yuichiro, former DPJ Upper House parliamentary affairs chief.

: Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister for Defense Watanabe Shu visits Washington and asks Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to explain the cause of the fatal crash of a US MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in Morocco in April.

: Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister Watanabe, Defense Secretary Panetta and Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith agree to draw up an action plan to enhance trilateral defense cooperation and to expand the three countries’ joint defense drills.

: Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba Koichiro and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meet at the NATO Summit in Chicago to discuss the US-Japan alliance, Japan’s contributions and hopes for Afghanistan, applying pressure to Iran, and agreeing to a firm response in the event of any further provocation by North Korea.

: Cabinet Office states that preliminary growth figures for the first quarter of 2012 show the Japanese economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent.

: Japan’s Ministry of Finance announces that Japan’s debt hit a record 959.95 trillion yen at the end of fiscal year 2011.

: Members of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Standing Officers Council reinstate the party membership of Ozawa Ichiro following Ozawa’s acquittal by the Tokyo District Court of allegations he falsified a political funds report.

: With the shutdown of the No. 3 unit of Hokkaido Electric’s Tomari nuclear plant, all of Japan’s nuclear reactors switch offline for the first time since May 1970.

: PM Noda and President Obama meet at the White House and issue a joint statement on the US-Japan alliance.

: Bank of Japan expands its asset purchase program from 65 trillion to 75 trillion yen.

: The Diet passes legislation scrapping a requirement that Japan’s postal and insurance businesses be fully privatized by 2017.

: Bilateral Security Consultative Committee (also known as the 2+2) issues a joint statement detailing an agreement on the relocation of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

: DPJ lawmaker Ozawa Ichiro is acquitted of charges he was involved in submitting false political funding reports.

: Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), John McCain (R-AZ), and Jim Webb (D-VA) send a letter to Defense Secretary Panetta expressing concerns about an imminent agreement between the United States and Japan on US force posture in the Asia-Pacific.

: Defense Secretary Panetta calls Defense Minister Tanaka to discuss the realignment of US forces in Okinawa and Guam.

: Upper House of the Diet passes censure motions against Defense Minister Tanaka for responding inadequately to the April 13 North Korean rocket launch and Transportation Minister Maeda Takeshi for endorsing a specific candidate in a local election.

: Assistant Secretary Campbell visits Tokyo to discuss North Korea and the realignment of US forces in Okinawa.

: North Korea launches a rocket that falls into the sea soon after liftoff.

: A Jiji Press poll posts a 21 percent approval rating for the Noda Cabinet.

: Secretary of State Clinton and Foreign Minister Gemba Koichiro meet in Washington to discuss a range of issues including the realignment of US forces in Japan, North Korea, Afghanistan, and TPP.

: The Lower House of the Diet passes the budget for fiscal year 2012.

: Defense Minister Tanaka and Defense Secretary Panetta agree in a phone call to coordinate closely in the event of a North Korean missile launch.

: Sixty percent of the public opposes an increase in the consumption tax according to a Mainichi Shimbun survey.

: USTR issues the National Trade Estimate Report and lists concerns about market access in Japan including nontariff barriers in the automobile market.

: Noda Cabinet approves draft legislation that would increase the consumption tax to 10 percent by 2015.

: US Energy Secretary Steven Chu visits Tokyo to meet Japanese officials and participate in a US-Japan-EU workshop on critical minerals.

: Okinawa Gov. Nakaima submits his response to an environmental impact statement on the relocation of MCAS Futenma submitted by the Ministry of Defense last December, identifying 404 items for further clarification from the central government.

: Secretary of State Clinton issues a statement announcing that financial institutions in Japan and 10 other countries would not be subject to US sanctions because of significant efforts to reduce oil imports from Iran.

: The US, Japan and the European Union file a joint complaint to the World Trade Organization criticizing China’s restrictions of rare earth mineral exports.

: One-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

: A survey released by the Cabinet Office finds 91 percent of the public with a favorable impression of the JSDF.

: US and Japanese officials meet in Washington to exchange views on the realignment of US forces in Okinawa.

: A $1.1 trillion draft budget for fiscal year 2012 passes the Lower House of the Diet and is forwarded to the Upper House.

: USTR Ron Kirk testifies before the Senate Finance Committee and states the US will address market access concerns with Japan regardless of whether it joins TPP.

: Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides visits Japan to address a US-Asia business summit and discuss a range of political and economic issues with Japanese officials.

: Assistant US Trade Representative Wendy Cutler discusses TPP at a US-Asia business summit in Tokyo.

: PM Noda visits Okinawa to discuss basing issues with Gov. Nakaima.

: US Special Representative Davies visits Japan to brief officials on his meetings with North Korean officials in Beijing.

: US and Japanese officials conclude a two-day consultation on Japan’s interest in joining TPP negotiations.

: Approximately 120 Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) engineers arrive in South Sudan to participate in a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

: The Bank of Japan agrees to establish an inflation target of 1 percent and ease monetary policy by expansion of an asset purchase program from 55 trillion to 65 trillion yen.

: An Asahi Shimbun survey indicates a 27 percent approval rating and 49 percent disapproval rating for the Noda Cabinet.  Forty percent supported Noda’s proposal to increase the consumption tax and 46 percent opposed.  Twenty-nine percent favored a government led neither by the DPJ nor the LDP, 21 percent were for LDP rule, and 19 percent supported the DPJ.  Fifty-four percent of respondents expressed a hope that the “Osaka Ishin no Kai” (Osaka Restoration) political movement led by Osaka Governor Hashimoto Toru secures enough seats in the next general election to exert influence in the Diet.  Sixty-three percent of respondents did not affiliate with a political party and the approval ratings of the DPJ and LDP were 17 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

: US and Japan issue a joint statement announcing a decision to delink efforts to relocate MCAS Futenma from plans to transfer US Marines from Okinawa to Guam and review the 2006 roadmap for the realignment of US forces in Japan.

: US officials host counterparts from Japan for preliminary consultations on Japan’s interest in entering TPP negotiations.

: Noda Cabinet approves draft legislation to decommission nuclear reactors after 40 years and set up a new nuclear regulatory agency under the Environment Ministry.

: Opposition lawmakers criticize Defense Minister Tanaka for failing to answer questions about defense policy during separate budget committee hearings in the Lower House and Upper House of the Diet.

: Sixty-three percent of respondents to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey agree that a consumption tax increase is necessary for social security to be maintained, but only 16 percent agree with the government plan to increase the consumption tax to 10 percent by 2015.

: Defense Minister Tanaka and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta discuss bilateral security issues including the relocation of MCAS Futenma during a telephone call.

: US Trade Representative Ron Kirk announces progress in bilateral consultations on economic issues under the rubric of the Economic Harmonization Initiative (EHI).

: LDP President Tanigaki Sadakazu calls for a snap election.

: Japan’s Finance Ministry announces the first trade deficit since 1980.

: Three DPJ lawmakers form a splinter group in the Lower House, the “New Party Daiichi-New Democrats.”

: PM Noda addresses the Diet and calls on opposition parties to cooperate on legislation and outlines a policy agenda including social security and tax reform, strengthening the US-Japan alliance and promoting regional diplomacy.

: Bank of Japan downgrades its growth forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2012, predicting a 0.4 percent contraction of the economy compared to 0.3 percent growth projected in October 2011.  The Bank projects 2.0 percent growth for fiscal year 2012.

: According to a survey by Mainichi Shimbun, 60 percent of the public opposes a planned increase in the consumption tax with only 37 percent in favor. But only 28 percent thought social security obligations could be met without increasing the consumption tax.  When asked what other reform measures should take precedence over the consumption tax increase, 35 percent said decreasing the number of Diet members, 32 percent said cutting Diet members’ salaries, and 20 percent suggested salaries of public servants should be targeted.

: Noda Cabinet elects to extend Japanese Self-Defense Force peacekeeping operations on the Golan Heights and Haiti for six months and one year, respectively.

: Defense Minister Tanaka meets Okinawa Gov. Nakaima Hirokazu in Tokyo to discuss basing issues in Okinawa.

: Edano Yukio, minister of economy, trade and industry, notes in a Wall Street Journal interview that all of Japan’s nuclear power plants could be shut down by summer.

: Assistant Secretary Campbell praises the efforts of the Noda government on issues such as regional security and TPP in an appearance at the Stimson Center in Washington.

: Robert Einhorn, State Department special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, and Daniel Glaser, assistant secretary of the Treasury for terrorist financing, lead a delegation to Tokyo for discussions with Japanese counterparts on Iran.

: Assistant Secretary Campbell and Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies co-host a US-Japan-ROK strategic dialogue in Washington.

: PM Noda suggests that he might dissolve the Diet for a general election if social security and tax reform bills do not clear the legislature in the current session.

: Yomiuri Shimbun survey posts a 37 percent approval rating for the Noda Cabinet and a disapproval rating of 51 percent.  Thirty-nine percent of respondents support a proposed increase in the consumption tax to 10 percent by 2015, with 55 percent opposed.

: A poll released by Asahi Shimbun reveals a 29 percent approval rating and 47 percent disapproval rating for the Noda cabinet.  Thirty-four percent of the public supports the proposed consumption tax increase and 57 percent disapproves.

: Defense Minister Tanaka Naoki suggests during an appearance on a television program that construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) on Okinawa could commence this year.

: PM Noda reshuffles his cabinet, installing Okada Katsuya as deputy prime minister and appointing Tanaka Naoki as defense minister.

: US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner visits Tokyo and meets PM Noda, Finance Minister Azumi Jun, and Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa Masaaki.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell visits Tokyo for consultations on North Korea, Burma, coordination in multilateral fora such as the East Asia Summit, and bilateral issues including the Hague Convention on Child Abduction and the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

: Obama administration releases a new strategic guidance for the Department of Defense emphasizing the centrality of the Asia-Pacific region to US defense strategy.

: Prime Minister (PM) Noda Yoshihiko holds a New Year press conference and identifies reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, the ongoing response to the Fukushima nuclear accident, revitalization of the economy including trade liberalization, and social security and tax reform as priorities for his government.

: Nine disgruntled Lower House members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) establish the Kizuna Party to oppose an increase in the consumption tax, Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, and nuclear power.

: President Obama signs the National Defense Authorization Act into law.

: Noda government reaches a compromise with the ruling DPJ on a proposal for tax increases, including language suggesting the possibility of a delay based on a review of economic conditions and promising to submit separate legislation to the Diet to reduce the size of the legislature and cut civil servant salaries.

: Japanese government submits an environmental impact statement for the Futenma relocation plan to the Okinawa prefectural government.

: Pentagon issues statement welcoming the submission of the environmental impact statement on Futenma relocation and cites it as an example of progress on the realignment plan.

: US Treasury Department in its semiannual currency report urges Japan to increase the dynamism of the domestic economy and criticizes a recent foreign exchange market intervention to stem the appreciation of the yen.

: Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura Osamu announces revision of the three principles on arms exports.

: Committee established by the Japanese government to investigate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident issues an interim report critical of the initial response.

: PM Noda apologizes to Okinawa Gov. Nakaima for Tanaka Satoshi’s remarks about Futenma.

: Noda Cabinet approves draft budget for FY 2012, down 2.2 percent from 2011 (excluding a special account for post-March 11 reconstruction and basic pension benefits).

: The government decides to decrease funding for the relocation of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam by 85 percent in the draft budget for fiscal year 2012.

: Japanese government downgrades its growth forecast for FY 2011, suggesting the economy will shrink 0.1 percent compared to 0.5 percent growth predicted previously.  The government also lowers its economic growth forecast for 2012 to 2.2 percent from the 2.7-2.9 percent range estimated earlier in the year due to the strong yen and the euro zone debt crisis.

: The Bank of Japan leaves the overnight interest rate unchanged and notes that the economic recovery has stalled due to the global economic downturn and appreciation of the yen.

: Secretary Clinton issues statement congratulating the Emperor of Japan on his 78th birthday and reiterating US support for Japan and its global leadership in recognition of Japan’s National Day holiday.

: Noda Cabinet approves plans to dispatch Ground Self-Defense Force personnel to South Sudan for peacekeeping activities under the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).

: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko visits Japan to consult with Japanese officials on efforts to stabilize the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

: The Japanese government approves a draft supplementary budget totaling $32 billion to support economic recovery, the fourth of the fiscal year.

: Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Gemba meet in Washington to discuss the evolving situation on the Korean Peninsula with the death of Kim Jong-il and other issues.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake co-chair the first-ever trilateral dialogue between the US, Japan, and India at the State Department in Washington.

: President Obama and PM Noda discuss the evolving situation on the Korea Peninsula in a telephone call.

: Government of Japan selects the F-35 as its next-generation fighter and announces plans to purchase four of the planes in fiscal year 2012.

: PM Noda announces that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has achieved “cold shutdown conditions.”

: Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides visits Japan to discuss Japan’s post-earthquake recovery plans with officials including Foreign Minister Gemba, Reconstruction Minister Hirano Tatsuo and Environment/Nuclear Minister Hosono Goshi.

: Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy issues a statement encouraging the Japanese government to submit an environmental impact statement on Futenma relocation to the Okinawa prefectural government by the end of the year and reiterating a commitment to work closely with Congress on the realignment plan.

: Assistant US Trade Representative Wendy Cutler visits Japan for consultations regarding Japan’s interest in the TPP negotiations.

: A poll by Asahi Shimbun reveals a 31 percent approval rating for the Noda Cabinet and a disapproval rating of 43 percent.  Fifty-nine percent of respondents disagreed with Noda’s decision to retain Defense Minister Ichikawa and Consumer Affairs Minister Yamaoka despite the passage of a censure motion against them in the Upper House.

: According to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey, the Noda Cabinet’s approval rating stands at 42 percent with a disapproval rating of 44 percent.

: The Senate Armed Services Committee completes its conference on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2012, electing to cut approximately $150 million for projects associated with the relocation of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

: LDP Secretary General Ishihara Nobuteru suggests in an address in Washington that Japan’s Self-Defense Forces should be deployed to the Senkaku Islands.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies and Clifford Hart, US special envoy for the Six-Party Talks, visit Japan to exchange views with Japanese officials and pledge support for Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in a meeting with an association of families of abductees.

: Diet passes bill establishing a reconstruction agency to organize earthquake recovery efforts.

: Upper House passes nonbinding censure motions against Defense Minister Ichikawa and Consumer Affairs Minister Yamaoka Kenji.

: Derek Mitchell, US special representative and policy coordinator for Burma, visits Tokyo to brief Japanese officials on the relationship with Burma.

: Diet passes bill establishing special economic zones in the Tohoku region to support reconstruction.

: Defense Minister Ichikawa visits Okinawa and apologizes to Gov. Nakaima Hirokazu.

: Defense Minister Ichikawa confesses to being unaware of the details surrounding the 1995 rape of a school girl by US servicemen stationed in Okinawa.

: PM Noda apologizes for Tanaka’s remarks.

: Defense Minister Ichikawa apologizes for Tanaka’s remarks and announces his dismissal as director general of the Okinawa bureau.

: Japanese media reports allege that in a private session with reporters during a visit to Okinawa, Tanaka Satoshi, director general for Okinawa in the Ministry of Defense, compared the relocation of MCAS Futenma to a rape.

: Upper House of the Diet approves the third supplementary budget for FY 2011.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun survey finds 51 percent of the public supports PM Noda’s decision to express interest in joining TPP negotiations.  The Noda Cabinet posts a 49 percent approval rating and 86 percent of respondents believe Noda has not explained his policies adequately to the public.

: PM Noda and President Obama meet on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Hawaii.

: PM Noda announces Japan’s intent to enter discussions with the countries concerned toward Japan’s participation in TPP negotiations.

: The Lower House of the Diet approves a $158 billion supplementary budget, the third of the fiscal year.

: The leaders of the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee send a letter to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk expressing concerns about Japan’s reported interest in joining TPP negotiations and urging the Obama administration to consult closely with Congress and stakeholders about whether to conduct trade talks with Japan should it apply.

: Japan conducts an intervention in foreign exchange markets to weaken the yen estimated at $127 billion.

: Noda Cabinet garners a 58 percent approval rating in a Nikkei Shimbun survey.  Forty-five percent of respondents support Japan’s participation in TPP with 32 percent opposed.  Fifty-eight percent support tax increases to support reconstruction from the March 11 earthquake but only 47 percent favor an increase in the consumption tax from 5 to 10 percent by 2015.

: The Bank of Japan leaves the overnight interest rate unchanged and expands its asset purchase program from 50 to 55 trillion yen.

: Thousands of Japanese farmers rally in Tokyo to encourage the government not to participate in TPP negotiations.

: Deputy Secretary of State William Burns visits Japan to consult with Japanese officials on a range of bilateral and regional issues.

: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta meets PM Noda, Foreign Minister Gemba and Defense Minister Ichikawa Yasuo in Tokyo.

: Noda Cabinet announces establishment of a national strategy council composed of government officials and private citizens to focus on energy strategy and economic revival.

: In an interview with public broadcaster NHK, PM Noda says that the government will spend at least $13 billion to decontaminate areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

: Over 100 lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties hold a rally at the Diet and pass a resolution against Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations.

: Foreign Minister Gemba Koichiro visits Okinawa to discuss the realignment plan for MCAS Futenma with Gov. Nakaima Hirokazu and other officials.

: The Bank of Japan leaves the overnight lending rate unchanged and extends for six months loan program to support financial institutions in areas affected by the March 11 disasters.

: The Noda Cabinet approves an outline for a third supplementary budget totaling $156 billion to support reconstruction efforts and help revive the economy.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell visits Tokyo to confer with Japanese officials on a range of issues including Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Middle East, North Korea, China, and the relocation of MCAS Futenma.

: Japan’s Minister for National Policy Furukawa Motohisa meets US Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke in Washington.

: Former DPJ President Ozawa Ichiro pleads not guilty to charges of violating fundraising laws during an appearance in Tokyo district court.

: Japan’s Ministry of Finance announces that fiscal year 2012 budget requests from government ministries totaled ¥98.47 trillion, a record high due mainly to projected costs associated with reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku region.

: The Noda Cabinet posts a 54 percent approval rating in a poll conducted by Kyodo News.  Fifty percent of respondents oppose Noda’s plans to increase taxes with 46 percent in favor.  The support rate for the ruling DPJ is 27 percent compared to 23 percent for the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

: Japan’s Defense Ministry announces that its budget request for fiscal year 2012 is essentially unchanged from the actual budget for the current year with a proposed increase of 0.6 percent.

: PM Noda and DPJ leaders agree on a plan proposed by the government tax commission to generate approximately $145 billion in revenue by raising taxes over a 10-year period beginning as early as fiscal year 2012.

: Three former aides to DPJ member Ozawa Ichiro are found guilty of falsifying political funding reports for the former party leader’s fund management organization.

: PM Noda and President Obama meet on the sidelines of the UNGA and discuss the bilateral alliance, trade, continued US support for Japan’s recovery from the March 11 disasters, and their respective plans to boost economic growth.

: Foreign Minister Gemba Koichiro and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meet on the margins of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to discuss bilateral issues including the realignment plan for Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma on Okinawa.

: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announces it was the victim of a cyber-attack.

: PM Noda addresses the Diet and refers to the US-Japan alliance as the cornerstone of Japanese diplomacy and national security.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun survey finds 43 percent of the public supports revising the constitution while 39 percent disapprove.

: PM Noda appoints Edano Yukio to succeed Hachiro as Trade Minister.

: Hachiro resigns as trade minister.

: Japanese media reports quote Trade Minister Hachiro Yoshio as having referred to the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as a “town of death.”  Some reports also suggest he joked with members of the press about radiation on his clothing being contagious.

: The Bank of Japan leaves the overnight call rate unchanged at between 0 and 0.1 percent; notes that supply-side constraints caused by the March 11 disasters have mostly been resolved and states that production and exports have almost recovered to pre-quake levels.

: The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) announces party executive posts including Koshiishi Azuma as secretary general and Maehara Seiji as chair of the Policy Research Council.

