US - Japan

Chronology from Oct 2005 to Dec 2005

: Kanagawa Gov. Shigefumi Matsuzawa calls on FM Aso to seek revision of the current plan to realign U.S. forces before its finalization.

: Cabinet and the Security Council give official green light for Japan to proceed with joint development of a next-generation missile interceptor with the U.S.

: Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department arrests a 23-year-old female sailor stationed at Atsugi Naval Base on suspicion of being involved in a hit-and-run accident in Hachioji City. Three elementary-school-age boys are injured, but the woman is released under the Status of Forces Agreement, as she was on official duty at the time.

: Ambassador Schieffer expresses hope that the U.S. would win back Japanese consumers’ trust in American beef.

: Zenshoku Co. in Osaka adds U.S. beef to its Korean barbecue menu again, becoming the first restaurant to offer U.S. beef to consumers after Japan’s resumption of imports from the U.S.

: The first shipment of U.S. beef in nearly two years arrives in Japan after the easing of an import ban.

: JDA Director General Nukaga meets Deputy Under Secretary Lawless, visiting Japan to discuss the planned realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.

: Japan conditionally lifts a two-year-old ban it had imposed on U.S. and Canadian beef because of mad cow disease.

: Japan and the U.S. reach basic agreement to shorten the period of a bilateral agreement on Japan’s sharing the costs (omoiyari yosan or “sympathy budget”) for stationing U.S. forces in Japan to every two years from the current five years.

: Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli says U.S. welcomes Japan’s decision to extend its deployment of troops to Iraq for another year.

: PM Koizumi announces decision of the Cabinet to extend for one year SDF activities in Iraq.

: Japan’s Food Safety Commission says it approved the easing of a two-year government ban on U.S. and Canadian beef, paving the way for imports to resume.

: USTR for Japan, Korea, and APEC Affairs, Wendy Cutler, announces that the U.S. submitted to Japan an extensive set of reform recommendations intended to further open the Japanese market to U.S. companies in key sectors.

: FM Aso visits the U.S. for talks with Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rice, Secretary Rumsfeld, and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley.

: U.S. and Japan agree to hold joint disaster drills on Okinawa at least annually to better coordinate responses to accidents involving military aircraft outside the bases.

: U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer urges Japan and China to improve their relationship to ensure regional stability.

: FM Aso visits Okinawa to exchange views with Gov. Inamine, and visit the site where replacement facilities for Futenma Air Station will be constructed.

: U.S. decides to base the George Washington nuclear-powered aircraft carrier at the Yokosuka naval facility, which will replace the Kitty Hawk and will be the first nuclear carrier based in Japan.

: APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting is held in Busan, South Korea.

: ANNUALEX 2005, a joint military exercise between the U.S. and Japanese navies is held. It consists of simulated wartime exercises with the Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier, two U.S. submarines, nine U.S. Navy ships and 49 ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

: FM Aso and Secretary Rice meet and agree to maintain close cooperation to resolve North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and to continue discussions on UN Security Council reform during a meeting on the sidelines of ministerial talks of APEC.

: President Bush visits Japan. He meets PM Koizumi at a summit in Kyoto and stresses the importance of the alliance for promoting freedom in Asia and pursuing global economic and security matters.

: Madeleine Bordallo, Guam delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, says Japan and the U.S. plan to begin moving U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam in 2008 and finish by 2012 and intend to start building facilities in Guam for the marines next year.

: Fifth round of Six-Party Talks begin in Beijing.

: Okinawa Gov. Inamine meets with JDA chief Nukaga to discuss the Japan-U.S. agreement to relocate the Futemma Air Station within Okinawa.

: Rear Adm. James Kelly, commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Japan, tells reporters about safety of the type of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the U.S. plans to deploy in Japan.

: FM Aso Taro phones Secretary Rice and they confirm that they would meet on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the APEC forum in mid-November in Busan. Rice also asks Aso to visit the U.S. as early as possible.

