US - Japan
Chronology from Jan 2015 to May 2015
: 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.