: Several media outlets publish surveys on the approval rating for the Noda Cabinet including Nikkei Shimbun (67 percent), Yomiuri Shimbun (65 percent), Mainichi Shimbun (56 percent) and Asahi Shimbun (53 percent).

: Prime Minister (PM) Yoshihiko Noda officially announces his Cabinet after a ceremony at the Imperial Palace.

: The Diet elects Noda as prime minister.

: President Obama issues a statement congratulating Noda on his election as prime minister.

: Noda Yoshihiko is elected DPJ president, defeating Kaieda Banri in a runoff.

: The Diet passes legislation authorizing the issuance of bonds to fund the recovery from the March 11 disasters and also clears a renewable energy bill.

: PM Kan announces his resignation.

:   Moody’s Investors Service downgrades Japan’s sovereign debt rating to Aa3, citing high government debt, weak growth and political uncertainty.

: Japan announces measures to stem the rise of the yen including the creation of a $100 billion credit facility to encourage overseas investment.

: Vice President Joseph Biden meets PM Kan in Tokyo and visits the city of Sendai to offer support to survivors of the March 11 disasters.

: Kan Cabinet’s approval rating is 15 percent with a disapproval rating of 70 percent in a poll by Kyodo News.  Former Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji tops the list of potential successors to Kan with 24 percent support, followed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano Yukio with 11 percent and DPJ Secretary General Okada Katsuya with 10.9 percent.

: Cabinet Office reports real GDP in Japan shrank at an annualized rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter of 2011, the third straight quarterly decline but less than the 3.6 percent drop in the first quarter of the year.

: DPJ Secretary General Okada announces an agreement with the opposition LDP and Komeito (Clean Government Party) to review pledges in the 2009 DPJ election manifesto such as eliminating highway tolls, offering free tuition for high school students, and assistance to farmers, in order to pass legislation authorizing the issuance of special government bonds to fund the recovery from the March 11 disasters.

: Kan Cabinet posts an 18 percent approval rating and a disapproval rating of 72 percent in a Yomiuri Shimbun poll; 67 percent of respondents support Kan’s call for reduced dependence on nuclear energy.  The LDP approval rating exceeds that of the DPJ by a margin of 20 to 17 percent.

: Japan intervenes in currency markets and spends an unreleased amount to stem the value of the yen.  The Bank of Japan announces an expansion of its asset purchasing program from ¥40 trillion to ¥50 trillion.

: Prime Minister Kan dismisses three Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) officials in charge of nuclear energy policy.

: Kan Cabinet approves the annual defense white paper, which makes specific reference to Chinese maritime activities in the East and South China Seas.

: Kan government announces basic guidelines for post-March 11 reconstruction.

: Japan’s Self Defense Force (SDF) officially opens its own base in Djibouti in support of anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

: The Diet passes a second supplementary budget for fiscal year 2011 totaling ¥2 trillion ($25 billion).

: Kyodo News poll finds 70 percent of the public agrees or somewhat agrees with PM Kan’s suggestion that Japan shift away from nuclear energy but Kan’s approval rating is 17 percent.

: Secretary of State Clinton and Foreign Minister Matsumoto meet on the margins of the ARF in Bali and address Japan’s recovery from the March 11 disasters, bilateral security cooperation, and the APEC forum to be hosted by the US in November 2011.

: Secretary Clinton, Foreign Minister Matsumoto, and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan meet in Bali, Indonesia.

: DPJ Secretary General Okada Katsuya admits that the DPJ cannot deliver on pledges made in the party’s 2009 election manifesto.

: PM Kan outlines an energy policy vision and suggests Japan should end its reliance on nuclear power.

: Bank of Japan revises its growth forecast for fiscal year 2011 to 0.4 percent from 0.6 percent, but retains an outlook of 2.9 percent growth for fiscal year 2012.

: A survey by Asahi Shimbun reveals a 15 percent approval rating for the Kan Cabinet.  Seventy percent of respondents said PM Kan should resign by the end of August.

: The US, Japan, and Australia hold a joint naval exercise in the South China Sea.

: Reconstruction Minister Matsumoto Ryu resigns due to gaffes in meetings with local government officials during a visit to the Tohoku region.

: According to a Yomiuri Shimbun poll, 72 percent of the public thinks Kan should resign as prime minister by the end of August.  His approval rating was 24 percent with a disapproval rating of 63 percent.   The approval rating for the DPJ and LDP was 19 percent.

: US Senate Appropriations Committee excludes funding covering the relocation of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam from a spending bill for fiscal year 2012, citing concerns about the Japanese government’s ability to implement the relocation plan.

: PM Kan reshuffles Cabinet and appoints Matsumoto Ryu as reconstruction minister and Hosono Goshi as minister in charge of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daichi power plant.

: PM Kan declares as conditions for his resignation the passage of a second supplementary budget to support reconstruction, a bill authorizing the issuance of recovery bonds, and a renewable energy bill.

: PM Kan meets Okinawa Gov. Nakaima in Tokyo and states that calling for the relocation of MCAS Futenma outside Okinawa could further delay negotiations over relocation.

: A Nikkei Shimbun poll finds 69 percent of the public opposes the restart of nuclear reactors currently shut down for maintenance, and 47 percent support reducing the number of nuclear power plants in Japan.

: Kan government’s Reconstruction Design Council submits a report recommending temporary tax increases and the issuance of government-backed recovery bonds to finance the recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

: Diet enacts a basic law on post-March 11 reconstruction.

:   Security Consultative Committee (SCC) or “2+2” convenes in Washington DC and issues a joint statement reaffirming common strategic objectives for the alliance.

: Bank of Japan introduces plan to extend up to ¥500 billion (approximately $6.2 billion) to financial institutions at an interest rate of 0.1 percent to boost lending to small businesses.

: Defense Minister Kitazawa visits Okinawa and informs Gov. Nakaima that the central government has, in accordance with a bilateral agreement with Washington, decided to proceed with a V-shaped runway at a proposed replacement facility for MCAS Futenma in the Henoko district of the city of Nago.

: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku Yoshito states during an appearance on a television program that Prime Minister Kan has no other choice but to step down.

:   Demonstrations against nuclear power take place throughout Japan to mark the three-month anniversary of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

: Ministry of Foreign Affairs releases results of a poll on the image of Japan in the US: 84 percent of the US public and 90 percent of opinion leaders consider Japan a dependable ally.

: The International Monetary Fund says Japan’s economy will shrink 0.7 percent in 2011 due to the March 11 disasters but also projects 2.9 percent growth for 2012.

: Defense Minister Kitazawa and Defense Secretary Robert Gates meet on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore and issue a joint statement reiterating support for the existing plan to relocate MCAS Futenma on Okinawa.

: Prime Minister Kan survives a no-confidence vote after promising to resign once progress is made in containing the nuclear crisis in Fukushima and recovering from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.  The ruling DPJ expels two party members who supported the motion.

: A survey by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project shows 85 percent of the Japanese public has a favorable opinion of the United States.

: In a preliminary report on the Fukushima nuclear crisis, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) states Japan underestimated the risks of a tsunami at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and did not install adequate backup systems.

: Moody’s places Japan’s sovereign debt rating on review for a possible downgrade, citing concerns that government plans to reduce debt may prove insufficient given the costs of the March 11 disasters.

: Prime Minister Kan posts a 28 percent approval rating in a Nikkei Shimbun poll.  Seventy four percent of respondents disapproved of the government’s response to the nuclear crisis but 49 percent said Kan should step down after the crisis is stabilized.  The LDP approval rating exceeds that of the DPJ by a margin of 35 to 26 percent.

: President Obama meets Prime Minister Kan on the margins of the G8 Summit in Deauville, France, and reiterates US support for Japan’s recovery from the 3.11 triple disasters.                   

: Prime Minister Kan addresses the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris and announces a plan for Japan to obtain 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by the 2020s.

: US Government Accountability Office (GAO) issues a report on costs associated with realigning US force posture in Asia and asks the Department of Defense to provide more detailed cost information and analysis of alternative proposals to better assess affordability.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell meets officials from the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs in Tokyo to discuss US support for Japan’s recovery efforts, bilateral security issues, and preparations for international events including the ASEAN Regional Forum and the APEC Leaders Meeting.

: Japan announces it is postponing a decision over whether to enter negotiations over a multilateral trade liberalization initiative known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

: A poll by Mainichi Shimbun shows 66 percent of the public approves of PM Kan’s decision to shut down the Hamaoka nuclear power plant, but his approval rating is 27 percent.  Half of respondents want Kan to oversee the initial phase of reconstruction from the March 11 disasters and one-quarter state he should resign as soon as possible.

: Okinawa Gov. Nakaima states that a proposal to integrate functions of MCAS Futenma at Kadena Air Base is a “starting point” to resolve the relocation issue, but cites noise pollution reduction measures as a prerequisite for such discussions.

: US Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), John McCain (R-AZ), and Jim Webb (D-VA) release a statement calling for the reexamination of US military basing plans in East Asia, including the relocation of MCAS Futenma on Okinawa.

: PM Kan states Japan will abandon a plan announced last year to build 14 nuclear reactors by 2030 and boost the share of nuclear power in electricity supply to 50 percent.

: Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi visits Okinawa to discuss the relocation of US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma with Gov. Nakaima Hirokazu.

: Prime Minister (PM) Kan Naoto orders the suspension of operations at the Hamaoka nuclear power plant southwest of Tokyo.

: The Japanese Diet passes a supplementary budget for fiscal year 2011 totaling ¥4 trillion ($50 billion).

: Japan’s Ministry of Defense announces that the US military has mostly concluded earthquake relief efforts under the rubric of Operation Tomodachi but will continue to airlift personnel and supplies as needed.

: The Lower House of the Diet votes unanimously to approve a $49 billion supplementary budget to support earthquake relief efforts.

: FM Matsumoto meets Secretary Clinton in Washington to discuss earthquake relief efforts, security cooperation, regional issues, and developments in the Middle East.

: Standard and Poor’s revises its outlook on Japan’s credit rating from “stable” to “negative” citing the potential for increased deficits after the March 11 earthquake.

: A Fujisankei poll finds a 21 percent approval rating for the Kan Cabinet with 79 percent of respondents suggesting Kan did not display leadership in response to the nuclear crisis.  When asked who would be most desirable as prime minister, Ozawa Ichiro tops the list with 9.2 percent of the responses.

: The DPJ suffers additional setbacks in the second round of unified local elections, losing a Lower House by-election in Aichi prefecture and winning only three of 10 city and ward mayoral elections in which it went up against the LDP.

: Kan government approves a $49 billion supplementary budget to support earthquake relief efforts.

: Japan’s Ministry of Finance reports a 2.2 percent decline in exports in March compared to a year earlier, the first decline in 16 months, leading to a 78.9 percent decline in the country’s trade surplus.

: Secretary of State Clinton meets PM Kan, FM Matsumoto, and the Emperor and Empress of Japan during a visit to Tokyo.

: Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announces a six- to nine-month timetable for stabilizing the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

: Japan’s Finance Minister Noda Yoshihiko meets Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in Washington to express thanks for the March 18 G7 intervention in financial markets to stabilize the yen and for US support of Japan’s recovery efforts.   

: State Department lifts the travel warning for Tokyo and the voluntary authorized departure status, allowing dependents of US government employees to return to Japan.    

: Finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 convene in Washington, and issue a communiqué including a message of solidarity with the Japanese people and confidence in the resilience of the Japanese economy and financial sector.        

: Japanese government raises the severity level of the emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant from level five to the maximum seven on an international scale.

: A message of thanks from PM Kan to the international community appears in several Western newspapers.

: The DPJ suffers a setback in the first round of unified local elections, losing three key gubernatorial races and faring poorly in prefectural assembly elections.

: The Bank of Japan keeps interest rates unchanged at 0-0.1 percent and creates a special lending facility to offer low-interest loans to financial institutions in areas hardest hit by the March 11 disaster.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun poll finds 64 percent of the public supports a grand coalition between the DPJ and LDP.  Sixty-one percent expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.  The Kan Cabinet’s approval rating stood at 31 percent with a disapproval rating of 56 percent.

: Approximately 18,000 SDF and 7,000 US military personnel begin a three-day joint operation to find people missing since the March 11 disaster.

: NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko travels to Tokyo to meet Japanese counterparts and assess the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

: Cabinet Office estimates damage from the March 11 disaster of up to $300 billion.

: US Ambassador to Japan John Roos, US Pacific Command Commander Adm. Robert Willard, and US Agency for International Development Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Director Mark Bartolini travel to the area devastated by the tsunami.

: Secretary of State Clinton signs a book of condolence messages for the victims of the March 11 disaster at the Embassy of Japan in Washington.

:   The US and Japanese governments establish a joint working group on the Fukushima Daiichi accident comprised of officials from various government agencies.

: The US Food and Drug Administration bans imports of milk, milk products, and produce from six prefectures in Japan due to concerns about radioactive contamination.

: The World Bank estimates that the March 11 disaster caused up to $235 billion in damage.

: PM Kan reportedly calls Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Tanigaki Sadakazu and invites him to join the Cabinet and form a grand coalition government between the DPJ and LDP.

: The Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations conduct a joint intervention in currency markets to help stabilize the yen.       

: A US Air Force Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle and U2 spy planes fly over the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to survey damage.         

: Defense Secretary Robert Gates authorizes $35 million in initial Defense Department funds for humanitarian assistance to Japan.

: President Obama signs a book of condolence messages for the victims of the March 11 disaster at the Embassy of Japan in Washington and delivers remarks on the situation in Japan, summarizing US relief efforts and explaining the decision to recommend an evacuation of US citizens around the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

: Emperor Akihito delivers a message to the public in his first-ever nationally televised address.

: Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the NRC, offers the first US government assessment of the emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and announces an evacuation zone for US citizens four times larger than that issued by the Japanese government.

: The USS Ronald Reagan and the Carrier Strike Group reposition to the north but operate out of the area affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

: President Obama discusses the latest developments in Japan’s response to the earthquake and tsunami in a telephone call with PM Kan.

:   State Department issues a travel warning advising US citizens against traveling to Japan, those in Japan to consider departing, and authorizing the voluntary departure from Japan of eligible family members of US government personnel in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Yokohama.

: USS Ronald Reagan and the Carrier Strike Group move further away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant due to radiological concerns.
March 15, 2011: FM Matsumoto and Secretary Clinton meet on the margins of the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Paris to discuss efforts to respond to the earthquake and tsunami and other bilateral issues.

: Japanese government announces a 20-km evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

: White House issues a press statement on the US response to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan including the dispatch by the US Agency for International Development of a Disaster Assistance Response Team to Japan including nuclear experts from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the positioning of the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group off the coast of Japan to support the SDF in search-and-rescue and refueling efforts.

: Prime Minister Kan visits Fukushima Prefecture to take stock of the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

: PM Kan acknowledges that his campaign office unknowingly received donations from a foreign national and refuses to resign.

: A magnitude-9.0 earthquake strikes off the northeast coast of Japan, generating a tsunami that devastates coastal areas and damages the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture.

: President Obama issues a statement sending condolences to the people of Japan and pledging US assistance.

: State Department issues a travel alert advising US citizens to avoid travel to Japan.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Wallace Gregson discuss a range of issues related to the US-Japan alliance with FM Matsumoto, Defense Minister Kitazawa, and other senior officials.

: During a media roundtable in Tokyo Campbell expresses regret for the controversy surrounding alleged statements concerning the people of Okinawa and announces that Rust Deming would return to the State Department to serve as Director of Japan Affairs.

: PM Kan appoints Matsumoto Takeaki to succeed Maehara Seiji as foreign minister.

: US Ambassador John Roos calls Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano to express regret that news reports about controversial remarks attributed to a senior US official had caused offense in Okinawa.

: Yomiuri Shimbun issues a survey in which 51 percent of voters think PM Kan should resign and 56 percent say they would blame the government and the DPJ if bills to enact the budget for fiscal year 2011 are not passed.

: FM Maehara resigns for accepting donations from a foreign national to his political office, a violation of the Political Funds Control Law.

: Kyodo News publishes a story alleging that State Department Director of Japan Affairs Kevin Maher made disparaging remarks about the people of Okinawa during a meeting with a group of students in December 2010.

: The Lower House of the Diet passes a record ¥92.4 trillion ($1.1 trillion) budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2011, and sends it to the Upper House for consideration.

: Kenko Matsuki resigns as parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries to protest PM Kan’s management of the government.

: Moody’s Investors Service changes its outlook on Japan’s Aa2 credit rating to “negative” from “stable” citing concerns about public debt.

: Kan Cabinet’s approval rating falls to a low of 17.8 percent according to a Jiji News survey.

: Japanese government confirms that China had surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest economy in 2010.

: Okinawa newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo publishes an interview with former PM Hatoyama Yukio in which he states that his justification for the agreement between the US and Japan regarding the relocation of US forces on Okinawa was an expedient excuse (hōben).

: A Kyodo News poll finds the Kan Cabinet approval rating at 19.9 percent.

: US National Military Strategy 2011 is released and references work with the SDF to improve their out-of-area operational capabilities.

: US Department of Transportation releases the results of a study on unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles, which found no electrical flaws in Toyota vehicles that would create high-speed unintended acceleration incidents.

: Fifty-six percent of the Japanese public believes Ozawa should resign according to a survey published by the Yomiuri Shimbun.

: DPJ Secretary General Ozawa is indicted for alleged involvement in a political funding scandal.

:   FM Maehara meets Gov. Nakaima in Okinawa and asks residents to accept a US-Japan agreement on the relocation of Futenma within in the prefecture.

: Standard and Poor’s downgrades Japan’s sovereign debt due to concerns about the fiscal deficit.

: Opposition lawmakers demand that former DPJ Secretary General Ozawa Ichiro deliver unsworn testimony in the Diet over his alleged involvement in a funding scandal.

: Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg meets FM Maehara and other senior officials to discuss issues including regional security and developments on the Korean Peninsula.

: Adm. Robert Willard, commander, US Pacific Command, visits Japan and meets Gen. Oriki Ryoichi, chief of staff, Joint Staff, Japan Self Defense Forces (SDF).

: PM Kan introduces the theme “Heisei-Era opening of Japan” and outlines policy priorities including trade liberalization and social security reform in an address to the Diet.

: FM Maehara and US Ambassador to Japan John Roos sign a five-year agreement on host nation support for US forces in Japan.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano Yukio visits Okinawa and meets Gov. Nakaima to discuss US basing issues and economic development.

: PM Kan refers to the US-Japan alliance as the cornerstone of Japanese foreign policy in a speech on diplomacy in Tokyo.

:   Defense Minister Kitazawa visits Okinawa and meets Gov. Nakaima Hirokazu to discuss US basing issues.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun poll posts a 34 percent approval rating for the new Kan Cabinet.  Asahi Shimbun reports 26 percent approval and Nikkei Shimbun records 31 percent.

:   PM Kan reshuffles his Cabinet.   

: Defense Secretary Robert Gates meets with Prime Minister (PM) Kan Naoto, FM Maehara, and Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi in Tokyo and delivers remarks at Keio University.

: Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Okada Katsuya hints at revisions in the party’s policy platform in announcing that party leaders would reexamine the 2009 election manifesto.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Bosworth meets Vice Foreign Minister Sasae Kenichiro to discuss next steps on the Korean Peninsula.

: FM Maehara meets Vice President Joe Biden in Washington.

: Foreign Minister (FM) Maehara Seiji meets Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington to discuss bilateral security cooperation and addresses the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

: Ozawa Ichiro announces his intention to appear before the Diet to answer questions about a funding scandal after the next session of the Diet opens in January.

: Kan Cabinet approves record-high $1.11 trillion draft budget for fiscal year 2011.

: A joint survey by Gallup and Yomiuri Shimbun finds 40 percent of the Japanese public thinks US-Japan relations are “poor” or “very poor” but a record 52 percent said they trust the United States “very much” or “somewhat.”  Forty-nine percent of US respondents said relations with Japan are “good” or “very good.”

: Secretary of State Clinton issues a statement honoring the Emperor of Japan’s birthday on Dec. 23.

: Foreign Minister Maehara visits Okinawa to meet with Gov. Nakaima.

