US - Japan
Chronology from Jan 2016 to May 2016
: 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.