: U.S. and Japanese chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks meet in Tokyo in preparation for the fifth round of talks.

: Yasuhiro Yoshikawa, head of a specialists panel of the Food Safety Commission, says his panel adopted a draft report recommending an end to Japan’s two-year-old ban on U.S. and Canadian beef imports.

: PM Koizumi launches new Cabinet and new LDP leadership. Deputy LDP Secretary General Abe Shinzo is appointed chief Cabinet secretary; Aso Taro is named foreign minister; Finance Minister Tanigaki Sadakazu retains his portfolio; and Nukaga Fukushiro is named Defense Agency director general.

: Okinawa Gov. Inamine Keiichi rejects plan to relocate the Futemma Air Station within Okinawa Prefecture. New Defense Agency Director General Nukaga Fukushiro says he hopes to win over local communities on this matter.

: Tokyo and Washington reach agreements to finalize reshaping their bilateral alliance, including major troop redeployments, new construction, and increased jointness among U.S. and Japanese personnel.

: U.S. Commerce Department rules that super-alloy degassed chromium imported from Japan was dumped on the U.S. market.

: Japan hands over to the U.S. two Japanese nationals charged with defrauding U.S. aid organizations of $14,500 by falsely claiming they were victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

: Australia, Japan, and U.S. hold trilateral security talks in Tokyo to discuss Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

: Japanese government conveys concern about U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement, saying it could send a wrong message to North Korea and Iran.

: Henry Hyde, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, protests Koizumi’s Yasukuni Shrine visit to Japan’s Ambassador to U.S. Kato Ryozo.

: Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Japanese Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki discuss the state of the U.S. and Japanese economies.

: U.S. and Japan agree that the U.S. Navy will transfer its carrier-based aircraft from a base near Tokyo to the Marine Corps Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

: JDA Director General Ohno Yoshinori and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld agree to advance ongoing bilateral research on a missile defense system to the development stage in fiscal year 2006.

: PM Koizumi visits Yasukuni Shrine for the fifth time.

: Diet approves postal privatization bills.

: Senior Japanese and U.S. government officials fail to agree on Futenma Air Station relocation.

: PM Koizuimi’s postal reform package approved 338 to 138 with the full support of the Liberal Democratic Party-led bloc, as well as ex-LDP members who voted against the bill in July.

: Treasury Secretary Snow praises PM Koizumi’s reform efforts, including postal privatization.

: JDA announces addition of 18 PAC-3 surface-to-air guided missiles to increase current arsenal to 32 missiles by 2010.

: 21 bipartisan senators send a letter to USTR Robert Portman urging him to impose economic sanctions worth $100 million a month on Japan for its ban on U.S. beef imports.

: U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow hails Japan’s economic reforms as an example for Europe.

: U.S. and Japanese navies practice a sub-hunting exercise near Okinawa.  SHAREM will include about 12 ships, P-3 aircraft, and submarines.

: Japan’s Cabinet officially extends legislation allowing the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to continue its mission in the Arabian Sea as part of the war on terror.

: Japan’s Defense Agency (JDA) Defense Policy Bureau Director General Ofuru Kazuo visits U.S. and meets Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Richard Lawless to discuss the Futenma Air Station relocation.

: Japan and U.S. hold strategic dialogue at the sub-Cabinet level in Tokyo, and exchange views on Iraq reconstruction, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the Japan-U.S. alliance, and the situation in the Asia Pacific region and how Japan and the U.S. should work together with other countries such as China, India, Russia, and ASEAN. The Japanese side also explained PM Koizumi’s latest visit to Yasukuni Shrine.

: PM Koizumi dismisses the idea that Tokyo will agree to resume imports of American beef in time for President Bush’s trip to Japan next month.

: U.S. accepts Japan’s proposal on a replacement facility for the relocation of the Futemma Air Station in Okinawa.

: Japan’s Food Safety Commission’s prion research group releases draft report saying the risk of mad cow disease being found in North American beef is “extremely low” if import terms are met.

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