: Ozawa Ichiro meets Prime Minister Kan and rejects a plea to answer questions about a funding scandal in the Diet.

: Government of Japan releases National Defense Program Guidelines and Mid-Term Defense Plan.

: Prime Minister Kan visits Okinawa to discuss Futenma issue with Gov. Nakaima and other officials.

: Fifty-nine percent of the population thinks Japan should renegotiate the Futenma relocation plan according to a nationwide survey conducted by Asahi Shimbun.

: The US and Japanese governments reach an agreement on host-nation support for US forces in Japan for the next five years.

: Prime Minister Kan announces a 5 percent cut in the corporate income tax rate as part of a package of tax measures for fiscal year 2011.

: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen visits Tokyo to meet several officials including Defense Minister Kitazawa.

: Yomiuri Shimbun survey posts a 25 percent approval rating for the Kan Cabinet.  Eighty-three percent of respondents were dissatisfied with Kan’s approach to the economy and 86 percent said the government was mishandling the Ozawa funding scandal.

: The Kan Cabinet decides to exclude the relaxation of the three arms non-export principles from the National Defense Program Guidelines.

: Prime Minister Kan announces plans to strengthen ties with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the People’s New Party (PNP) before the next Diet session.

: Secretary of State Clinton, Foreign Minister Maehara, and ROK Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan conduct trilateral ministerial in Washington and issue a joint statement.

: US military personnel and the Japanese Self Defense Forces participate in a bilateral training exercise titled Keen Sword 2011.

: Foreign Minister Maehara states there is no deadline for resolving Futenma relocation, de-linking that issue from the expected visit of the prime minister to Washington in spring 2011.

: Nakaima Hirokazu is reelected governor of Okinawa.

: The Diet approves a $61 billion stimulus package.

: Upper House of the Diet passes non-binding censure motions against Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku and Transportation Minister Mabuchi for their handling of a collision between a Chinese fishing boat and two Japanese Coast Guard vessels near the Senkaku Islands in September.

: Kyodo News poll shows the Kan Cabinet’s approval rating fell to 23 percent and support for the DPJ fell below that of the LDP for the first time by a margin of 22 to 24 percent.

: Justice Minister Yanagida resigns after criticism of his remarks about Diet deliberations.

: Mainichi Shimbun survey reports 26 percent approval rating for the Kan Cabinet.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku refers to the SDF as an “instrument of violence” during a session of Upper House Budget Committee in the Diet.

: US Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Ohata Akihiro issue a joint statement on technological cooperation on clean energy summarizing progress of a bilateral initiative launched in November 2009.

: A DPJ panel on foreign policy and national security submits to the government recommendations for the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) due in December.  Suggestions include a permanent law for the dispatch of SDF forces and a relaxation of Japan’s three principles on arms exports.

: Asahi Shimbun poll indicates a 27 percent approval rating for the Kan Cabinet with 77 percent of respondents disapproving of Kan’s foreign policy.

: APEC leaders adopt a joint declaration entitled “Yokohama Vision: Bogor and Beyond” outlining steps toward FTAAP.

: Japanese Justice Minister Yanagida Minoru reportedly questions his appointment in remarks to constituents and makes light of deliberations in the Diet.

: The leaders of the nine TPP countries including President Obama meet on the margins of the APEC forum in Yokohama.  Prime Minister Kan participates as an observer.

: Prime Minister Kan and President Obama meet on the margins of the APEC forum in Yokohama and discuss several issues including Afghanistan, bilateral security issues, United Nations Security Council reform, APEC, and TPP.  The two governments issue a fact sheet on bilateral initiatives on economic, energy, and nuclear security issues.

: Foreign and trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum member countries meeting in Yokohama adopt a joint statement denouncing protectionism and supporting efforts toward a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

: The Kan Cabinet approves a trade liberalization policy including discussions of agricultural reform but defers a decision on whether to join TPP to June 2011.

: The Kan Cabinet’s disapproval rate exceeds its approval rate by a margin of 48 to 32 percent according to a survey by Kyodo News.  Seventy-four percent of respondents were dissatisfied with the Kan government’s foreign policy; 46 percent supported Japan joining TPP; and 58 percent wanted Ozawa Ichiro summoned to the Diet to answer questions about an alleged funding scandal.  A similar poll by Yomiuri Shimbun shows an approval rate of 35 percent and a disapproval rate of 55 percent with 61 percent in favor of Japan joining TPP.

: Video footage of the Sept. 7 collision between a Chinese fishing boat and two Japanese Coast Guard vessels near the Senkaku Islands is leaked to YouTube.

: Ozawa Ichiro meets DPJ Secretary General Okada Katsuya and refuses to testify in the Diet about a funding scandal.

: Secretary Clinton offers to host trilateral talks with her Chinese and Japanese counterparts during a press conference on the margins of the East Asian Summit in Hanoi.

: Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) conduct a successful Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) flight intercept test off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii.

: Secretary Clinton delivers remarks about US engagement in the Asia-Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.

: The Bank of Japan revises downward its forecast for economic growth in fiscal year 2010 to 2.1 percent compared to an estimate of 2.6 percent in July.  The central bank leaves interest rates unchanged and releases details of a $61 billion asset purchase program.

: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Maehara meet in Honolulu, Hawaii to discuss security and economic issues including rare earth metal supplies.

: US Ambassador to Japan John Roos and Transportation Minister Mabuchi Sumio sign a memorandum of understanding regarding a bilateral open skies agreement.

: Former Foreign Minister Machimura Nobutaka of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wins a by-election in Hokkaido for a seat in the Lower House of the Diet.

: Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Kaieda Banri argues during a press conference that Japan should join the TPP trade liberalization initiative.

: Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji declares Japan should enter negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade liberalization initiative (TPP) at a conference hosted by Nikkei Shimbun and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Tokyo.

: In a monthly economic report, the Government of Japan declares economic momentum in a lull.

: Japan submits a nuclear disarmament resolution to the United Nations General Assembly for the 17th straight year.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku Yoshito tells a news conference the government will discuss whether to revise Japan’s three arms exports principles. That evening Prime Minister Kan states he has no intention of changing said principles.

: Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Sasae Kenichiro meets with US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg at the State Department in Washington.

: US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Japanese Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi discuss the East China Sea issue and the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on the sidelines of the inaugural ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus 8 in Hanoi.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell visits Tokyo for consultations with Japanese officials.

: A Kyodo News poll indicates a 47 percent approval rating for the Kan Cabinet.  Fifty-four percent of respondents suggested Ozawa Ichiro should resign from the Diet due to an alleged funding scandal and 63 percent said Ozawa should resign from the DPJ.

: Yomiuri Shimbun poll posts a 53 percent approval and 37 percent disapproval rating for the Kan Cabinet.  Seventy-two percent of respondents considered “inappropriate” the decision to release the captain of a Chinese fishing vessel that collided with two Japanese Coast Guard vessels near the Senkaku Islands in September; 90 percent said the government needs to clearly demonstrate that the Senkaku Islands are Japanese territory; 71 percent said Japan should deepen its alliance with the US; and 84 percent said they do not trust China.

: The Bank of Japan announces a monetary easing policy, lowering the overnight call rate to between 0 and 0.1 percent and introducing a plan to purchase various financial assets such as government securities and commercial paper.

: A citizens’ panel orders indictment of Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) lawmaker Ozawa Ichiro in connection with a funding scandal.

: Mainichi Shimbun poll indicates a 49 percent approval rating for the Kan Cabinet.

: In an address to the Diet, Prime Minister Kan Naoto calls for an “active foreign policy” including participation in free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and vows to lead a “true-to-its-word Cabinet.”

: The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit is held in Gifu, Japan.

: A Fujisankei poll reveals 80 percent of the Japanese public feels the image of China has deteriorated in the wake of the Sept. 7 Senkaku incident and 71 percent considers China a threat to Japanese security.

: The Bank of Japan’s quarterly tankan survey shows business confidence improved for the sixth straight quarter.

: The House of Representatives passes Resolution 1326 calling on the Government of Japan to address the growing problem of abduction to and retention of minor children in Japan who are US citizens and to adopt the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

: An anonymous senior State Department official speaks to a group of reporters and expresses concern about a possible reduction in host nation support for US forces.

: US Ambassador to Japan John Roos visits Nagasaki.

: President Obama and PM Kan meet in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji meet on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

: Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen reaffirm the US-Japan security treaty during a press conference in response to questions regarding Japan’s dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands.
Sept. 24, 2010: PM Kan addresses the United Nations General Assembly and identifies development assistance, the global environment, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and peacekeeping as priorities for Japan’s contributions to the international community.

: PM Kan announces the “Kan Commitment,” an $8.5 billion pledge over five years in the fields of health and education to support the Millennium Development Goals.

: The approval rating for the Kan cabinet stands at 64 percent according to a Mainichi Shimbun poll.

: Vice President Joseph Biden addresses the US-Japan Council in Washington, DC, and notes that US efforts to improve ties with China must “go through Tokyo.”

: PM Kan reshuffles his Cabinet, appointing Okada Katsuya as DPJ secretary general and naming Maehara Seiji foreign minister.

: Japan ranks fourth behind China, Great Britain, and Canada on the list of countries considered “very important” to the US in a survey published by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

: The Bank of Japan conducts a $12 billion foreign exchange intervention in an attempt to weaken the yen.

: US Representative Sander Levin (D-MI) expresses concern about Japan’s intervention on behalf of the yen during a hearing on China’s exchange rate policy.

: Kan Naoto is reelected president of the DPJ and remains prime minister after defeating Ozawa Ichiro by a margin of 721 points to 491.

:   The US and Japanese governments hold technical working-level meetings in Burlingame, California, regarding bilateral trade in beef and beef products.

: Japan’s Ministry of Defense issues its annual Defense White Paper.

: Yomiuri Shimbun poll finds 66 percent of the public supporting Kan in the DPJ presidential race with just 18 percent backing Ozawa.  The approval rating for the Kan Cabinet stood at 59 percent.

: Government of Japan approves fresh sanctions on Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.  The Obama administration applauds the decision in a joint statement by Secretary of State Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

: Japanese government announces a $10.9 billion stimulus package. Bank of Japan announces the extension of a short-term lending program for banks initiated in December 2009.

: Respondents to a Yomiuri Shimbun poll favored Kan over Ozawa, 67 to 14 percent.  Kan’s approval rating stood at 54 percent, but 82 percent said the Kan Cabinet had not responded to falling stock prices and a rising yen.  Fifty-eight percent said a consumption tax increase was necessary to shore up Japan’s finances, while 35 percent demurred.

: The Council on National Security and Defense Capabilities in a New Era, an advisory panel, submits a report to PM Kan featuring recommendations for the National Defense Program Guidelines due in December.

: Ozawa Ichiro declares his intention to challenge Prime Minister Kan for the DPJ presidency in September.

: Former DPJ Secretary General Ozawa Ichiro refers to Americans as “simple-minded” during a speech on politics.

: The Government of Japan decides to dispatch SDF helicopter units in support of flood relief efforts in Pakistan.
Aug. 23, 2010: Ambassador Roos meets Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi in Tokyo to discuss the relocation of MCAS Futenma and host nation support for US forces.

: Financial Services Minister Jimi Shozaburo meets Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs Lael Brainard in Washington to address US concerns about postal reform legislation in Japan.

: Japan’s Ministry of Finance reveals public debt is equivalent to 190 percent of gross domestic product.

: In a speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, PM Kan states Japan as the only country to have suffered nuclear bombings has a “moral responsibility” to assume a leadership role in nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.

: US Ambassador to Japan John Roos represents the US at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony.

: The Japanese government decides to extend SDF participation in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights until March 2011.

: During an appearance before the Upper House Budget Committee, PM Kan states he has no plans to revise the official interpretation of the constitution prohibiting Japan from exercising the right of collective self-defense.  He also vows to uphold Japan’s three non-nuclear principles (not to produce, possess, or introduce nuclear weapons on Japanese territory) and limits on the exports of arms.

: The US military publishes the first issue of a Japanese-language comic book series on the US-Japan alliance.

: State Department Special Adviser for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Robert Einhorn and Treasury Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Daniel Glaser meet Japanese government officials in Tokyo to discuss sanctions on North Korea and Iran.

: PM Kan hints that Japan will not press forward on a final resolution to the Futenma relocation issue until after the Okinawa gubernatorial election in late November.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs Wallace Gregson, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Energy, Installations and Environment, Jackalyne Pfannenstiel testify before the House Armed Services Committee on security developments in Japan.

: A Mainichi Shimbun survey declares a 40 percent approval rating for the Kan cabinet, with 80 percent of respondents stating Kan should not have to step down for the defeat suffered by the DPJ in the Upper House election.

: The Ministry of Defense decides to postpone appropriations requests for the next generation FX fighter, excluding it from the fiscal 2011 budget.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku states during a press conference that a coalition with the LDP might be possible to avoid a deadlock in the Diet.

: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Okada Katsuya discuss Futenma relocation, North Korea, Iran, and the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in a meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Hanoi.

: Japan’s Ministry of Defense announces it will send Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) staff to observe US-ROK joint military exercises scheduled for July 25-28.

: The US and Japanese governments begin working-level negotiations over the special measures agreement authorizing host nation support for US forces.

: Secretary Steinberg visits Japan to meet Japanese officials and lead the US delegation in a trilateral strategic dialogue with Japanese and Australian counterparts.

: The government of Japan decides to extend Self-Defense Force (SDF) participation in an anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia for one year.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku Yoshito announces that the National Policy Unit, established by the DPJ in 2009 to play a central role in the policymaking process, would instead take on a consulting role to the prime minister.

: A joint survey by Asahi Shimbun and the University of Tokyo suggests 53 percent of Upper House members either support or are leaning toward supporting a consumption tax hike by 2015.

: The International Monetary Fund recommends Japan increase the consumption tax to 15 percent to improve the country’s finances, beginning with a modest increase in fiscal year 2011.

: State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Takemasa Koichi Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg in Washington to discuss issues including the relocation of Marine Core Air Station (MCAS) Futenma, North Korea, and Iran.

: Prime Minister Kan, commenting on the results of the Upper House election, states he will stay on as prime minister and will not dissolve the Diet.

: An exit poll conducted by Yomiuri Shimbun and Nippon Television finds 29 percent of unaffiliated voters supported the DPJ in the proportional representation portion of the ballot for the Upper House election, compared to 52 percent in the 2009 Lower House election and 51 percent in the previous Upper House election in 2007.

: The DPJ secures 44 seats in the Upper House election for a total of 106, falling 16 seats short of a majority in the chamber.  The LDP picks up 51 seats for a total of 84.  The newly formed Your Party wins 10 seats.  The People’s New Party (PNP), a coalition partner of the DPJ, wins no seats.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun survey shows a 45 percent approval rating for PM Kan, with 39 percent disapproving of his performance.  Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they wanted the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to retain a majority in the Diet and 48 percent did not.  Sixty-five percent supported an increase in the consumption tax but 89 percent suggested Kan had not adequately explained its necessity. Thirty-four percent supported the DPJ, 18 percent favored the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and 33 percent were undecided.

: A poll published by Asahi Shimbun finds Prime Minister (PM) Kan’s disapproval rating exceeds his approval rating by a margin of 40 percent to 39 percent.

: Prime Minister Kan stresses the government should lead nonpartisan discussions on a possible increase in the consumption tax.

: The State Department announces the acceptance of an offer from Japan to provide skimmers and a containment boom for use in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill response.

: Ozawa Ichiro criticizes the DPJ leadership for changing the party manifesto for the Upper House election and backtracking on policies such as child allowances, the elimination of highway tolls, and direct subsidies to farmers.

: Prime Minister Kan and President Obama meet during the G20 Summit in Toronto to discuss the Futenma issue, bilateral economic cooperation, North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, climate change, and nuclear disarmament/non-proliferation.

: The US House of Representatives passes Resolution 1464 “Recognizing the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of the United States-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security and expressing appreciation to the Government of Japan and the Japanese people for enhancing peace, prosperity, and security in the Asia-Pacific region.”

: Former DPJ Secretary General Ozawa criticizes the Kan administration’s discussion of a possible increase in the consumption tax.

: Gen. Oriki Ryoichi, chief of staff of the SDF Joint Staff, meets Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen at the Pentagon.

: Prime Minister Kan visits Okinawa and promises to reduce the burden of the US troop presence on the local population but reiterates a commitment to the May 28 agreement on Futenma relocation.

: Finance Minister Noda Yoshihiko suggests in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the Kan government might consider tax increases on high earners to raise revenue and promote income redistribution.

: Prime Minister Kan calls for a nonpartisan dialogue on pension reform during a debate with the leaders of other political parties.

: Foreign Minister Okada and Secretary Clinton discuss issues including Futenma during a telephone call.

:   Japan’s Environment Ministry announces the “Morning Challenge” campaign to reduce emissions by encouraging households to consume less energy at night and rise early.

: Prime Minister Kan’s approval rating is 50 percent according to a poll published by Asahi Shimbun.

: The Kan administration unveils a long-term economic growth strategy.

:   Japan hosts the APEC Energy Ministerial meeting in Fukui.   

: US Ambassador to Japan John Roos visits Okinawa to meet with government officials, community leaders and students.

: The DPJ unveils its manifesto for the July 11 Upper House election.

: DPJ lawmaker Kobayashi Chiyomi resigns because of a funding scandal.    

: Parliamentary Vice Minister of Defense Nagashima addresses a conference on the US-Japan alliance in Washington.

: US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell visits Tokyo to confer with Kan administration officials.

: Prime Minister Kan addresses the Diet and describes the US-Japan alliance as the cornerstone of Japanese diplomacy.

: Financial Services Minister Kamei Shizuka resigns to protest the decision not to extend the Diet session and pass a postal reform bill he championed.

: Prime Minister Kan enjoys a 62 percent approval rating according to a poll by Kyodo News.

: Prime Minister Kan announces his Cabinet and retains 11 ministers from the Hatoyama administration.

: Mainichi Shimbun poll finds 63 percent of the public has high expectations of Prime Minister Kan.

: President Obama calls Kan to congratulate him on his election as prime minister.

: Defense Minister Kitazawa and Defense Secretary Gates confer on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Security Dialogue in Singapore. They later meet South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young.

: Japan hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum trade ministers’ meeting in Sapporo.

: Kan Naoto is elected prime minister.

: Finance Minister Kan holds a press conference and states the US-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of Japanese diplomacy.

: The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) releases a new industrial policy, “Industrial Structure Vision,” as a component of a comprehensive growth strategy to be released by the government.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama and DPJ Secretary General Ozawa Ichiro resign.

: The White House issues a statement expressing respect for the political process in Japan and resolve to work with Japan’s next leader across a range of issues.

: Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs releases a poll on Japan’s image in the US in which 56 percent of opinion leaders considered China to be the most important partner in Asia for the US, followed by Japan at 36 percent.  Forty-four percent of the general population considered Japan and China equally important.  Ninety percent of opinion leaders and 79 percent of the general public considered Japan a dependable ally.

: A postal reform bill to scale back the privatization of the Japan Post passes the Lower House of the Diet.

: The Social Democratic Party bolts the ruling coalition with the DPJ.

: Several Japanese media outlets release public opinion polls with Prime Minister Hatoyama’s approval rating falling between 17 and 20 percent and his disapproval rating between 67 and 75 percent.

: The US-Japan Security Consultative Committee (SCC) issues a joint statement reiterating a commitment to relocate MCAS Futenma.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama dismisses Consumer Affairs Minister Fukushima from the Cabinet for refusing to support his decision on Futenma relocation.

: The Senate Armed Services Committee completes the mark-up of the FY2011 National Defense Authorization Act and cuts $300 million associated with the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, “as the funding was requested ahead of need.”

: President Obama transmits the National Security Strategy (NSS) to Congress.

: The US-Japan Dialogue to Promote Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Job Creation conducts its first meeting in Tokyo.

: The Ministry of Finance releases data showing exports in April increased 40 percent compared to the previous year.

