US - Japan

Chronology from May 2013 to Aug 2013

: Defense Minister Onodera and Defense Secretary Hagel meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM+) in Brunei.

: METI Motegi announces the central government will assume control of efforts to contain radioactive water leaking from storage tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

: The 19th round of TPP negotiations is held in Brunei.

: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), ranking member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe and other Japanese government officials.

: USTR Froman visits Tokyo for meetings with counterparts on TPP.

: Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe and other Japanese government officials.

: Public opinion survey by NHK reveals a 57 percent approval rating for the Abe cabinet and a disapproval rating of 29 percent.

: Government of Japan reports that the economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the second quarter.

: US and Japanese officials conduct the first round of bilateral trade negotiations on autos, insurance and non-tariff measures in parallel to the TPP trade talks.

: US military helicopter crashes on the grounds of Camp Hansen in Okinawa.

: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso issues a statement retracting his comments on Nazi Germany in reference to Japan’s debate on constitutional revision.

: Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Defense Eto Akinori meets Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in Washington to discuss the Japanese government’s review of defense policy.

: US Senate adopts a resolution condemning “the use of coercion, threats, or force by naval, maritime security, or fishing vessels and military or civilian aircraft in the South China Sea and the East China Sea to assert disputed maritime or territorial claims or alter the status quo.”

: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso references lessons to be learned from Nazi Germany while discussing the debate in Japan over whether to revise the constitution during a speech in Tokyo.

: Prime Minister Abe meets with Vice President Joe Biden in Singapore to discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues.

: Japan’s Ministry of Defense issues an interim report of a government review of defense policy that will inform new National Defense Program Guidelines due later in the year.

: Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Motegi Toshimitsu meets Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in Washington and issue a joint statement on bilateral energy cooperation.  Motegi also meets USTR Froman to discuss Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations and US-Japan cooperation on multilateral trade issues.

: President Obama nominates Caroline Kennedy to succeed John Roos as US ambassador to Japan.

: The US and the other parties to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks welcome Japan as the 12th member country at the 18th round of negotiations held in Malaysia.

: Ruling coalition of the LDP and Komeito secure a majority in elections for the Upper House of the Diet, together winning 76 seats out of 121 contested for a total of 135 in the 242-seat chamber.

: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Aso Taro meets US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on the margins of the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in Moscow.

: US Trade Representative Michael Froman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee on the Obama administration’s trade policy agenda.

: Daniel Russel is appointed assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

: Japan releases its annual defense white paper expressing concern about China’s military build-up.

: US Secretary of State John Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida, and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se conduct a trilateral meeting on the margins of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum meeting in Brunei.  Kerry and Kishida also confer separately on bilateral issues.

: Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority issues new safety regulations for nuclear power plants.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies hosts a US-Japan-South Korea trilateral meeting in Washington to exchange views on North Korea.

: The Abe Cabinet approves the economic revitalization strategy outlined previously by Prime Minister Abe.

: President Obama telephones Prime Minister Abe to brief him on his meeting with Xi Jingping at the Sunnylands resort in California.

: Japanese Diet ratifies the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

: Japan Self-Defense Forces participate in the amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz hosted by the US Navy and Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, California.

: Yomiuri Shimbun survey on the Upper House election in Japan finds 44 percent support for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), 7 percent for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), and 5 percent for the Japan Restoration Party (JRP).  When asked which policy issues are most important, 86 percent of respondents cited the economy and employment, followed by social security at 84 percent and recovery from the March 11, 2011 disasters at 79 percent.  Prime Minister Abe’s approval rating stands at 67 percent.

: The government of Japan revises first quarter economic growth numbers to an annualized rate of 4.4 percent from 3.5 percent.

: The Abe government approves legislation to set up a National Security Council housed in the Prime Minister’s Office.

: Prime Minister Abe unveils additional details of his strategy to revive the Japanese economy.

: Japanese Minister of Defense Onodera, Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin, and Defense Secretary Hagel meet on the margins of the Shangri La dialogue in Singapore to discuss the regional security situation and North Korea.

: Australian Minister for Defense Stephen Smith, Japanese Minister of Defense Onodera Itsunori, and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel meet on the margins of Shangri-La Dialogue and issue a joint statement outlining strategic goals for trilateral cooperation.

: US Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues Robert King visits Tokyo for consultations with Japanese government officials.

: Fifty-two percent of the Japanese public opposes amending Article 96 of the constitution, which includes criteria for revising the constitution; 41 percent support the measure.      

: Prime Minister Abe posts a 65 percent public approval rating in a survey by Asahi Shimbun.

: Prime Minister Abe outlines his government’s growth strategy in a speech to business leaders in Tokyo.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies visits Tokyo for meetings with senior Japanese government officials.
May 17, 2013: The US Energy Department conditionally authorizes exports of domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Freeport LNG Terminal on Quintana Island, Texas to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.

: The Cabinet Office of Japan announces the economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent in the first quarter.

: Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Toru states that comfort women were necessary for Japanese soldiers during World War II.       

: Survey by Yomiuri Shimbun reveals a 72 percent approval rating for the Abe Cabinet.  Fifty-five percent of respondents support Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, while 28 percent disapprove.     

: US and Japanese governments host first US-Japan Cyber Dialogue in Tokyo.

: Prime Minister Abe reflects on World War II during an Upper House Budget Committee hearing, stating that Japan “caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of Asian nations.”

: Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio states that Prime Minister Abe shares the views expressed in the 1995 Murayama Statement apologizing for Japan’s actions during World War II and Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide indicates that the government would abide by the 1993 Kono Statement on the issue of comfort women.

: A report on military and security developments in China issued by the US Department of Defense states that in September 2012, China began using improperly drawn straight baseline claims around the Senkaku Islands, adding to its network of maritime claims that are inconsistent with international law.

: Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller visits Tokyo to discuss extended deterrence, missile defense cooperation, and arms control and nonproliferation issues with Japanese counterparts.

: Eighty-nine percent of over 120 Japanese corporations surveyed by Mainichi Shimbun express confidence in Japan’s economic recovery.

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