US - Japan

Chronology from Oct 2006 to Dec 2006

: The Chosun Ilbo reports the U.S. and North Korea agree to extend Six-Party Talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear disarmament until Friday, Dec. 22.

: Six-Party Talks begin in Beijing. North Korea demands an end to sanctions imposed on it before it dismantles its nuclear program, while the U.S. refuses to lift sanctions before North Korea takes a concrete action toward disarmament.

: Education Reform Bill passes Diet. The Diet passes a bill to upgrade the Defense Agency to a ministry; the Ministry of Defense will be established Jan. 9.

: Chinese Foreign Ministry announces resumption of Six-Party Talks.

: Japan’s Foreign Ministry issues 2006 Image of Japan Study in the U.S., according to which, 91 percent of U.S. opinion leaders and 69 percent of the general public say Japan is a dependable ally. The percentage of those who mention China as the most important Asian partner of the U.S. has been increasing (43 percent among opinion leaders and 33 percent among general public in 2006) while those who cite Japan as the most important Asian partner of the U.S. has been leading the list since 1995 (47 percent among opinion leaders and 45 percent among general public in 2006).

: Philippine government announces postponement of the East Asia Summit and other meetings planned for Dec. 11-13. It proposes to reschedule for January 2007.

: Memorial of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack held in Honolulu. Former Japanese military pilots who were involved in the attack also participate in the ceremony.

: Japan-U.S. Vice-Ministerial Talks on Economic Issues held in Tokyo, presided over by Deputy Foreign Minister Yabunaka Mitoji and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Security Affairs David McCormick. They agree on close cooperation in energy security and protection of intellectual property.

: Japan-U.S. Foreign and Defense Deputy-Ministerial Talks held in Tokyo. Agreement is reached on construction plan for Futenma Air Base’s replacement facility.

: Secretary Shiozaki implies in a press conference a reexamination of Fukuda’s Statement on missile defense, which prohbits the use of the MD system for the defense of another country.

: Gubernatorial election in Okinawa held. Nakaima Hirokazu, a ruling coalition-backed former vice governor, defeats opposition-backed Itokazu Keiko who placed priority on the resolution of base issues.

: APEC Leaders Meeting is held in Hanoi. President Bush and PM Abe meet for the first time since Abe took office, reaffirm the U.S.-Japan Alliance and close cooperation on the DPRK. U.S.-Japan-ROK meeting also held, and three leaders agree that close trilateral cooperation is important to deal with the North Korean nuclear issue.

: Japanese National Police Agency confirms the 17th abductee by North Korea to be Ms. Matsumoto Kyoko.

: Secretary Rice and FM Aso meet in Hanoi and confirm ties between the U.S. and Japan on North Korean nuclear issues.

: Chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks from the U.S., Japan and South Korea meet in Hanoi to discuss North Korean nuclear issues.

: The U.S., Japan, the ROK, and EU report on implementation of sanctions requested by UNSCR 1718.

: The 43rd Japan-U.S. Business Conference held in Tokyo. Presidents of Keidanren Mitarai Fujio and of Keizai-Douyukai Kitashiro Kakutaro make remarks supporting the establishment of the U.S.-Japan EPA.

: U.S. Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces hold annual joint naval exercises, assuming case in which the JMSDF is attacked on the Sea of Japan.

: U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigns and former CIA Director Robert Gates is nominated as the new defense secretary.

: In U.S. mid-term elections, the Democratic Party regains a majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

: U.S. State Under Secretary for Political Affair Nicholas Burns and Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph visit Japan and meet FM Aso, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki, and PM Assistant Koike to discuss North Korea, Iran, and APEC.

: The U.S., China, and the DPRK hold unofficial meeting in Beijing and agree that the Six-Party Talks should resume. The DPRK announces its return to the Six-Party Talks.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki states it was highly probable that the DPRK conducted a nuclear test.

: LDP wins two seats in by-elections in Kanagawa and Osaka.

: Secretary Rice, FM Aso, and ROK FM Ban Ki-Moon meet in Seoul, and confirm trilateral cooperation on North Korean issues.

: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Japan, meets Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki Yasuhisa, Foreign Minister Aso Taro, and PM Abe (Oct. 19) and confirms U.S. nuclear umbrella.

: LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Nakagawa Shoichi calls for discussion on whether Japan should possess nuclear weapons on Asahi TV. PM Abe confirms Japan should maintain the Three NonNuclear Principles.

: UN Security Council unanimously approves Resolution 1718, requesting all member countries to impose sanctions on the DPRK under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

: State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack states the U.S. supported Japan’s decision to impose additional sanctions on the DPRK.

: Japan decides to impose unilateral additional sanctions against the DPRK as soon as it confirmed the nuclear test.

: PM Abe holds telephone conferences with counterparts in the U.S., South Korea, China, and Russia, and confirms the strong position against the DPRK.

: President George Bush and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo have a telephone conference about the North Korean nuclear test. They recognize it as a serious threat to international peace and stability and to the global nonproliferation regime.

: The DPRK announces that it conducted a nuclear test.

: Korean Central Broadcasting Station (North Korea) warns that the DPRK would conduct a nuclear test.

: Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Koike Yuriko visits the U.S. to meet National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley on the North Korean nuclear test; they agree that it would be “unacceptable” and confirm close bilateral cooperation on this issue.

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