: Fukushima Mizuho, minister for Consumer Affairs and head of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), visits Okinawa to reiterate her support for removing bases from the prefecture and tells the press she will not approve Prime Minister Hatoyama’s relocation plan if presented at a Cabinet meeting.

: Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi meets Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon to discuss the Futenma relocation plan.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama tells reporters the sinking of a South Korean vessel west of the Korean Peninsula in March factored into his decision to largely accept the existing agreement on the Futenma relocation.

: US Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Michael Plunke and European Union (EU) Chargé d’Affaires John Clarke meet Japanese Ambassador Kitajima Shinichi in Geneva to express concerns regarding the lack of a level playing field between Japan Post and private sector companies in the insurance, banking, and express delivery sectors.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama visits Okinawa for the second time to apologize to the governor of Okinawa for breaking a pledge to remove MCAS Futenma off Okinawa and explain his decision to largely accept the existing plan adopted in 2006.

: Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) vessel Kunisaki leaves port with medical personnel from all three branches of the SDF to participate in Pacific Partnership 2010, a humanitarian and civic assistance effort led by the US Navy.

: Foreign Minister Okada and Secretary Clinton meet in Tokyo to discuss the relocation of MCAS Futenma, the sinking of a South Korea vessel, North Korea, Iran, and the Hague Convention on child abduction.  Clinton also meets Prime Minister Hatoyama.

: The Japanese government announces the economy grew at an annualized rate of 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2010, the fourth quarterly gain in a row.

: A senior Toyota official testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the company has not received any evidence linking electronic throttles to unintended acceleration in vehicles.

: Toyota agrees to pay a $16.4 million fine assessed by the US Transportation Department amid allegations it was slow to act on vehicle recalls.

:  Approximately 17,000 people surround MCAS Futenma, calling for the land to be returned to the prefecture and protesting plans to relocate the facility within the prefecture.

: Prosecutors question DPJ Secretary General Ozawa for third time regarding a funding scandal.

:  Jiji News poll shows a 19 percent approval rating for the Hatoyama government with 42 percent of respondents citing a lack of leadership as the proximate cause and 49 percent suggesting he should step down if unable to resolve the Futenma issue by the end of May.

: An Asahi Shimbun poll finds 76 percent of Okinawa residents disapprove of a reported plan to relocate most of the functions of MCAS Futenma within the prefecture, and 53 percent supported relocating all bases in the prefecture to other areas of Japan.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama suggests his government might not be able to resolve the impasse over Futenma by the end of May as he promised.

: US and Japan resume working-level talks on Futenma in Washington.

: US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Jose Hernandez visits Tokyo to discuss US-Japan economic ties including the potential for cooperation in the areas of entrepreneurship, energy, agriculture, and health care.

: US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood pledges to scrutinize safety measures introduced by Toyota in response to a large-scale recall after meeting the company’s chairman in Toyota City, Japan.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama states during a trip to Okinawa that it would be difficult to relocate all Futenma functions off the island, contradicting a previous pledge to do so.

: The US and Japanese governments conduct working-level talks on the Futenma issue in Tokyo.

:   Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications reports that children under the age of 15 comprised 13.3 percent of the population, a record-low for the 29th consecutive year.  Secretary Clinton issues a statement in recognition of the May 5 Children’s Day holiday in Japan.

: Japanese State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Fukuyama Tetsuro addresses the United Nations Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference in New York.

: Finance Minister Kan suggests a tax increase may be inevitable to cope with Japan’s public debt.

: The Bank of Japan holds a monetary policy meeting and leaves guidelines for money market operations unchanged.

: Kyodo News poll finds a 20 percent approval rating for Prime Minister Hatoyama and a disapproval rating of 64 percent.

: US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell visits Tokyo for consultations on the relocation of MCAS Futenma.

: Japanese media outlets report the Hatoyama government will propose modifications to the 2006 agreement on the relocation of MCAS Futenma including alternate construction methods for a key runway and the transfer of some training functions to Tokunoshima Island.

: A judicial review panel calls for DPJ Secretary General Ozawa Ichiro to be indicted over a fundraising scandal, requiring prosecutors to revisit an earlier decision not to charge Ozawa.

: A Nikkei Shimbun poll shows 68 percent of voters disapprove of the Hatoyama government with just 24 percent in favor.  Sixty percent think he should resign if he fails to resolve the Futenma issue by the end of May.

: In a Fujisankei poll on government policy, 72.4 percent of respondents suggest the debate over the relocation of US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is having a negative impact on US-Japan relations, and 87.5 percent consider Prime Minister Hatoyama’s self-imposed May 2010 deadline to resolve the issue impossible.

: Over 90,000 Okinawans rally to oppose the relocation of MCAS Futenma within the prefecture.

: The Washington Post reports the Hatoyama government indicated it would broadly accept an agreement reached in 2006 to relocate MCAS Futenma within Okinawa prefecture, citing an April 23 meeting in Tokyo in which Foreign Minister Okada presented a plan to US Ambassador to Japan John Roos.

: During an appearance in the Diet Prime Minister Hatoyama repeats his pledge to resolve the MCAS Futenma relocation issue by the end of May.

: Japan’s Ministry of Finance reports exports in March 2010 increased 43.5 percent compared to a year ago.

: Former Health Minister Masuzoe Yoichi quits the LDP and announces plans to form a new party, the Renaissance Party.

: Finance Minister Kan visits Washington to meet Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and to attend a G7 finance ministers’ meeting and the spring gatherings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

: The Hatoyama government releases details of a plan to reverse the privatization of Japan Post and strengthen its position in the financial services industry.

: US Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Daniel Feldman visits Japan to coordinate on regional assistance issues with Japanese officials.

: A survey by Asahi Shimbun shows only a quarter of the public supports the Hatoyama government.

: Parliamentary Vice Minister for Defense Nagashima Akihisa tells the Financial Times the Ministry of Defense seeks to ease the ban on arms exports to boost the competitiveness of Japan’s defense industry.

: Former local government officials launch the Spirit of Japan Party with an aim toward competing for seats in the July 2010 Upper House election.

: Foreign Minister Okada Katsuya visits New York to chair a United Nations Security Council debate on post-conflict peace building.

:  In his Washington Post column In the Loop, reporter Al Kamen dubs Prime Minister Hatoyama “the biggest loser” at the Nuclear Security Summit and notes some Obama administration officials consider Hatoyama “hapless” and “increasingly loopy.”

: A Tax Commission established by the Hatoyama government begins deliberations on tax reform including a possible increase in the consumption tax.

: President Obama confers with Prime Minister Hatoyama during a working dinner at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.  Hatoyama pledges to settle the issue of MCAS Futenma relocation by the end of May.

: Yosano Kaoru and Hiranuma Takeo, both Cabinet ministers in previous LDP governments, announce the formation of a new political party, the Sunrise Party of Japan.

: The Bank of Japan votes unanimously to keep monetary policy unchanged with overnight interest rates held at 0.1 percent.

: The Obama administration releases the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).

: Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues its annual Bluebook on foreign policy.

: US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visits Japan to discuss various issues including US beef exports.

: A survey released by Yomiuri Shimbun posts a 33 percent approval rating for the Hatoyama government and suggests 50 percent of voters do not support any political party.  The approval rating for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) stood at 24 percent compared to 16 percent for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

: Okinawa Gov. Nakaima Hirokazu meets Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi in Tokyo and expresses opposition to the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma within Okinawa prefecture.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano states during a press conference that the government is working on relocation plans for Futenma within Okinawa Prefecture.

: Secretary Clinton and FM Okada release a joint statement on US-Japan cooperation in APEC.

: FM Okada meets Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Washington and later with Secretary Clinton on the margins of the G8 foreign ministers meeting in Canada regarding the Futenma relocation issue.

: A Nikkei Shimbun poll reports a 36 percent approval rating for the Hatoyama Cabinet.

: FM Okada meets Ambassador Roos to discuss alternatives for the relocation of Air Station Futenma.

: House Ways and Means Committee members including Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI) send a letter urging the Obama administration to address barriers to US exports including restrictions on beef imports and unfair competition in Japan’s insurance market.

: The Diet passes Hatoyama government’s record $1 trillion budget for fiscal year 2010.

: PM Hatoyama emphasizes the importance of the US-Japan alliance in an address to the National Defense Academy of Japan.

: PM Hatoyama instructs his Cabinet to develop specifics on the East Asian Community concept by the end of May.

: The Bank of Japan eases monetary policy by voting to inject an additional $110 billion into a $112 billion lending facility for commercial banks.

: In an appearance before the Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee, FM Okada says Japan might allow the introduction of nuclear weapons by the US in an emergency but that the Hatoyama government would uphold Japan’s three non-nuclear principles.

: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Donovan and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Michael Schiffer testify before the House Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment during a hearing on US-Japan relations.

: Former Internal Affairs Minister Hatoyama Kunio, brother of PM Hatoyama, resigns from the LDP.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun poll posts a 41 percent approval for the Hatoyama Cabinet and a disapproval rating of 50 percent.  Seventy-eight percent of respondents said Ozawa should resign as DPJ secretary general because of an alleged fundraising scandal and 79 percent felt that Hatoyama has not adequately explained his fundraising irregularities.  The DPJ approval rating was 31 percent compared to 20 percent for the LDP.

: A panel of experts submits a report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding confidential agreements reached between Japan and the US in the 1960s on the introduction of nuclear weapons into Japan.

: The Washington Post publishes an editorial critical of Fujita Yukihisa, a DPJ member of Japan’s House of Councilors (Upper House).

: Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg visits Tokyo for meetings with FM Okada and other officials.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano meets Ambassador Roos to discuss relocation plans for Futenma.

: The US Chamber of Commerce, the US-Japan Business Council, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan and 10 other organizations issue a joint statement expressing concerns about the Hatoyama administration’s preliminary draft bill to scale back the privatization of the postal service (Japan Post).

: Finance Minister Kan tells a Diet committee he hopes the consumer price index will turn positive by the end of 2010.

: Four trade union members are arrested on suspicion of violating the Political Funds Control Law with regard to donations allegedly received by the election campaign office of DPJ Lower House member Kobayashi Chiyomi.

: Former Health and Welfare Minister Masuzoe Yoichi threatens to leave the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), citing weak leadership since the DPJ election victory last year.

: The Hatoyama Cabinet’s approval rating stands at 43 percent according to a Nikkei Shimbun poll.

: PM Hatoyama tells reporters he is considering Japan’s accession to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction.

: FM Okada meets US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Bosworth in Tokyo to discuss efforts at resuming the Six-Party Talks.

: Japan’s Ministry of Environment releases an outline of a draft bill on climate change policy.

: Toyota Motors President Toyoda Akio testifies before Congress regarding concerns about consumer safety resulting from a large-scale recall.

: Finance Minister Kan advocates an inflation target and reiterates a government commitment to strengthen domestic demand while calling on the Bank of Japan to take steps to counter deflation.

: Japan hosts the first Senior Officials Meeting for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano visits Okinawa a second time to consider options for the relocation of Marine Air Station Futenma.

: Japanese officials meet with Brad Roberts, deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, to discuss extended deterrence.

: PM Hatoyama appoints an advisory board to offer recommendations for the National Defense Program Guidelines to be finalized by the end of 2010.

: Senator Jim Webb, Chairman of the East Asian Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, visits Tokyo, Okinawa, and Guam.

: President Obama tells Bloomberg Businessweek that Toyota has an obligation to act decisively in response to concerns about safety after a global recall.

: PM Hatoyama selects Edano Yukio as minister for Government Revitalization, succeeding Sengoku Yoshito, who was tapped to run the National Strategy Office in the Cabinet.

: Tokyo prosecutors announce a decision not to indict Ichiro Ozawa in connection with a funding scandal.

: US Trade Representative Ron Kirk issues a statement lamenting Japan’s release of a limited list of US automobiles eligible under Japan’s eco-friendly car purchase program.

: Assistant Secretary Campbell urges Japan to sign the Hague Convention on Child Abduction after meeting with affected families at the US Embassy in Tokyo.

: Assistant Secretary Campbell and Ambassador Roos pay a courtesy call to DPJ Secretary General Ozawa.

: The Department of Defense publishes the Quadrennial Defense Review.

: Deputy US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis visits Tokyo and urges Japan not to discriminate against US firms in banking, insurance, and express mail services as it considers reorganizing the postal service (Japan Post).

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Wallace Gregson visit Tokyo for a meeting of the bilateral Security Subcommittee.

: PM Hatoyama addresses the Diet and states the US-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy.

: Japan’s Finance Ministry announces that exports increased for the first time in 15 months due to robust demand in Asia.

: Standard & Poor’s cuts Japan’s sovereign credit rating outlook to negative based on concerns about government debt.

: Susumu Inamine, an opponent of the relocation plan for Futenma, wins Okinawa’s Nago City mayoral election.

: A poll by Yomiuri Shimbun and Waseda University shows 35 percent of the public wants the DPJ to win an outright majority in the Upper House election; 54 percent do not.

: During a session of the Lower House Budget Committee, PM Hatoyama states the US-Japan-China relationship is not an “equilateral triangle” and notes the alliance with the US is the foundation of Japanese foreign policy.

: Defense Minister Kitazawa dispatches a Self-Defense Force International Disaster Relief Medical Support Unit to Haiti to assist with earthquake relief efforts.

: PM Hatoyama and President Obama each issue statements to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the US-Japan Security Treaty.  The bilateral Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) also reaffirms the importance of the US-Japan alliance.

: Japan Airlines files for bankruptcy.

: The Government of Japan announces that automobiles imported under the Preferential Handling Procedure (PHP) could be eligible for inclusion in a program offering subsidies for the purchase of eco-friendly vehicles.

: The Hatoyama Cabinet posts a 41 percent approval rating in a Kyodo News poll.  A Yomiuri poll released the same day lists a 45 percent approval rating with 70 percent saying Ozawa should resign as DPJ secretary general because of an alleged funding scandal.

: The Special Measures Law authorizing Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) refueling operations in the Indian Ocean expires.

: Three current and former aides to Ozawa Ichiro are arrested and charged with falsifying political funding reports in connection with a land purchase in Tokyo.

: In an interview with Reuters, FM Okada dismisses the idea that the Hatoyama government is promoting relations with China at the expense of the alliance with the US.

: Prosecutors search the office of a funding group for Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Ozawa Ichiro in a probe into possible political funding irregularities.

: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister (FM) Okada Katsuya meet in Honolulu to discuss issues including US-Japan relations, North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Burma, and nonproliferation.

: Yomiuri Shimbun poll reveals a 56 percent approval rating for the Hatoyama Cabinet.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano Hirofumi visits Okinawa to consider relocation options for Futenma.

: Six members of Congress sign a letter to PM Hatoyama expressing support for the Guam International Agreement.

: Finance Minister Fujii Hirohisa resigns, citing poor health, and is replaced by Kan Naoto.

: Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi meets US Ambassador to Japan John Roos to discuss relocation of Futenma and the 50th anniversary of the US-Japan Security Treaty.

: Prime Minister (PM) Hatoyama Yukio holds a New Year’s press conference and stresses the importance of reaching a decision on the relocation of Marine Air Station Futenma.

: A U.S. interagency delegation led by Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg arrives in Japan for consultations on bilateral, regional, and global issues.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama directs his Cabinet to submit fresh budget proposals for fiscal year 2010 by Oct. 15.

: LDP President Tanigaki appoints Oshima Tadamori as secretary general.

: Tanigaki Sadakazu is elected LDP president and opposition leader.

: Defense Minister Kitazawa says during a visit to Okinawa that relocating Futenma Air Station outside of Okinawa will be difficult and would take a long time.

: Okinawa Gov. Nakaima Hirokazu meets Defense Minister Kitazawa and suggests that altering the realignment plan for U.S. forces on Okinawa would be difficult.

: MLIT Minister Maehara announces the formation of a special task force to produce a revitalization plan for Japan Airlines.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano Hirofumi states that the members of the ruling coalition will study closely the issue of a moratorium on loan repayments for small- and medium-sized businesses.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama attends the G20 summit in Pittsburgh.

: MLIT Minister Maehara tells Japan Airlines its revitalization plan is insufficient.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama addresses the UN General Assembly and cites global economic recovery, climate change, nonproliferation, development, and his vision for an East Asian Community as foreign policy priorities.

: President Obama and Prime Minister Hatoyama meet in New York and discuss the U.S.-Japan relationship, North Korea, Afghanistan, and nuclear nonproliferation.

: Foreign Minister Okada states during a G8 foreign ministers’ meeting in New York that there are limits on Japan’s ability to dispatch Self-Defense Forces to Afghanistan.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama addresses a UN conference on climate change and announces the “Hatoyama Initiative” for Japan to assume a leadership role in bridging the divide between the developed and the developing world.

: Finance Minister Fujii announces a decision to abandon a ceiling for budget requests adopted by the Aso administration and focus instead on reducing wasteful spending.

: Secretary of State Clinton and Foreign Minister Okada meet in New York and discuss the U.S.-Japan alliance, Japan’s support for Afghanistan, the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, and North Korea.  The two also participate in a trilateral strategic dialogue with Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama orders a reexamination of the supplementary budget passed by the previous government and formally calls for the establishment of a National Strategy Bureau in the Cabinet Office.

: Mainichi Shimbun reports a 77 percent approval rating for the Hatoyama administration.

: Foreign Minister Okada orders an investigation of the classified agreements in the 1950s and 1960s between the U.S. and Japan regarding U.S. nuclear policy.

: MLIT Minister Maehara Seiji states that Japan Airlines cannot be allowed to collapse, signaling government consideration of financial support for the troubled carrier.

: U.S. Assistant Secretary Campbell meets senior members of the government including counterparts in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense.

: Hatoyama Yukio is elected prime minister in a special session of the Diet and later introduces his Cabinet.

: Finance Minister Fujii Hirohisa states that the Hatoyama administration will move to abolish the gasoline tax in fiscal year 2010.

: In his first press conference, Foreign Minister Okada Katsuya states several foreign policy priorities including U.S.-Japan relations, North Korea, and climate change.

: Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi says at his first press conference the Hatoyama government would not extend the MSDF Indian Ocean refueling mission and would discuss the realignment of U.S. forces on Okinawa “based on a realistic view of the situation.”

: The DPJ elects former party president Ozawa as secretary general.

: Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure Transport and Tourism (MLIT) reports that the elimination of highway tolls would result in a 57.5 percent annual increase in automobile passengers and a 33 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions.

: Ambassador Roos meets DPJ Secretary General Okada.

: The DPJ, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the People’s New Party (PNP) sign an agreement to form a coalition government which states that it would propose a revision of the Status of Forces Agreement for U.S. forces in Japan and move towards reexamining the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan to reduce the burden on the residents of Okinawa.

: Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell says the U.S. would “very much encourage” Japan’s new government to extend the MSDF refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

: DPJ President Hatoyama delivers an address on climate change and announces a midterm emissions reduction target of 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Bosworth visits Tokyo and reconfirms U.S. commitment to sanctions on North Korea in line with UNSC resolutions.

: Ambassador Roos calls on DPJ President Hatoyama.

: DPJ member Maehara Seiji states in an appearance on NHK television that a decision by the new government not to extend the MSDF refueling mission in the Indian Ocean would have little impact on the U.S.-Japan relationship.

: President Obama makes a congratulatory call to DPJ President Hatoyama, who stresses the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance.

: State Department spokesman Ian Kelly states that the U.S. has no intention of renegotiating the Futenma replacement facility plan or Guam relocation plan with the new Japanese government.

: Asahi Shimbun exit polls find that 30 percent of voters who identified themselves as LDP supporters voted for the DPJ instead.

: Exit polls by Yomiuri Shimbun suggest disenchantment with the Aso government as a main driver in the election.  Forty-six percent of respondents cite disaffection with the Aso Cabinet as the reason for the DPJ victory, followed by 37 percent citing expectations from a change in government, 10 percent with hopes for the DPJ election platform, and 3 percent with expectations of Hatoyama as prime minister.

: DPJ President Hatoyama states that an article outlining his political philosophy is not anti-American.

: The DPJ records a landslide victory in the Lower House election, securing 308 of 480 seats.

