US - Japan
Chronology from Apr 2003 to Jul 2003
: U.S. State Department spokesman expresses concerns over Japan’s oil projects in Iraq, saying it is “unfortunate time to go forward with major new oil and gas deals.”
: Asahi poll finds that 46 percent of Japanese voters support sending SDF to Iraq, 43 percent oppose it, while about 70 percent feel that Japan needs to contribute to Iraqi reconstruction. The poll finds public approval of Koizumi’s Cabinet at 47 percent, down slightly from May, while 52 percent support Koizumi’s reelection in the LDP’s leadership election in September.
: Nihon Keizai reports that JDA will seek funds for a 13,500-ton helicopter carrier in the FY 2004 budget.
: The Japan Times reports that Richard Lawless, deputy secretary of defense for East Asia and Pacific, requested SDF dispatch to Iraq on June 11.
: Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Peter W. Rodman affirms that the Pentagon is considering “minor adjustments” of the Marines in Okinawa.
: PM Koizumi states need for permanent law that stipulates the principles of SDF dispatch.
: Mainichi reports that the U.S. is considering transferring a command post of the Pacific Fleet reconnaissance aircraft divisions in Hawaii to Misawa base to integrate intelligence divisions in the region.
: U.S. and Japan sign criminal investigation cooperation treaty under which judicial authorities can directly exchange information on criminal cases without foreign ministries’ involvement.
: A U.S. Marine suspected of raping a woman in Okinawa is arrested; U.S. military authorities agree to hand him over before his indictment.
: Lower House votes 40-day extension of the current Diet until July 28 to ensure passage of a bill to dispatch SDF to Iraq.
: Obtaining an arrest warrant from the Naha District Court, Tokyo formally requests custody of a U.S. Marine accused of beating and raping a woman in May in the town of Kin.
: Cabinet approves bill that allows SDF to help Iraqi reconstruction, for the first time without the consent of the host country.
: In meeting with JDA head Ishiba, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, chief of U.S. Missile Defense Agency, urges Japan to introduce a “layered defense” combining the ground-based PAC-3 system and a sea-based SM3 missile defense shield in a meeting with JDF chief Ishiba.
: TCOG held in Honolulu.
: Three military emergency bills pass House of Councilors with an overwhelming majority.
: JDA plans to seek funds in the FY 2004 budget for two types of missiles: SM3 missiles to arm the MSDF Aegis destroyers and PAC3 Patriots to be based on shore.
: Cash from organized crime networks in Japan contribute to funding for North Korean WMD programs, says John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.
: In a meeting with Wolfowitz, JDA chief Ishiba asks the U.S. to provide Japan with information regarding U.S. missile defense projects.
: FM Kawaguchi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda deny reported relocation plan of the Marines in Okinawa.
: PM Koizumi states that while Tokyo wants to see a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue, it recognizes the need to accelerate missile research.
: Los Angeles Times reports that the Department of Defense is considering removing 15,000 Marines from Okinawa to Australia. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz denies report the following day.
: Six Japanese F-15 fighters and an airborne warning and control system plane leave for Alaska to take part in aerial refueling exercise with USAF.
: Bush-Koizumi summit held at Bush’s private ranch in Crawford, Tex.
: FM Kawaguchi announces that Japan will allocate $46 million to restore Iraqi infrastructure and provide jobs and education.
: North Korean defector, identified as a former missile scientist, tells a U.S. Senate hearing that more than 90 percent of missile parts are smuggled in from Japan.
: Three military emergency bills designed to prepare Japan for foreign military attacks pass Lower House with an overwhelming majority.
: Cabinet approves six-month extension of logistic support for U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in Afganistan until Nov. 1.
: PM Koizumi and President Bush discuss North Korean issue on the phone and agree to continue close consultations among the U.S., Japan, and South Korea.
: Assistant Secretary of State Kelly visits Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda and Foreign Ministry Asia chief Yabunaka to report on trilateral talks in Beijing.
: U.S. tanker and F-15s of ASDF begin first aerial refueling exercise over Kyushu and Shikoku.
: U.S. Navy officer John Gibson, stationed at Sasebo Navy Base, smashes head-on into a car, killing a woman and injuring her daughter, and escapes from the accident, reportedly while drunk.
: PM Koizumi and President Bush discuss on the phone upcoming U.S.-PRC-DPRK tripartite talks and agree that multilateral framework including Japan and South Korea should be the goal.
: Aegis-equipped destroyer Kongou sails for Indian Ocean to replace the Kirishima.
: Tokyo announces humanitarian aid to Iraq, $25 million worth assistance to the World Food Program, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and UNICEF in addition to previously unveiled $5 million emergency aid package.
: Matsui Hideki, “Godzilla,” becomes the first Yankee to hit a grand slam in 2003, leading the team to a 7-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the home opener.
: U.S. Navy announces that Japan has signed a $164 million contract with Lockheed Martin for a Kongo-class destroyer, its fifth Aegis-equipped warship.
: Japan Defense Agency signs contract to buy first air refueling tanker, scheduled to be delivered in FY 2007.