: A Kyodo News poll finds the public inclined to support the DPJ over the LDP on the proportional representation ballot by a margin of 35.9 percent to 17.9 percent.  The poll also finds 36 percent of respondents favoring the DPJ in single-seat constituencies compared to 22 percent for the LDP.

: A translated summary of a journal article by DPJ President Hatoyama appears in the online edition of the New York Times.

: Ambassador Phillip Goldberg meets Saiki Akitaka, director general, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874.

: Ambassador Roos meets Foreign Minister Nakasone.

: Ambassador Roos meets Prime Minister Aso and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nikai Toshihiro.

: A Nikkei Shimbun poll reveals a 20 percent approval rating for the Aso administration. Regarding public interest in Aug. 30 election, a combined 95 percent of respondents either would “definitely” or “probably” vote.

: U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos arrives in Japan.

: Official campaigning for the Aug. 30 election begins.

: John Roos is sworn in as U.S. ambassador to Japan.

: The Cabinet Office announces that the economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.7 percent in the second quarter.

: A Kyodo News poll shows 32 percent favoring the DPJ on the proportional representation ballot for the Lower House election, with 16 percent supporting the LDP.

: DPJ President Hatoyama says if elected he will establish an investigative team in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and dispatch members to the U.S. in an attempt to declassify documents regarding U.S. nuclear weapons policy in the 1950s and 1960s.

: The DPJ revises sections of its policy platform referring to a U.S.-Japan FTA and economic partnership agreements (EPA) with Asian countries, adding that duties on rice and other products would not be abolished and that any negotiations would not jeopardize Japan’s agricultural industries and rural communities.

: DPJ Secretary General Okada declares the party’s intention to conclude a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S. in four years.

: John Roos is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as U.S. ambassador to Japan.

: DPJ President Hatoyama suggests that a DPJ government would codify Japan’s three non-nuclear principles into law.

: DPJ President Hatoyama states that a DPJ government would work closely with the Obama administration on the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world.

: The Council on Security and Defense Capabilities, publishes a report with several recommendations including the reinterpretation of the constitution to exercise the right of collective self defense.

: The Labor Ministry reports wages in Japan fell 7.1 per cent from a year earlier in June, the 13th consecutive decline and the largest since 1990 when the data was first reported.

: The LDP unveils its policy platform for the Aug. 30 election.

: Japan’s unemployment rate reaches a six-year high of 5.5 percent.

: Eight agricultural organizations issue a statement opposing a section in the DPJ election platform regarding the promotion of a U.S.-Japan free trade agreement (FTA).

: DPJ President Hatoyama Yukio states that the MSDF refueling mission in the Indian Ocean will not be extended if the DPJ wins the Aug. 30 election.

: The DPJ unveils its policy platform for the Aug. 30 election.

: Lt. Gen. Edward Rice, commander of U.S. forces in Japan, states that U.S.-Japan security ties will remain strong regardless of which party prevails in the Aug. 30 election.

: U.S. Ambassador to Japan-designate John Roos testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a confirmation hearing.

: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Nakasone confer on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Thailand.

: Prime Minister Aso dissolves the Lower House of the Diet and officially calls an election for Aug. 30 with campaigning set to begin on Aug. 18.

: The Senate votes against additional funding for the F-22 fighter.

: A Mainichi Shimbun poll shows 56 percent favors the DPJ in the next general election with just 23 percent backing the LDP.  An Asahi Shimbun poll shows 42 percent supporting the DPJ and 19 percent the LDP.

: The Japanese Diet passes an antipiracy law that provides a basis for ongoing antipiracy operations by the Maritime Self-Defense Forces off the coast of Somalia.

: Campbell and Wallace Gregson, assistant secretary of defense, Asian and Pacific security affairs, lead a delegation to the bilateral Security Subcommittee Meeting in Tokyo.

: LDP leaders decide against a party meeting to sack Aso Taro and pick a new leader for the next Lower House election.

: Japan’s Ministry of Defense releases its annual White Paper.

: Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, meets Foreign Minister Nakasone Hirofumi and other officials in Tokyo.  He also meets DPJ Secretary General Okada Katsuya.

: A Jiji Press poll shows a 16.3 percent approval rating for the Aso administration.

: The House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee votes to fund $369 million for parts to build 12 F-22 fighters.

: Deputy Policy Chief Fukuyama Tetsuro outlines DPJ policies on climate change including a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas reductions below 1990 levels by 2020, a carbon tax, and a domestic emissions trading system with compulsory emission caps.

: The DPJ and three other opposition parties submit a no confidence motion against the Aso Cabinet to the Lower House of the Diet.  The motion is defeated the next day.

: President Obama, in letters to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, vows to veto any defense spending bill that includes additional funding for the F-22 aircraft.

: The DPJ scores a victory in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, becoming the largest party in that chamber by securing 54 of 127 seats.

: Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the U.S. James Zumwalt and Japanese Foreign Minister Nakasone Hirofumi exchange notes pertaining to the transfer of funds provided by Japan to the U.S. in accordance with the Agreement on the Relocation of United States Marine Corps Personnel from Okinawa to Guam.

: President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Aso meet on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Italy to discuss the global economic crisis, North Korea, and climate change.

: Two Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) destroyers, Harusame and Aragiri, depart Japan as the second unit in an antipiracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.

: The U.S. and Japanese governments release the results of the U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy Initiative.

: Japanese media public opinion polls show Aso administration’s approval rating averages close to 20 percent with a disapproval rating close to 70 percent.

: Amano Yukiya is appointed as the next director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), beginning in December 2009.

: Prime Minister Aso Taro appoints Hayashi Yoshimasa as fiscal policy and economy minister, enabling Yosano Kaoru to focus solely on his duties as finance minister.

: The Bank of Japan’s quarterly tankan survey reveals a slight uptick in business confidence after an all-time low recorded in the previous quarter.

: DPJ President Hatoyama Yukio apologizes after reports that as many as 90 deceased individuals were listed as donors on Hatoyama’s funding reports going back to 2005.

: The government of Japan reports that the unemployment rate rose to 5.2 percent in May 2009, a five-and-a-half year high.

: The government of Japan reports that industrial output rose for the third straight month in May 2009, up 5.9 percent from April.

: The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association reports a 55.9 percent decline in car, truck, and bus exports in May 2009 compared to a year earlier, the eighth straight month of decline.

: Murata Ryohei, a former bureaucrat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, states in interviews with Japanese media that Japan and the U.S. reached a secret agreement in 1960 allowing port calls by U.S. vessels carrying nuclear weapons.

: Japan’s Financial Services Agency orders Citibank Japan to suspend sales at its retail banking division for one month due to lax oversight.

: Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate move to continue funding the F-22 stealth fighter and an alternative engine for the Joint Strike Fighter F-35.  Both houses also include provisions calling for a report on a possible export version of the F-22.

: Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy meets Vice Defense Minister Masuda Kohei and Defense Minister Hamada in Tokyo to discuss North Korean issues and the realignment plan for U.S. forces in Japan.

: The Ministry of Finance reports that both exports and imports fell by more than 40 percent in May 2009.

: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) projects 0.7 percent growth for the Japanese economy in 2010.

: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recommends President Obama veto the 2010 defense appropriations bill if it contains funding for the F-22 stealth fighter and an alternative engine for the Joint Strike Fighter F-35.

: Japan adopts annual economic policy guidelines, abandoning previous proposals to cut social security spending and close the budget deficit by fiscal year 2011.

: The LDP asks Miyazaki Gov. Higashikokubaru Hideo to run in the upcoming Lower House election.

: An Asahi Shimbun survey finds that 71 percent of local business leaders throughout Japan believe their regional economies are contracting.

: The Diet passes an antipiracy bill allowing Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) vessels to protect Japanese and foreign vessels in the Gulf of Aden.

: PM Aso and DPJ President Hatoyama conduct their second debate in the Diet, sparring over economic policy.

: The government of Japan bans all exports to North Korea and tightens other unilateral sanctions following the passage of UNSC Resolution 1874.

: The Bank of Japan upgrades its economic outlook in a monthly report, citing improved export and investment numbers.

: The House Armed Services Committee votes to add funding in the 2010 defense appropriations bill for the continued production of the F-22 stealth fighter.

: Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Hatoyama Kunio resigns after PM Aso rejects his suggestion to fire the head of Japan Post for alleged noncompetitive bidding in the sale of real estate holdings.

: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Finance Minister Yosano Kaoru meet on the sidelines of a G8 preparatory meeting in Italy, agreeing to pursue sanctions on North Korea and sharing updates on their respective economies.

: The UNSC adopts Resolution 1874 condemning North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and outlining measures including financial sanctions and maritime interdiction.

: Finance Minister Yosano Kaoru expresses confidence in U.S. treasuries, easing concerns about diversification.

: PM Aso announces a midterm emissions reduction target of 15 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2020.

: Saiki Akitaka, director general, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meets with Special Envoy Stephen Bosworth and other officials in Washington to discuss the situation with North Korea.

: An LDP panel adopts proposed changes to Japan’s National Defense Program Guidelines (to be issued at the end of 2009) including support for preemptive strike capability, a relaxation of Japan’s limits on arms exports, and an increase in the defense budget.

: A draft economic assessment by the Cabinet Office suggests a 12 percent consumption tax would be required for Japan to reach a primary balance surplus in 10 years.

: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggests that the Obama administration might consider reinstating North Korea to the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

: The government of Japan approves a space policy including research on the use of space for defense purposes (sensors for early warning satellites).

: Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg leads a delegation to Tokyo for consultations on North Korea, including meetings with PM Aso, Vice Foreign Minister Yabunaka Mitoji, and DPJ President Hatoyama.

: Defense Secretary Gates, Defense Minister Hamada, and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Sang-Hee participate in a trilateral dialogue on the margins of the Shangri-La Security Dialogue in Singapore.

: North Korea launches a short-range missile from its east coast.

: The Diet passes the Aso government’s $150 billion stimulus package including spending and tax cuts totaling three percent of GDP.

: President Obama nominates John Roos for ambassador to Japan.

: PM Aso and DPJ President Hatoyama square off in their first debate in the Diet with Hatoyama criticizing the government for wasteful spending and Aso highlighting the funding scandal that forced Ozawa Ichiro to resign.

: North Korea fires two short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan.

: The Lower House of the Diet passes a resolution condemning North Korea’s nuclear test and calling for fresh unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang.  The Upper House passes a similar measure the next day.

: North Korea conducts a second nuclear test and fires three short-range missiles.

: President Obama and PM Aso agree to push for a new UNSC resolution condemning North Korea’s nuclear test.  Obama reiterates the U.S. commitment to defend Japan.

: PM Aso proposes a Pacific Environment Community at a conference among Asia-Pacific island nations held in Hokkaido and pledges $680 million in aid for solar power generation and sea water desalination.

: The Cabinet Office announces that GDP in the first quarter of 2009 fell 4 percent, and at an annual rate of 15.2 percent.

: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs releases a poll conducted in the United States, which found that 80 percent of the public trusts Japan as an ally.

: Hatoyama names Okada Secretary General of the DPJ.

: A joint public opinion poll by Nikkei Shimbun and TV Tokyo finds Hatoyama more favorable than PM Aso by a margin of 29 percent to 16 percent.  Fifty-two percent favored neither.  The DPJ was more popular than the LDP by a margin of 38 percent to 33 percent.

: PM Aso has an approval rating of 27 percent and a disapproval rating of 56 percent, according to a poll by Asahi Shimbun.

: Hatoyama defeats Okada in the DPJ presidential race, capturing 124 out of 219 votes cast by DPJ Diet members.

: The Ministry of Defense issues a report on the North Korean missile threat, noting that North Korea had improved its long-range ballistic missile technology and could enhance the accuracy of the Nodong medium-range missile.

: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshitada Konoike resigns after a magazine exposé accused him of visiting his mistress with a free train pass issued to lawmakers.

: Keidanren issues a statement calling for a midterm emissions reduction target of 4 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

: DPJ President Ozawa announces his resignation after fallout from the indictment of his chief aide in a political fundraising scandal.

: U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Bosworth confers with Vice Foreign Minister Yabunaka Mitoji, Sasae Kenichiro, deputy minister for foreign affairs, and Saiki Akitaka, director-general, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regarding North Korea.

: PM Aso is more popular than opposition leader Ozawa Ichiro by a margin of 40 to 25 percent, according to a Yomiuri poll.  Aso’s approval rating stands at 28 percent.

: Sixty-four percent of the Japanese population opposes the revision of Article 9 of the constitution, according to an Asahi Shimbun poll.

: Defense Minister Hamada and Defense Secretary Gates meet at the Pentagon in Washington and agree to strengthen bilateral alliance cooperation including missile defense.

: The Bank of Japan issues an economic outlook and revises its GDP projection for 2009 to minus-3.1 percent, down from a previous projection in January of minus-2 percent.

: Honda reports a 77-percent drop in profit for fiscal year 2008.

: Foreign Minister Nakasone Hirofumi announces an 11-point plan for global nuclear disarmament, including nonproliferation measures, initiatives for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and an offer to host an international conference in 2010.

: A Nikkei Shimbun survey reports PM Aso’s approval rating at 32 percent.

: President Obama and PM Aso agree in a telephone conversation to strengthen bilateral cooperation on North Korea and nuclear nonproliferation.

: Japan’s Ministry of Finance reports a trade deficit for 2008, the first in 28 years.

: Environment Minister Saito Tetsuo unveils an environmental policy dubbed the “Green New Deal” for its focus green technology and reductions in carbon emissions.

: Nakagawa Shoichi, a member of the ruling LDP, reportedly argues in a speech that Japan should possess nuclear weapons to counter the threat from North Korea.

: The U.S. and Japan each pledge $1billion in aid to Pakistan at an international donors conference held in Tokyo.

:   A poll by Jiji Press shows a 25-percent approval rating for the Aso Cabinet.

: Defense Minister Hamada orders the dispatch of two P-C3 aircraft in support of antipiracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

: A bilateral agreement on the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam is passed by the Lower House of the Diet.

: PM Aso’s approval rating stands at 30 percent according to a poll by public broadcaster NHK 

: The United Nations releases a statement by the president of the Security Council condemning North Korea’s April 5 missile launch.

: Japan renews unilateral sanctions against North Korea for one year.

: PM Aso unveils a stimulus package worth approximately $150 billion.

: Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ozawa Ichiro meets a U.S. congressional delegation including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

: Japan’s Ministry of Finance announces that the February 2009 current account surplus fell 55.6 percent compared to a year earlier.

: The Lower House of the Diet adopts a resolution condemning the North Korean missile launch and calling on the government to impose new sanctions against the regime and call for a new UNSC resolution.

: Defense Secretary Gates announces defense budget recommendations for fiscal year 2010, including a suggestion to end production of the F-22 stealth fighter.

: North Korea launches a long-range ballistic missile over Japan.

: A Yomiuri poll indicates a 24.3 percent approval rating for the Aso Cabinet.

: A survey by Yomiuri Shimbun reveals that 51.6 percent of the population supports constitutional revision.

: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu agree in a telephone conversation that a test launch of a satellite or missile by North Korea would violate United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions.

: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) begins an antipiracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.

: The Japan Automobile Dealers Association announces that domestic new car sales fell 15.6 percent in 2008, a 38-year low.

: The Bank of Japan’s quarterly tankan survey index (the percentage of companies saying business conditions are good minus the percentage saying conditions are bad) plunges to minus-58, a record low and a 34-point drop from the December 2008 survey.

: PM Aso calls for a third stimulus package and announces his intention to submit it to the Diet for approval during the current session.

: Public opinion poll released by Cabinet office shows 68 percent of Japanese are pessimistic about the economy with 57 percent expressing concern about unemployment.

: Japan’s Diet enacts a record $897 billion budget for fiscal year 2009.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun survey shows that 68 percent of the public opposes Ozawa Ichiro as head of the DPJ.  PM Aso’s approval rating increases to 23 percent from 17 percent in a previous survey.

: Okubo Takanori, a senior aide to Ozawa Ichiro, is indicted for violating regulations on political donations.  Ozawa announces his decision to stay on as DPJ President.

: In a Yomiuri Shimbun poll asking who is most suitable to be prime minister, former PM Koizumi comes in first with 12.9 percent, DPJ President Ozawa fifth with six percent, and PM Aso eighth with 3.5 percent.

: An Asahi Shimbun poll shows that 60 percent of the public is disappointed with the state of Japanese politics, with close to 90 percent saying politicians have not presented a future vision for the country and are not reflecting the will of the people.

: Japanese Finance Minister Yosano Kaoru and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meet on the sidelines of a G20 preparatory meeting in the United Kingdom and agree to promote stimulus packages totaling the equivalent of two percent of GDP.

: Defense Minister Hamada orders the dispatch of two destroyers to take part in anti-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia.

: In an interview with Asahi Shimbun, PM Aso states that Japan will push for a new United Nations Security Resolution sanctioning North Korea if it conducts a missile test.

: Defense Minister Hamada urges North Korea not to conduct what it argues is a satellite test warning that a launch of what others believe to be a ballistic missile could damage peace and stability in the region.

: Secretary Clinton notes during media availability with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Washington that the Obama administration is ready to send Special Envoy Bosworth to Pyongyang to begin direct discussions with the North Korea but that he has not been invited.

: DPJ President Ozawa holds a press conference and apologizes to the public for the Okubo scandal but declines to resign.

: Ministry of Finance reports Japanese exports fell close to 50 percent in January 2009 from a year earlier and that the country posted its first current account deficit in 13 years.

: U.S. Special Envoy Bosworth states in Seoul that a North Korean missile launch would constitute a contravention of UNSC Resolution 1718.

: Asahi Shimbun poll shows 57 percent of the Japanese public thinks Ozawa Ichiro should resign as DPJ president.  PM Aso’s approval rating was 14 percent in the same poll; Kyodo News poll shows an approval rating of 16 percent.

: U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth meets Saiki Akitaka, director general Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Tokyo to discuss the North Korean nuclear issue.

: Public opinion poll by the Cabinet office shows over 70 percent of respondents somewhat or extremely supportive of the MSDF refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

: DPJ President Ozawa holds a press conference and refuses to resign in the wake of the Okubo scandal, criticizing the arrest of his aide as an abuse of state power.

: Okubo Takanori, a senior aide to DPJ President Ozawa, is arrested for allegedly violating regulations on political contributions.  Two executives of the Nishimatsu construction company are also arrested for allegedly making illegal donations to Okubo.

: Defense Minister Hamada announces that if North Korea conducts a missile test, Japan will shoot down any debris that falls toward Japanese territory.

: In response to Ishiba’s comments, PM Aso states that the timing of an election is his prerogative and that economic stimulus measures should take precedence.

: Japanese Agriculture Minister Ishiba Shigeru suggests during an appearance on a television program that PM Aso should call a snap election.

: PM Aso meets President Obama at the White House, the first foreign leader to do so.  The two discuss the global economic crisis, North Korea, Afghanistan, and climate change.

: DPJ President Ozawa states that as Japan assumes a greater role in its defense the need for a U.S. presence will decrease and that the presence of the 7th fleet alone should suffice in maintaining security in the Far East.

: Polls by Fuji Television and Mainichi Shimbun show an 11 percent approval rating for PM Aso.

: PM Aso’s approval rating falls to 13.4 percent in a Kyodo News poll.

: Japanese Finance Minister Nakagawa Shoichi resigns after reportedly appearing drunk during a press conference at a G7 summit in Rome on Feb. 14.  He is replaced by Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy Yosano Kaoru, who holds both posts concurrently.

: Secretary Clinton meets Foreign Minister Nakasone in Tokyo and the two sign an accord regarding the relocation of U.S. military personnel to Guam.  Clinton also meets PM Aso, opposition leader Ozawa, and relatives of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea.

: The government of Japan releases figures indicating Japan’s economy shrank at an annualized rate of 12.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

: Former PM Koizumi criticizes PM Aso’s comments on postal privatization deeming them laughable.

:   A joint survey by BBC News and Yomiuri Shimbun reveals that 56 percent of respondents polled worldwide said Japan has a positive influence in the world.

: Still under fire for controversial comments about postal privatization, PM Aso revises his previous marks and states that the plan was acceptable in the end.

: A poll by Asahi Shimbun projects an approval rating of 14 percent for PM Aso, with a disapproval rating of 73 percent.

: PM Aso backtracks, stressing that he never said Japan Post should be nationalized and that the 2005 election was obviously about privatizing the postal service.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun poll asking who is most suitable to be prime minister finds former PM Koizumi most popular with 14.4 percent, followed by Ozawa Ichiro with 13.7 percent.  Aso came in fourth at 4.7 percent.

: PM Aso states during a question and answer session in the Diet that he opposed the break-up of Japan Post into four companies back in 2005, despite his having served in the Koizumi administration at the time, and that the decision should be reviewed.

: The State Department announces that Japan will be Hillary Clinton’s first stop on her first trip abroad as secretary of state.

: In an appearance before the Lower House Budget Committee, PM Aso criticizes the “buy American” provisions in the U.S. stimulus package as a violation of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

: Sankei Shimbun reports that North Korea has begun preparations for a Taepodong-2 missile launch.

: During a brief telephone conversation, President Obama and PM Aso agree to tackle the global financial crisis and other issues including North Korea.

: A white paper on Official Development Assistance (ODA) prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Cabinet states Japan fell to fifth place in 2007.

: Japanese Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu orders preparations for the dispatch of Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) vessels to the coast of East Africa and the Gulf of Aden for antipiracy operations.

: In a speech to the Diet, PM Aso vows to create 1.6 million jobs over three years and touts stimulus measures to pull Japan out of recession.

: A second supplementary budget for fiscal year 2008 comes into force after the ruling coalition passes it a second time in the Lower House of the Diet.

: A Mainichi Shimbun poll lists an approval rating of 19 percent for PM Aso, and a disapproval rating of 65 percent.

: Secretary of State Clinton expresses sympathy during a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Nakasone Hirofumi for the relatives of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea.

: Japan launches the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) Ibuki into space, the first satellite dedicated to monitoring greenhouse gas emissions.

: The Bank of Japan revises previous GDP estimates and predicts the Japanese economy will shrink two percent in fiscal 2009, the steepest contraction on record.

: Japan’s Ministry of Finance announces that Japan’s 2008 trade surplus fell 80 percent compared to the previous year.

: PM Aso issues a statement of congratulations on the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

: DPJ Secretary General Hatoyama offers congratulations on the inauguration of President Obama and criticizes the LDP as simply following the direction of the U.S.

: Japan’s Ministry of Defense releases a policy blueprint for the use of space for defensive purposes.

: Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton praises the U.S.-Japan alliance as the cornerstone of U.S. policy in Asia during her Senate confirmation hearing.

: PM Aso dismisses a vice minister in the Cabinet office for refusing to vote for the second supplementary budget in the Lower House.

: During a farewell appearance at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer states that Japan should consider exercising the right of collective self-defense.

: A second supplementary budget and other measures, including a cash handout program for households, are passed in the Lower House of the Diet.

: MP Watanabe Yoshimi quits the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to protest PM Aso’s policies.

: PM Aso and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak agree at a summit in Seoul to jointly tackle the global financial crisis and work closely with the Obama administration on North Korean issues.

: A Fuji Sankei poll, asking who is most suitable to become prime minister, deems Ozawa Ichiro most popular for the first time with 13.2 percent of responses followed by former PM Koizumi Junichiro with 9.9 percent.  PM Aso comes in fourth with 5.9 percent and 25.7 percent of respondents said no one is suitable to lead the country.

: PM Aso’s disapproval rating is 72 percent according to a Yomiuri Shimbun poll.

: The first six of 12 U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighters arrive at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa for a three-month deployment, the second such deployment to the Far East since 2007.

: Asahi Shimbun reports that Joseph Nye will become U.S. ambassador to Japan.

: PM Aso rejects DPJ Secretary General Hatoyama Yukio’s call for his resignation citing the need to stem the adverse effects of the financial crisis.

: In his first press conference of the year, PM Aso refuses to consider the dissolution of the Lower House until budget measures are passed in the Diet citing the need for economic stimulus measures.

: In his first interview of the year, DPJ President Ozawa denounces government economic policies and reiterates his desire to win the next election to “protect the lives and livelihoods of the people.”

: In a New Year’s message, Prime Minister Aso Taro addresses the global economic crisis and vows to make Japan the first country to emerge from recession.

: Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ozawa Ichiro issues a New Year’s message titled, “The Year of Change” and outlines a five-point policy platform for the next Lower House election.

: The Nikkei 225 index finishes the year down 42.1 percent, well above the last highest annual decline of 38.7 percent in 1990.

: A Nikkei poll lists Prime Minister Aso’s approval rating at 21 percent with a disapproval rating of 73 percent.

: Prime Minister Aso instructs the Ministry of Defense to explore ways to dispatch SDF forces for anti-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia, though Defense Minister Hamada questions the feasibility of the plan in a press conference the same day.

: LDP lawmaker Watanabe Yoshimi, a former minister for administrative reform, votes in favor of a resolution supported by the DPJ calling for an immediate dissolution of the Lower House followed by a general election.  The resolution fails but Watanabe receives a reprimand from LDP leadership.

: The Aso Cabinet approves the draft budget proposal for fiscal 2009.

: The Aso Cabinet approves a mid-term tax reform plan including a call for an increase in the consumption tax in fiscal year 2011.

: Japan’s Ministry of Finance releases a draft budget for fiscal year 2009 suggesting a spending increase of 6.6 percent and a total budget of $990.9 billion, the biggest draft figure ever.  Defense spending and official development assistance are cut 0.1 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

: Japan government forecasts zero growth for the fiscal year ending March 2010.

: The Bank of Japan reduces the overnight call rate to 0.1 percent.

: A survey by Jiji Press reveals a 16 percent approval rating for the Aso Cabinet and a disapproval rating of 65 percent.

: A survey by Yomiuri Shimbun and Waseda University finds that voters are more disappointed with the performance of the LDP than the DPJ by a margin of 69 percent to 48 percent.  Fifty-five percent of respondents had expectations for the DPJ going forward, compared to only 42 percent for the LDP.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun and Gallup poll on U.S.-Japan relations finds that 34 percent of Japanese consider U.S.-Japan relations good, the lowest percentage since 2000.

: Prime Minister Aso praises Japan’s five-year noncombat mission in Iraq after the last C-130 aircraft used in airlift operations departed Kuwait.

: The U.S. Air Force announces plans to deploy two contingents of F-22 stealth jet fighters for approximately three months to Japan beginning in January 2009.

: The Diet approves a one-year extension of the SDF refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

: Japan’s ASDF completes its last airlift mission to Iraq.

: Prime Minister Aso announces a second economic stimulus package totaling $110 billion.

: The Diet approves a bill allowing the government to inject up to $22 billion into the nation’s banks.

: The latest round of the Six-Party Talks ends without an agreement on a verification protocol for North Korean denuclearization.

: An MSDF officer found guilty of leaking intelligence related to the Aegis ballistic missile defense system is dismissed from the force.

: A new round of the Six-Party Talks begins in Beijing.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun poll shows an approval rating of 21 percent for Prime Minister Aso, with a disapproval rating of 67 percent.  Ozawa also proves more popular than Aso for the first time, with 36 percent saying Ozawa would be preferable as prime minister compared to 29 percent for Aso.

: A poll released by the Cabinet Office shows that a record-high 28 percent of the Japanese public thinks relations with the U.S. are not good, compared to a record-low 69 percent who said bilateral ties were good.

: Hill and Saiki are joined by ROK Special Representative Kim Sook for trilateral consultations in Tokyo.

: Christopher Hill and Saiki Akitaka meet in Tokyo to prepare for a new round of the Six-Party Talks.

: In an interview with the Financial Times, Minister for Economic Policy Yosano Kaoru argues against increased government spending to stimulate the economy, citing a lack of worthy targets for funding.

: PM Aso and opposition leader Ozawa square off in a heated debate in the Diet.  Aso argues against an election given the urgent need to minimize the adverse effects of the global economic slowdown, while Ozawa claims that the people should have a chance to decide which party is best positioned to revive the economy.

: A Reuters survey finds that 60 percent of individual investors want the DPJ to win the next election.

: PM Aso orders an extension of the Diet session to Dec. 25 and announces that a second supplementary budget would not be submitted before the new Diet session in January.

: President Bush and Prime Minister Aso meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to discuss various issues including the financial crisis, North Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  The two leaders also hold a joint meeting with President Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea to discuss the Six-Party Talks and the global economy.

: The U.S. Missile Defense Agency announces the failure of the Japanese destroyer Chokai to shoot down a target during a Nov. 18 test of the sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system near Hawaii.

: The opposition parties begin a boycott of Upper House deliberations, preventing a vote on a bill to extend an SDF refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

: The Japanese economy officially slips into recession after two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

: PM Aso and opposition leader Ozawa Ichiro meet behind closed doors.  Ozawa threatens to boycott Diet deliberations and demands that Aso either submit a second supplementary budget or call an election.

: Prime Minister Aso pledges $100 billion to the IMF for developing economies during the G20 summit in Washington.

: Prime Minister Aso describes the essay by retired Gen. Tamogami as “extremely inappropriate.”

: The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington is featured in a week-long joint drill with MSDF off the coast of Okinawa.

: Retired Gen. Tamogami refuses to apologize for publishing a revisionist essay on World War II and argues in favor of revising Japan’s pacifist Constitution during an appearance at a hearing in the Upper House of the Diet.

: The U.S. expresses regret over an unannounced Nov. 10 visit by the nuclear-powered submarine USS Providence to a base in Okinawa.

:   A poll by Kyodo reveals that the public prefers the DPJ over the LDP by a margin of 43 percent to 36 percent.

: Prime Minister Aso and President-elect Obama agree in a telephone conversation on the importance of strengthening bilateral ties.

: Prime Minister Aso issues a statement congratulating Barack Obama on his election as president.

: Prime Minister Aso states he has no plans to push for a reinterpretation of the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense.

: Gen. Tamogami retires from the Self-Defense Forces.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun poll reveals a 40 percent approval rating for PM Aso and a disapproval rating of 41 percent.

: The Bank of Japan reduces the overnight call rate to 0.3 percent.

: Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu announces that the chief of staff of the Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF), Gen. Tamogami Toshio, will be dismissed for penning an essay denying that Japan was an aggressor during World War II.

: Prime Minister Aso announces his decision to postpone a Lower House election until 2009, citing the urgent need to tackle the financial crisis.

: The government of Japan unveils a second economic stimulus package totaling $275 billion, including $20 billion in payments to households.

: Nikkei Shimbun reports that an internal survey conducted by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) forecasts a loss if a general election were held in the near term.

: Prime Minister Aso expresses caution regarding the dispatch of SDF forces to Afghanistan during a committee session in the Upper House of the Diet.

: Christopher Hill and Saiki Akitaka meet in Washington to discuss the Six-Party Talks, their first meeting since the U.S. announced its decision to delist North Korea from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List.

: The Yokohama District Court sentences a Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) officer to two and a half years in prison for leaking data related to the Aegis defense system back in 2002, though the sentence was suspended for four years.

: The Nikkei average falls 6 percent to the lowest level since 1982.

: The G7 releases a statement expressing concern about the appreciation of the yen.

: Prime Minister Aso hosts a summit with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh covering regional security cooperation, steps toward an economic partnership agreement, and the peaceful use of nuclear power.

: The Lower House of the Diet extends for one year a bill authorizing Indian Ocean refueling missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

: President Bush and Prime Minister Aso hold a teleconference regarding plans for an emergency summit on the global financial crisis.

: Japan is elected to a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for a two-year term beginning in January 2009.

: Prime Minister Aso states during a budget committee debate in the Upper House of the Diet that the U.S. plan to invest $250 billion in banks is insufficient and that the U.S. government should do more to bail out ailing financial institutions.

: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index falls 11.41 percent, the second-largest single-day drop on record.

: Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer meets families of Japanese abductees to explain the U.S. decision to remove North Korea from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List.

: PM Aso announces that Japan will not provide economic aid to North Korea absent progress in a dispute over the fate of Japanese abductees.

: Japan announces measures to stabilize the stock market, including a decision to suspend the sale of almost 2 trillion yen ($19.8 billion) in government-held shares.

: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sasae Kenichiro and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns participate in the first-ever U.S.-Japan-ROK vice-ministerial consultations held in Washington.

: Speaking with reporters, PM Aso states that the U.S. decision to delist North Korea from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List does not mean a loss of leverage for Japan in resolving the dispute over abductees, and describes the decision as a diplomatic tactic to advance the Six-Party Talks.

: The U.S. announces its decision to rescind the designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.  President Bush calls Prime Minister Aso to explain the decision.

: The Nikkei 225 index posts its third largest single-day decline and falls for the seventh day in a row.

: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Minister Nakasone Hirofumi hold a teleconference to discuss the Six-Party Talks.

: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index falls 9.4 percent – the third biggest drop in percentage terms and the largest one-day decline since October 1987 – amid concerns about the extent of the global financial crisis.

: The Lower House of the Diet passes a 1.8 trillion yen ($18 billion) supplementary budget as part of an economic stimulus package.

: Japan declines to participate in a coordinated reduction of interest rates among the world’s major central banks.

: A survey by Asahi Shimbun shows Prime Minister Aso’s approval rating at 41 percent, a seven-point drop over the two-week period since he assumed the post.

: The Bank of Japan injects 800 billion yen ($7.6 billion) into the international financial system to prevent a global credit crunch from increasing interest rates.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill meets Saiki Akitaka, director general for Asian and Oceanian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Seoul to discuss Hill’s visit to Pyongyang for discussions concerning a verification protocol for North Korean denuclearization under the Six-Party Talks.

: The Government of Japan announces a decision to dispatch two Self-Defense Force (SDF) officers to the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) in Khartoum.

: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) becomes the world’s largest bilateral development agency.

: The Japanese government announces that the unemployment rate increased to 4.2 percent, a two-year high.  Separate data shows that household spending fell 4 percent in August compared to last year.

: Ruling coalition partner New Komeito (Clean Government Party) agrees to hold Diet deliberations on the supplementary budget proposal as early as October 6.

: A poll conducted by public broadcaster NHK shows that 72 percent of the public supports Prime Minister Aso’s decision to postpone for three years any consideration of a consumption tax increase.

: The Japanese government announces a six-month extension of economic sanctions against North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s failure to reopen an investigation of Japanese abductees and its decision to restart nuclear processing at the Yongbyon complex.

: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill arrives in Seoul to confer with counterparts in the Six-Party Talks on North Korea’s nuclear programs and prepare for an Oct. 1 visit to Pyongyang.

: Prime Minister Aso outlines his agenda in an address to the Diet, touting an economic stimulus package and vowing to extend Japan’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean in support of coalition operations in Afghanistan.

: The Aso Cabinet approves a ¥1.81 trillion ($17 billion) supplementary budget for fiscal year 2008 to stimulate the economy.

: Just four days after his appointment, Nakayama Nariaki resigns as Japan’s Minister of Land, Transport, Infrastructure, and Tourism due to a series of gaffes.

: Several news organizations publish polls with approval ratings for the Aso Cabinet as follows: Asahi Shimbun: 48 percent; Nikkei Shimbun: 53 percent; Yomiuri Shimbun: 49.5 percent; Mainichi: 45 percent.  The LDP proved more popular than the DPJ in every poll by an average of 4.5 percent.

: Foreign Minister Nakasone Hirofumi meets U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in New York to discuss North Korea policy, the financial crisis, the situation in Georgia, and counterterrorism issues.

: During a media availability in New York, Prime Minister Aso expresses support for reinterpreting Japan’s constitution to exercise the right of collective self defense.

: Prime Minister Aso addresses the UN General Assembly in New York.

: The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington arrives at Yokosuka naval base amid protests from local residents.

: An Asahi Shimbun poll shows a 48 percent approval rating for the Aso Cabinet.

: Japan’s Finance Ministry reports that Japan posted its first trade deficit in 26 years in August due to rising oil prices and decreased demand in the United States.

: A poll by Kyodo News shows a 48.6 percent approval rating for Aso’s Cabinet.  The poll also declares Aso a favorite in a head-to-head contest with DPJ president Ozawa Ichiro, garnering 53.9 percent to Ozawa’s 29.4 percent.  Respondents were split over which party they would support in the next general election with 34.9 percent favoring the LDP and 34.8 percent siding with the DPJ.

: Aso Taro becomes prime minister and forms a Cabinet.

: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announces that North Korea has barred its inspectors from the Yongbyon nuclear facility and intends to restart nuclear processing in a week.

: Nomura Holdings Inc. announces the purchase of the European and Middle Eastern equities and investment banking operations of Lehman Brothers.

: Ota Akihiro is re-elected as leader of New Komeito (Clean Government Party), a coalition partner of the ruling LDP.

: Aso Taro wins the LDP presidential election race in a landslide.

: Mitsubishi UFJ Group agrees to take up to a 20 percent stake in Morgan Stanley.  Nomura Holdings Inc. buys the Asia units of Lehman Brothers.

: Japan announces a plan for conducting a missile defense test with the U.S. in November, citing concerns about North Korea’s plans to restart its main nuclear complex.

: Ozawa Ichiro is re-elected president of the DPJ.

: North Korea announces its intention to restore a nuclear reactor at Yongbyon in response to the U.S. failure to remove Pyongyang from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List.

: Japan’s Agriculture Minister Ota Seiichi resigns in the wake of a scandal involving the sale of tainted rice by Mikasa Foods.

: Fukuda Cabinet approves a bill to extend Japan’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean until January 2010.

: In a Jiji News survey, 31 percent of respondents said they would vote for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in the next general election while 29 percent support the LDP.

: Japan’s banks and insurers announce a combined ¥245 billion ($2.3 billion) in potential losses stemming from the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc.

: Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force conducts a successful test of the Patriot (PAC-3) missile defense system at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, intercepting a target simulating a ballistic missile.

: Bank of Japan moves to stabilize financial markets by injecting an additional $24 billion into the financial system.

: Government data shows the Japanese economy contracted at annualized rate of three percent in the second quarter.

: The LDP presidential race kicks off with five candidates vying to succeed Fukuda as prime minister: Aso Taro, Yosano Kaoru, Ishiba Shigeru, Koike Yuriko, and Ishihara Nobuteru.

: Japan’s Defense Ministry announces that Air Self-Defense Forces providing airlift support between Kuwait and Iraq would be withdrawn by the end of 2008.

: During a hearing in Yokohama district court, prosecutors demand a three-year prison term for a Maritime Self-Defense Force lieutenant commander accused of leaking classified data on the Aegis air defense system.

: Fukuda Cabinet approves Defense White Paper 2008, which cites concerns about the lack of transparency in China’s military build-up and Russian military drills close to Japan.

: A Nikkei Shimbun poll reports PM Fukuda’s approval rating falls to 29 percent, a 9 percent drop from early August.

: PM Fukuda announces his resignation unexpectedly, suggesting that another leader may be better able to handle the challenges of a divided legislature.

: The Japanese government unveils a stimulus package worth $107 billion.

: A Japanese aid worker is killed by Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

: A law allowing the use of space for defense purposes goes into effect.

: In a report submitted to the ruling LDP, the Ministry of Defense requests a 2.2 percent increase in the defense budget for fiscal year 2009 to cover increasing fuel costs and upgrades to the F-15 fighter fleet.

: Japan encounters resistance to its sectoral approach to greenhouse gas emissions reductions during United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meetings in Accra, Ghana.

: The first telecommunications satellite built and designed solely by Japan goes safely into orbit.

: North Korea agrees to reinvestigate the fate of Japanese abductees by this fall in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Foreign Ministry officials in China.  Japan agrees to allow general travel and charter flights between North Korea and Japan once the investigation begins.

: Ambassador Schieffer meets Defense Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and urges extension of Japan’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

: The Japanese government changes its assessment of the economy to “deteriorating” and concedes Japan may enter a recession.

: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Aso Taro suggests the ruling party postpone efforts to balance the budget by 2011 in favor of stimulus measures.

: PM Fukuda’s approval rating is 38 percent according to a Nikkei Shimbun poll, a 12-point increase from a previous survey in June.

: PM Fukuda reshuffles Cabinet to boost his approval rating with a focus on economic revitalization.

: The foreign ministers of the parties to the Six-Party Talks meet informally on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum in Singapore to discuss ways to verify North Korea’s efforts at denuclearization.

: A poll by Asahi Shimbun shows the G8 summit did little to increase PM Fukuda’s approval rating, which stood at 24 percent.

: A government advisory panel submits to the prime minister a report with proposals for reform of the Defense Ministry.

: The latest round of the Six Party Talks, the first since September 2007, concludes in Beijing with a general agreement on principles for verifying North Korea’s declaration on denuclearization.

: PM Fukuda hosts the G8 summit at Lake Toyako, Hokkaido, focusing on climate change, development and Africa, global economic issues, and nonproliferation.

: President Bush and Prime Minister Fukuda meet in Hokkaido, Japan, and discuss the North Korean nuclear issue, U.S. support for Japanese abductees, Japan’s contributions in Iraq and Afghanistan, climate change, and economic issues.

: The office of the U.S. Trade Representative releases the seventh report of the U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy Initiative, established in 2001 to promote changes that improve the business climate and enhance opportunities for trade and commerce between the two countries.

: Cabinet Office poll reveals that only 30 percent of the Japanese public is familiar with Prime Minister Fukuda’s “Low Carbon Society” initiative on climate change.  Ninety percent of respondents offered general support for the measure.

: U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer meets relatives of Japanese abductees in Tokyo.

: The Japanese government announces a decision to dispatch SDF personnel to Sudan as early as September to participate in UN peacekeeping operations.

: The Fukuda Cabinet’s approval rating rises to 26 percent with a disapproval rating of 63 percent, according to a poll by Nikkei Shimbun.

: Foreign Minister Komura and U.S. Secretary of State Rice meet in Kyoto to discuss the way forward in the Six-Party Talks.

: North Korea submits a declaration concerning plutonium production pursuant to an October 2007 agreement in the Six-Party Talks.

: President Bush announces U.S. steps to remove North Korea from a list of state sponsors of terrorism and remove some sanctions in response to North Korea’s submission of the nuclear declaration.

: DPJ President Ozawa holds a press conference in Naha, Okinawa, and criticizes the U.S. actions on North Korea and the ruling LDP.

: G8 foreign ministers convene in Kyoto, Japan, and issue separate joint statements on Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.

: President Bush telephones PM Fukuda to discuss Six-Party Talks and the abductee issue.

: A government panel on national security submits to PM Fukuda a report recommending that the government reinterpret Article 9 of the constitution to allow Japan’s self defense forces to exercise the right of collective self defense.

: PM Fukuda says he welcomes the U.S. intention to take steps toward removing North Korea from the state sponsors of terrorism list if that will resolve the nuclear issue but also stresses the importance of the U.S. and Japan coordinating closely to resolve the abduction issue.

: PM Fukuda states that an increase in the consumption tax is unlikely in the near term.

: At a ceremony marking the 63rd anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa, PM Fukuda pledges to reduce the burden of the U.S. troop presence on the residents of the island.

: Christopher Hill confers in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart Saiki Akitaka, director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and South Korean chief nuclear negotiator Kim Sook regarding the Six-Party Talks.

: PM Fukuda states that an agreement at the G8 Summit regarding a medium-term greenhouse gas emissions target is unlikely.  He also hints at an increase in the consumption tax.

: Mainichi Shimbun poll shows public considers Fukuda a more favorable prime minister than Ozawa by 19 to 15 percent, while 57 percent says neither figure is favorable.  When asked which party should win the next Lower House election, 46 percent supports the DPJ and 25 percent the LDP.

: A poll released by Asahi Shimbun shows a 23 percent approval rating for the Fukuda Cabinet and a disapproval rating of 59 percent.

: An earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale inflicts heavy damage in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures in northern Japan, leaving nine dead, eight missing and about 300 injured.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura Nobutaka announces that North Korea agreed to reopen an investigation into past abductions of Japanese citizens, and that Japan in turn agreed to a partial lifting of sanctions imposed after North Korea’s nuclear test of 2006.

: A poll by Kyodo News shows a 25 percent approval rating for Fukuda Cabinet.

: Japanese Minister of Finance Nukaga and U.S. Secretary of Treasury Paulson meet in Osaka and agree to deal with the inflation caused by escalating food and oil prices.

: Alexander Arvizu, deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, testifies on U.S.-Japan relations before the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

: PM Fukuda wins a confidence vote in the Lower House of the Diet.

: PM Fukuda meets with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Tokyo and the two governments issue a joint statement highlighting the security, strategic, and economic partnership between the two countries.

: The government of Japan announces a plan to improve the health care system for the elderly and PM Fukuda apologies to senior citizens for the confusion surrounding the new rules instituted on April 1.

: The Upper House passes a censure motion against PM Fukuda, the first against a prime minister in postwar Japan.

: Bilateral talks between Japan and DPRK are held in Beijing under the rubric of the Six-Party Talks.

: PM Fukuda announces initiative on climate change including emissions trading on a trial basis beginning fall 2008 and a pledge to cut Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions 60-80 percent by 2050.

: U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Sasae Kenichiro participate in a U.S.-Japan Strategic Dialogue in Tokyo.  The two also participate in a U.S.-Japan-Australia Strategic Dialogue.

: During a press conference, PM Fukuda dismisses calls for a snap election and vows to continue working on pressing policy issues.

: The LDP loses its majority in elections for the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly.

: The U.S. Navy in Japan distributes the comic book “CVN 73”, produced to allay public concerns about the impending arrival of the USS George Washington, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

: A team of Japanese government officials departs for Afghanistan to explore the possibility of dispatching SDF troops.

: The Upper House approves a bill to abolish by March 2009 the national health insurance system covering elderly 75 and over.

: In an address to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome, PM Fukuda announces Japan’s decision to release 300,000 tons of surplus rice.

: PM Fukuda states that the dispatch of Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF) to Afghanistan is under consideration.

: PM Fukuda departs for Europe for consultations with leaders of Germany, the UK, Italy and France.

: In an interview in the Financial Times, Ozawa Ichiro, head of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), expresses confidence in his party’s ability to unseat the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and create a two-party system.

: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in an address at the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore, states that the U.S. is a Pacific nation with an enduring role in Asia and that U.S. alliance relationships are the foundation of the U.S. security presence in the region.

: Defense Minister Ishiba Shigeru, in an address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, reaffirms the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance and lists issues Japanese parliamentarians should address in any future deliberations over a permanent law for the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces and Japan’s right to exercise collective self-defense.

: The Japanese government defers a decision on the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces to China and announces that civilian aircraft will be used to transport aid supplies for earthquake relief.

: A Japanese medical team is dispatched to Burma to assist with cyclone relief efforts.

: The USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier, stationed in Japan for nearly 10 years, departs Yokosuka to be decommissioned.

: PM Fukuda hosts the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development and pledges to double Japan’s ODA to Africa by 2012; provide $4 billion in loans for infrastructure development; and offer $2.5 billion in support for an African investment facility managed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

: A poll by Nikkei Shimbun shows a 24 percent approval rating for the Fukuda Cabinet.

: U.S. and Japanese officials meet in Washington and agree to the release of surplus rice imported from the U.S.

: The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, an advisory panel, recommends an overhaul of the Government Pension Investment Fund to improve transparency and investment returns.

: In an interview published by Asahi Shimbun, Richard Lawless, former deputy under secretary of defense for Asia-Pacific affairs, expresses concern about drift in the U.S.-Japan alliance on the implementation of agreements concerning the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa and the transfer of U.S. Marines to Guam.

: The Basic Law for Space Activities passes through the Upper House and becomes law.

: In a speech to the Foreign Press Club in Tokyo, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer calls on Japan to increase defense spending.

: The U.S. Department of Agriculture announces a proposed rule to ban all non-ambulatory cattle from slaughter.

: Fukuda Cabinet’s approval rating drops to 19 percent with a disapproval rating of 65 percent, according to a poll by Asahi Shimbun.  Another poll issued by Yomiuri Shimbun indicates an approval rating of 26 percent.

: The Japanese government announces that the Philippines requested the release of 200,000 tons of Japan’s imported rice.

: A U.S. military court sentences a U.S. Marine to at least three years in prison for sexually abusing a 14-year-old Japanese girl, in a case that triggered mass protests in Okinawa.

: Japan’s Diet passes a bill that permits military use of outer space for defensive purposes.

: President Hu Jintao and PM Fukuda conclude the first Sino-Japanese summit in Japan in 10 years and issue a joint statement promoting a “mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests.”

: A poll released by Asahi Shimbun shows that 66 percent of the Japanese public opposes the revision of Article 9 of the constitution, while 23 percent support it.

: The Japanese government releases a report stating that children’s share of the general population was 13.5 percent, the lowest ever recorded.

: A group representing Japanese abductees meets with Christopher Hill in Washington to urge the U.S. not to delist North Korea until the abduction issue is resolved.

: The Fukuda Cabinet’s approval is 18 percent according to a Mainichi Shimbun poll.

: The Japanese government restores a gasoline tax of 25 yen per liter one month after previous legislation authorizing the tax had expired.

: The U.S. Navy announces it will conduct background checks for the 20,000 U.S. Navy personnel stationed in Japan.

: Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) wins Lower House by-election in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

: New arrangement for host nation support is ruled out in an Upper House plenary session.

: U. S. government reveals North Korea’s support for Syrian construction of a nuclear reactor.

: Japanese government announces that backbone, which is one of the banned specified-risk materials (SRMs) said to increase the risk of BSE, or mad cow disease, was found in a beef shipment from the U.S.

: The Japanese government states in an annual report on the labor force that the working population will decrease by more than one-third by 2050, citing as causes a declining birth rate, an aging population, and a failure to increase the participation of women and the elderly in the work place.

: Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak hold a summit in Tokyo and agree to cooperate together with the U.S. on the North Korean nuclear issue, resume discussions on a bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and hold a trilateral meeting with China within this year.

: A poll by Asahi Shimbun shows a 25 percent approval rating for the Fukuda Cabinet.

: The Nagoya High Court rules that the dispatch of the Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) to Iraq includes activities that violate Article 9 of the Constitution.

: The Japanese government extends for six months economic sanctions first imposed on North Korea after it tested a nuclear weapon in 2006, citing the North’s failure to produce a complete declaration of its nuclear programs and make progress on the abduction issue.

: Christopher Hill meets with his Japanese counterpart, Saiki Akitaka, in Beijing to explain the results of the April 8 meeting in Singapore.

: Masaaki Shirakawa is appointed governor of the Bank of Japan after opposition parties rejected two other candidates put forth by the government.

: Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Yabunaka Mitoji meets Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, and other U.S. officials to discuss Tibet.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun poll reveals that 43.1 percent of the Japanese public is against revising the constitution, with 42.5 percent in favor.

: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill meets North Korean counterpart Kim Kye Gwan in Singapore to discuss the elements of an overdue declaration of the North’s nuclear programs under the rubric of the Six-Party Talks.

: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that Japan ranks fifth in official development assistance.

: The Lower House of the Diet passes a new bill covering host nation support for U.S. forces in Japan.

: The leaders of Japan’s three opposition parties meet separately with Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura and Foreign Minister Komura to demand a revision of the Status of Forces Agreement with the United States.

: U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer and Rear Adm. James Kelly, commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Japan, apologize to the mayor of Yokosuka for a March 2008 incident in which a taxi driver was allegedly murdered by a U.S. serviceman.  The suspect is arrested later in the day.

: A BBC World Service poll, which surveyed over 17,000 people in 34 countries, indicates Japan is the second most positively viewed country behind Germany.

:   The U.S. Navy in Japan decides to impose a nighttime curfew in response to the alleged murder of a taxi driver by a U.S. sailor on March 19.

: A new health insurance program for the elderly in Japan takes effect, requiring some senior citizens to pay higher premiums.

: The Upper House of the Diet rejects a new bill covering host nation support for U.S. forces in Japan.

: The provisional gasoline tax, an issue emblematic of the partisanship in the Diet, expires after opposition parties refused to renew related legislation.

: Prime Minister Fukuda announces several compromise proposals regarding tax legislation, but they are rejected by the opposition parties.

: Prime Minister Fukuda states in an appearance before the Upper House Budget Committee that he does not intend to revise the Japan-U.S. SOFA.

: Over 6,000 people participate in demonstrations in Okinawa protesting the U.S. military presence there.  They demand the government implement fundamental changes to the Japan-U.S. SOFA, and that the U.S. military presence be reduced.

: Assistant Secretary Hill states that a trilateral dialogue among the U.S, Japan, and the ROK could take place before the next round of the Six-Party Talks. 

: A taxi driver is found dead in his cab near Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture.  Police find a credit card belonging to a U.S. sailor in the back seat and begin searching for the suspect.

: According to a Kyodo News poll, Prime Minister Fukuda’s public approval rating decreases to 33 percent and his disapproval rating is 50 percent.  As for political parties, 23 percent support the DPJ and 31 percent the favor the LDP.

: Assistant Secretary Hill and Saiki Akitaka meet  and confirm that North Korea must provide a complete and correct declaration of its nuclear programs.

: A group of Japanese prefectural governors conveys to the central government their request to review the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

: In a government panel on Defense Ministry reform, the government decides to begin work on a full-scale reorganization of the ministry following a series of scandals and accidents.

: U.S. Marine arrested on suspicion of raping a 14 year-old girl is released by Japanese authorities after the girl drops the accusation against him.

: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meets with PM Fukuda, Foreign Minister Komura, and Defense Minister Ishiba to discuss North Korea, U.S. support for the abductees, and U.S.-Japan ROK cooperation.  She also expresses her deep regret over the incident of alleged rape.

: PM Fukuda directs Defense Minister Ishiba to conduct an organizational review of the Ministry amid mounting criticism of its handling of a collision between its most advanced naval destroyer and a small fishing boat.

: The MSDF supply vessel Omi resumes its refueling mission in the Indian Ocean after a four-month hiatus to continue the fight against international terrorism in cooperation with other countries.

: Assistant Secretary Hill visits the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and agrees to continue close cooperation for the development of the Six-Party Talks.

:   U.S. Forces Japan imposes tight restrictions on all military personnel, dependents, and Defense Department civilians in Okinawa, and at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and Camp Fuji in mainland Japan. Military personnel are restricted from leaving their bases except for official business, work, worship or travel to and from housing, essentially banning troops from off-base bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

:   An MSDF Aegis-equipped destroyer collides with a fishing boat off the coast of Chiba prefecture, sinking the fishing boat and leaving the crew missing.

: Foreign Minister Komura summons U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer to the Foreign Ministry in response to a case involving the alleged rape of a 14 year-old middle school girl in Okinawa Prefecture. The foreign minister also asks Schieffer to ensure the U.S. government strictly enforces military discipline.
Feb. 14, 2008:  PM Fukuda tells Okinawa Gov. Nakaima Hirokazu in a meeting in Tokyo that he would increase pressure on the U.S. to tighten military discipline. Nakaima conveyed the anger of local citizens and expressed deep concern regarding the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, including the relocation of Futenma Air Station.

: U.S. Marine is arrested on suspicion of raping a junior high school girl in Okinawa Prefecture.

: Assistant Secretary Hill testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that removing North Korea from the state sponsors of terrorism list and progress on the Japanese abductee issue are not directly linked.

:   Prime Minister Fukuda speaks on the occasion of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos and proposes his “Cool Earth Promotion Programme” in order to take initiative as the chair of the G8 Summit in July.

: Amb. Richard Holbrooke delivers a statement from Senator Hillary Clinton in which she called Japan an “indispensable ally,” stressing that in the years ahead, Japan and the U.S. must “work to preserve peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.”

:   In Tokyo, PACOM Commander Adm. Timothy Keating exchanges views with Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko on U.S.-Japan defense cooperation and relations with China.

:   PM Fukuda addresses the Diet and declares that Japan would play a responsible role on global issues like terrorism and global warming. He also promises to advance debate on a permanent dispatch law for the Self-Defense Forces and calls the U.S.-Japan alliance the foundation of Japan’s diplomacy.  As for the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, he promises to decrease the burden on the people and listen to public opinion in Okinawa.

: The Replenishment Support Special Measures Bill becomes law, reauthorizing refueling operations in the Indian Ocean in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

:   According to a public opinion poll by Nikkei Shimbun, 43 percent supported Fukuda’s decision to pass the new Indian Ocean bill by voting a second time in the Lower House, and 38 percent did not support it.  The approval rating of the Fukuda Cabinet is 42 percent.

:   Former PM Mori Yoshiro of the LDP meets President-elect Lee Myung-bak in Seoul.  Lee and Mori agree on the need for strong cooperation between the U.S., Japan, and South Korea.

:   U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and Sasae Kenichiro, Japan’s top negotiator in the Six-Party Talks, agree to keep requiring North Korea to submit a complete and correct declaration of its nuclear activities after missing the Dec. 31 deadline.

: PM Fukuda holds his first press conference of 2008 and states that Japan would be a world leader in sharing environmental technologies and a more open state with strong connections to the international community.  He also reiterates his commitment to reauthorizing the refueling operations in the Indian Ocean.

: Prime Minister Fukuda delivers a new year’s address and posts it on YouTube in English and Japanese.

: North Korea fails to meet a deadline for providing a complete declaration of its nuclear programs.  The U.S. and Japan issue statements expressing disappointment.

: The Fukuda government abandons a plan initiated by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to create a U.S.-style National Security Council.

: A Kyodo News poll shows a decline in the approval rating for PM Fukuda’s Cabinet to 35 percent, due in large part to the government’s failure to fully resolve a scandal over lost pension records.

: Yomiuri Shimbun reports the Ministry of Defense has decided to abandon the planned introduction of its next mainstay fighter aircraft (F-X) during the current midterm defense buildup plan, for fiscal years 2005-2009, because the U.S. will not allow the export of F-22 stealth fighters.

: The U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Japan’s MSDF announce successful intercept flight test of a joint Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) near Hawaii.  This is the first time a U.S ally ship successfully destroyed a ballistic missile target using the sea-based midcourse engagement capability provided by Aegis BMD.

: The UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali concludes with an agreement on a new framework, the “Bali roadmap,” to address the issue.  The U.S. succeeded in excluding specific targets for emissions reductions with support from Japan and Canada.

: The Diet approves a ruling coalition proposal to extend the extraordinary session through Jan. 15 to pass a new bill that would allow refueling operations in the Indian Ocean to resume.

: Police arrest MSDF Lt. Cmdr. Matsuuchi Sumitaka for allegedly leaking classified data on the Aegis radar system.

: The U.S. and Japan successfully conclude negotiations for a new three-year Special Measures Agreement detailing Japan’s contributions to costs associated with stationing U.S. forces in Japan.

: A survey conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun and Gallup Inc. reveals that 76 percent of U.S. respondents (combining those who agree “somewhat” and “largely”) think the U.S. should not remove North Korea from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List before the abduction issue is resolved.

: Kyodo News reports that Japan will consider easing restrictions on U.S. beef imports.

: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill meets with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General for Asian and Oceania Affairs Sasae Kenichiro in Japan to discuss Hill’s Dec. 4 visit to Pyongyang.

: The U.S.-Japan Sub-Cabinet Economic Dialogue is held in Tokyo.

: A Japanese parliamentary committee, the Lower House Special Committee on the Abductions Problem, adopts a resolution urging Washington to keep North Korea on the State Sponsors of Terrorism List.

: Senior officials from Japan, Australia, and the U.S. meet in Canberra to discuss regional security issues.

: President Bush writes a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il urging his government to fully disclose its nuclear programs. Bush also sends similar letters to the other nations involved in the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, reiterating his desire to resolve the nuclear standoff.

: Prosecutors raid the Ministry of Defense in search of evidence related to the Moriya bribery scandal.

: The opposition-controlled Upper House of the Diet approves by a vote of 133 to 103 the DPJ-sponsored bill to halt the Air Self Defense Force’s mission in Iraq.

: Former Vice Defense Minister Moriya and his wife are arrested in connection with a bribery scandal.

: PM Fukuda visits Washington, his first overseas visit since assuming office, to meet with President Bush.  The two leaders cover various topics including the six-party talks, the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, trade, and climate change.

: The Lower House of the Diet approves a bill to resume refueling operations in the Indian Ocean in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

: PM Fukuda suggests during an interview with the Financial Times that a Lower House election could be postponed until after the July 2008 G-8 summit in Hokkaido.

: In a speech at Sophia University, Secretary Gates calls on Japan to maintain its global leadership role.

: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visits Japan to meet PM Fukuda, Defense Minister Ishiba Shigeru, and other senior officials.  Ishiba notes during a joint press conference that he and Gates discussed the importance of studying the deterrent effect of the U.S.-Japan alliance, including the nuclear umbrella.

: Former Yamada Corp. executive director Miyazaki is arrested.

: Ozawa announces his intention to step down as president of the DPJ after the party rejects the grand coalition proposal.  He recants two days later after party leaders beg him to stay on.

: PM Fukuda and DPJ leader Ozawa meet to discuss modalities for cooperation on the legislative agenda and reportedly discuss a ruling coalition.

: The Japanese government orders MSDF vessels stationed in the Indian Ocean to return home after the Special Measures Law sanctioning refueling operations as part of Operation Enduring Freedom expires.

: Ministry of Defense acknowledges that on two occasions the MSDF engaged in fueling operations in the Persian Gulf rather than the Indian Ocean but that the fuel was strictly for OEF missions.

: Former Vice Defense Minister Moriya testifies before the Diet as a sworn witness to explain his ties with Yamada Corp.

: A Kyodo News poll reveals that 42 percent of the public prefers a coalition government led by the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) while 40 percent prefers to stick with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP.)

: A Mainichi Shimbun poll shows that 66 percent of the Japanese public favors pressure over dialogue with respect to North Korea.

: Fox News reports that U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer sent a cable to President Bush expressing concern that the relationship with Japan could be damaged if the U.S. removes North Korea from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List.

: The Diet begins deliberating a bill to extend the MSDF refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

: Fukuda’s Cabinet adopts a new antiterrorism bill allowing the MSDF to continue its refueling activities in the Indian Ocean.  The government immediately submits the bill to the Lower House.

: Reports surface that Miyazaki Motonobu, a former executive director of defense contractor Yamada Corp., had damaged the company’s finances through fraudulent accounting, prompting a probe into his relationships with bureaucrats and politicians including former Vice Defense Minister Moriya Takemasa.

: An Asahi Shimbun poll shows the Japanese public to be divided over extending Japan’s refueling operations in the Indian Ocean in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, with 44 percent of respondents opposed and 39 percent in favor.

: Japanese and North Korean officials hold an informal meeting in China to advance the Japan-DPRK working group for normalization established in the Feb. 13 agreement of the Six-Party Talks.

: Japan hosts Pacific Shield 07, a three-day maritime exercise under the rubric of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).  Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, Singapore and the U.S. participate.

: During a question and answer session in the Lower House of the Diet, PM Fukuda repeatedly rejects allegations – made in a report released Sept. 20 by the pacifist group Peace Depot – that some fuel provided for U.S. vessels by the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) in 2003 was used for the war in Iraq.  This followed a U.S. Defense Department statement declaring the allegations “misplaced.”

: A Yomiuri Shimbun poll shows the approval rating for the Fukuda Cabinet at 59 percent with a disapproval rating of 26.7 percent.

: The Japanese government decides to extend sanctions against North Korea – first imposed after North Korea’s nuclear test in October 2006 – for another six months, stating that Pyongyang has yet to take concrete steps to disable its nuclear programs.

: Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo addresses the Diet in his first policy speech and says he will focus on friendly ties with Asian neighbors while keeping the country active in international peacekeeping efforts, calling his policy “peacemaking diplomacy.”  Fukuda also renews his commitment to continue Japan’s naval mission supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and promises to keep friendly ties with the U.S.

:   PM Fukuda sends Deputy FM Mitoji Yabunaka to Burma to protest Nagai’s killing.

: PM Fukuda rules out immediate sanctions on Burma, saying that Japan “won’t immediately impose sanctions and should rather think about how this situation can be resolved,” but “is keeping a close eye on the issue.”

:   FM Komura addresses the UN General Assembly. He calls the death of the Japanese journalist Nagai Kenji “extremely regrettable” and urges the Burmese government to “solve the current situation through dialogue.” Komura makes a formal complaint to Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win during a meeting in New York.

: Nagai Kenji, a Japanese journalist for APF News, is killed in Burma when soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of demonstrators.

: The Second Session of the Sixth Round of the Six-Party Talks is held in Beijing after an eight-day delay.

: President Bush calls PM Fukuda to congratulate him on his election and to express hope for Japan’s continued role in the refueling mission. Bush also discusses the Six-Party Talks and repeats his commitment to address the issue of Japanese abductees. Fukuda says that his top legislative priority is the extension of the refueling mission and thanks Bush for supporting Japan’s bid for the permanent seat in the UN Security Council. Bush invites Fukuda to visit the U.S. “at an early date.”

: Kyodo News releases a poll showing the approval rating for the Fukuda Cabinet at 57.8 percent with a disapproval rating of 25.6 percent. The poll shows the Japanese public to be divided on the extension of the refueling mission as 49.6 percent agreed to the extension and 39.5 percent disagreed.

: FM Komura visits the U.S. to address the UN General Assembly and attend a conference on climate change hosted by Secretary Rice in Washington. Komura also meets separately with Rice and discusses the Six-Party Talks, Iran, Japan’s support for Operation Enduring Freedom, climate change, and the situation in Burma.

: PM Abe officially resigns after being released temporarily from hospital. His Cabinet also resigns en masse.

: President Bush addresses the UN General Assembly and announces a tightening of sanctions against the regime in Burma.  The Treasury Department releases details two days later.

: Fukuda officially takes office as prime minister, pledging to restore public faith in the government and continue Japan’s refueling mission. His Cabinet lineup includes: Machimura Nobutaka, former foreign minister, as chief Cabinet secretary; Komura Masahiko, former defense and foreign minister, as foreign minister; and Ishiba Shigeru, former director general of then-Japan Defense Agency, as defense minister.

: In an interview with Reuters, Secretary of State Rice hints that North Korea could be dropped from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list before fully accounting for the Japanese citizens it abducted in the 1970s and 1980s.

: Fukuda defeats Aso in the LDP presidential race. During a General Council meeting where each Diet member has one vote and each of the party’s 47 prefectural chapters has three votes, Fukuda garners a total of 330 votes (254 from LDP Diet members and 76 from the prefectural chapters) while Aso receives 197 votes (132 from LDP Diet members and 65 from LDP prefectural chapters).

: Secretary Rice and FM Machimura meet on the fringes of the UN General Assembly in New York. Rice reassures Machimura that the U.S. will not sacrifice U.S.-Japan for ties with North Korea and expresses hope for Japan’s continued role in the Afghan mission. Machimura says Japan’s stance on North Korea will be unchanged under the new administration and signals Tokyo’s determination to continue the refueling mission.

: In a poll by the Asahi Shimbun, 70 percent of those surveyed say Abe’s resignation is “irresponsible.” The survey also finds that 50 percent of the respondents think a general election should be held “soon.”

: Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda Yasuo and LDP Secretary General Aso Taro announce their candidacies for the presidency of the LDP.

: PM Abe is hospitalized and diagnosed with abdominal problems caused by stress and fatigue. The LDP decides to choose a new leader on Sept. 23. DPJ President Ozawa criticizes Abe for his abrupt resignation and repeats his party’s opposition to the bill that would extend Japan’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

: PM Abe resigns, saying that “the people need a leader whom they can support and trust.” He reveals that he has instructed party leaders to choose his successor but does not announce a date for his departure from office.

: PM Abe opens an extraordinary Diet session with a policy speech in which he calls for opposition support to extend the law for Japan’s refueling mission, set to expire on Nov. 1.

: During a press conference in Sydney, PM Abe says he is ready to resign if the Parliament fails to extend Japan’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

: PM Abe and President Bush meet on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Sydney, Australia. Bush stresses the importance of Japan’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

: Abe, Bush, and Australian PM John Howard hold a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit, agreeing to step up cooperation to address regional and global concerns such as the war against terrorism, global warming, and North Korea. The three leaders also discuss relations with China and India.

: The U.S. House of Representatives passes H.R. 508 “recognizing the strong security alliance between the Government of Japan and the United States and expressing appreciation to Japan for its role in enhancing stability in the Asia-Pacific region and its efforts in the global war against terrorism.”

: Environment Minister Kamoshita Ichiro acknowledges misreported political funds but denies any illicit intent.

: The Working Group on the normalization of Japan-DPRK relations, one of five established under the auspices of the Six-Party Talks, convenes in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The Japanese delegation is led by Ambassador Mine Yoshiki.

: Japan joins India, Australia, Singapore, and the U.S. in the Malabar 07-02 naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal.

: Endo Takehiko, the newly appointed minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, resigns a mere week after his appointment amid revelations that a farmers’ mutual aid association he headed had illegally received government subsidies.

: Two public opinion polls show a sharp increase in the Abe government’s approval rating. The Yomiuri Shimbun indicates a 44.2 percent approval rating and a drop in the disapproval rating to 36.1 percent. The Nikkei Shimbun shows an approval rating of 41 percent and a disapproval rating of 40 percent.

: PM Abe reshuffles his Cabinet, names Aso Taro LDP secretary general, Machimura Nobutaka foreign minister, and Komura Masahiko defense minister.

: In a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer, DPJ President Ozawa refuses to support the extension of legislation allowing Japan to conduct refueling operations in the Indian Ocean in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, declaring that the “U.S. started this war unilaterally without waiting for a consensus to be built in the international community.”

: DM Koike visits Washington, D.C. and meets Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

: Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte visits Japan and meets Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki, DM Koike, Vice FM Shotaro Yachi, Vice DM Takemasa Moriya, and Kyoko Nakayama, the PM advisor on the abductee issue.

: Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Akagi Norihiko resigns amid pressure for contributing to the LDP’s defeat in the Upper House election. Akagi was under fire for questionable accounting practices and had assumed the post on June 1 after his predecessor, suspected of misusing public funds, committed suicide.

: U.S. House of Representatives passes H.Res. 121. The resolution urged Japan to “formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Force’s coercion of young women into sexual slavery, known to the world as ‘comfort women,’ during its colonial and wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of World War II.”

: The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) suffers a crushing defeat in the House of Councilors (Upper House) election, losing its majority to a coalition led by the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). PM Abe vows not to step down.

: Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio resigns after saying the U.S. atomic bombings during World War II “brought the war to its end” and were something that “could not be helped.”  Koike Yuriko, special adviser to the prime minister on national security affairs, succeeds Kyuma as DM.

: Public opinion polls show weak support for Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s Cabinet. A poll by the Asahi Shimbun indicates an approval rating of 28 percent with a disapproval rating of 48 percent. A Mainichi Shimbun poll shows a disapproval rating of 52 percent, a record high, with an approval rating of 32 percent.

: The Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue among Japan, the U.S., and Australia, and the Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Japan-U.S. Strategic Dialogue are held July 2 and 3, respectively, in Washington, D.C., Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Yabunaka Mitoji attendboth meetings.

: The Honda Resolution (HR. 121) addressing “comfort women” passes in a 39-2 vote in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution will now proceed to a full House vote, slated for sometime before the August recess.

: Japan’s ruling party leaders approve plans to extend the current parliamentary session, delaying next month’s Upper House elections and giving the administration more time to push through legislation it hopes will boost its popularity.

: Japan’s Parliament passes legislation approving a two-year extension of the country’s air force transport mission in Iraq, despite criticism of Tokyo’s involvement in the increasingly unpopular war.

: Assistant Secretary Christopher Hill visits Japan to exchange views on North Korean issues including the Six-Party Talks with Sasae Kenichiro, director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau.

:   In a speech delivered at an economic conference sponsored by the Yomiuri Shimbun, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer calls on Japan to deregulate and open its market to greater foreign investment.

: The U.S. and Japan begin two-week long bilateral military exercises over Guam, with the participation of Japan’s F-2 jets for the first time outside Japan.

: A full page advertisement in the Washington Post – running under the header “The Facts” – is taken out by Japanese Diet members and commentators, disputing claims that Japan engaged in “forceful coercion” of “comfort women.”

: PM Abe, while visiting Germany to attend the G-8 Summit in Heiligendamm, holds a summit with President Bush for approximately 50 minutes on the sidelines. The agenda includes: climate change, North Korea, UN Security Council reform, Iraq, U.S. beef imports, and the WTO Doha Rounds.

: Japan-Australia Joint Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultations held in Tokyo.

: The U.S. Department of State and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan release the “United States-Japan 2007 Investment Initiative Report” prepared for President Bush and PM Abe.

: G-8 foreign ministers meeting in Potsdam, Germany.

: The Japanese Supreme Court dismisses a lawsuit against aircraft noise around the U.S. Yokota Air Base, refusing to award compensation for “future noise.”

: Matsuoka Toshikatsu, Japan’s agriculture minister who came under fire over money scandals, commits suicide at his Tokyo residence.

: North Korea test-fires missiles into the Sea of Japan which prompt a threat of sanctions by Abe. Abe states that his country’s patience “isn’t limitless” and Japan retains the option of further sanctions against North Korea.

: The U.S. and Japan hold annual U.S-Japan Consultations on the Civil Use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and release the Joint Announcement of the conference in Washington, D.C.

: On the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum’s security policy dialogue, U.S., Japan, Australia, and India meet for the first “exploratory meeting” to discuss security issues.

: The Act to Promote the Realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan passes in the National Diet.

: A National Referendum Bill is passed in Japan, establishing a process for public referenda on any constitutional changes.

: Regarding Japan’s support of the 2003 U.S. invasion in Iraq, Japanese DM Kyuma states: “It’s always important to examine the past sincerely…Japan didn’t have its own information on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Japan was not sure if weapons of mass destruction existed.”

: President Bush has a phone conversation with Abe in which they reaffirm demands for North Korea’s abandonment of nuclear arsenal development and settlement of the issue of the abduction of Japanese citizens. Abe urges Bush to keep North Korea on its list of states sponsoring terrorism until the abduction issue is resolved and Bush responds that he would take it into consideration.

: Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shimomura Hakubun announces that Secretary Rice explained to Japanese lawmakers that the U.S. does not consider the abductees issue to be a prerequisite for the removal of Pyongyang from its list of terrorism-sponsoring states.

: The U.S. government terminates the deployment of U.S. Air Force F-22s at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

: The sixth Japan-Republic of Korea Politico-Military Talks are held in Tokyo. On the North Korean nuclear issue, Japan and the ROK share the view that it was necessary to implement the “initial actions” at the earliest date possible, and they confirm that they will continue to closely coordinate with each other.

: Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki Yasuhisa announces that PM Abe sent an offering to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine in late April in his “private capacity.” China responds to this action by commenting that “Yasukuni is an important and sensitive political issue” and asks that the Japanese government act appropriately. South Korea responds angrily by blasting the move as “very regrettable” and calling on Japan to adopt a “correct perception of history.”

: A joint statement is issued at the conclusion of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting, attended by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Minister for Foreign Affairs Aso, and Minister of Defense Kyuma Fumio.

: DM Kyuma asks for more information on F-22 during his meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

: Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio visits U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Headquarters in Tampa and meets Vice Adm. David Nichols.

: FM Aso travels to Washington to meet with officials to discuss a variety of bilateral and regional topics. He attends the “Strategic Leadership Program” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

: PM Abe visits Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Egypt. He also visits members of the Self-Defense Forces operating with the U.S. and the U.K

: PM Abe visits Camp David and meets with President Bush. They discuss North Korea, Iraq, collective self-defense, energy cooperation, and global warming.

: PM Abe visits the U.S. and has dinner with President Bush and his wife at the White House. Abe also meets with 11 Congress members and explains the position of the Japanese government regarding the contentious “comfort women” issue.

: Japanese government announces establishment of a study group under former Ambassador to the U.S. Shinji Yanai to examine options for execution of the right of collective self-defense.

: The Cabinet approves a six-month extension of Japan’s naval mission in the Indian Ocean in support of U.S.-led counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.

: The Upper House by-elections are held in Fukushima and Okinawa. The LDP wins in Okinawa and the DPJ wins in Fukushima.

: Agricultural Minister Matsuoka Toshikatsu holds a teleconference with U.S. counterpart Mike Johanns about the U.S. beef import issue.

: The U.S. and Japan sign U.S.-Japan Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan.

: India-Japan-U.S. Joint Naval Exercises are conducted in Guam.

: The U.S. Treasury Department announces the complete lifting of a freeze on $25 million in North Korean assets being held in the Banco Delta Asia in Macao.

: North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister, Kim Gye-gwan states the implementation of the Feb. 13 six-party agreement, specifically the suspension of nuclear facilities in Yongbyon within the agreed time period, is moving slower than expected. U.S. chief negotiator Christopher Hill has a meeting with Japanese Director General Sasae Kenichiro to reaffirm that the U.S. and Japan will closely cooperate with each other in order to ensure that North Korea implements the Feb. 13 agreement.

: Incumbent Ishihara Shintaro (supported by Liberal Democratic Party/New Komeito) wins a third term as governor of Tokyo with 51 percent of the vote. The main opposition candidate, Asano Shiro, supported by the Democratic Party of Japan and the Social Democratic Party, receives only 31 percent of the vote.

: Foreign Minister Aso Taro attends the 14th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo holds a teleconference with President Bush in which they discuss issues including North Korea and the dispute over “comfort women.”

: Tokyo adopts the Missile Contingency Guideline, which enables the defense minister to mobilize ballistic missile defense without Cabinet approval when Japan is under attack.

: Defense Minister Kyuma and Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace meet in Tokyo and come to agreements on close cooperation on Iraq and Futenma airbase relocation issues.

: The first phase of the sixth round of the Six-Party Talks is held in Beijing. North Korea says that it will not start discussions on denuclearization until the remittance of money from BDA is confirmed.

: Ambassador Schieffer describes “comfort women” as the victims of serial rape by the Japanese military during World War II.

: Director General of the IAEA Mohamed Elbaradei holds a meeting in Beijing with U.S., Japanese, and South Korean ambassadors in charge of North Korean nuclear issues to report on his visit to North Korea from March 13 to 14.

: U.S. Treasury announces lifting of de facto sanctions on North Korea. It also announces that treatment of the North Korean Banco Delta Asia (BDA) account will be left to the discretion of the Macau authority.

: Ambassador Schieffer hopes PM Abe’s recent remarks to uphold the 1993 Kono Statement to express the remorse of the Japanese government over wartime sex slavery will reduce the international criticism of Abe’s earlier remarks questioning the existing evidence.

: Ambassador Schieffer tells reporters in Tokyo that the burdens of the U.S. and Japan were not equal in relation to GDP ratio of defense spending, and he hoped that Japan would increase defense spending.

: Australian Prime Minister John Howard visits Japan. On March 13, PM Abe and PM Howard hold a summit meeting in Tokyo, and sign the Japan-Australia Joint Declaration of Security Cooperation that provides for diplomatic and military cooperation, including periodical dialogues and joint exercises.

: U.S. Ambassador Schieffer tells Japanese reporters a move away from the 1993 Kono Statement would have a significant negative impact on the American people. “It would be a mistake to underestimate the impact of this issue in the United States,” he said. “Engaging women in trafficking or the sex trade against their will is something that is going to find no constituency in the United States,” he added.

: Japan and North Korea hold bilateral six-party working group talks in Hanoi, Vietnam, to discuss normalization of diplomatic relations and the abduction issues. No new developments are reported.

: BBC World Service poll ranks Japan as the most positively judged country with an average of 54 percent positive responses (20 percent negative) among 27 countries. The U.S. receives 31 percent positive and 51 percent negative responses.</