US - Japan

Chronology from May 2015 to Aug 2015

: Prime Minister Abe hosts the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo.

: Prime Minister Abe meets members from a bipartisan congressional delegation of the US-Japan Caucus.

: Prime Minister Abe delivers a speech marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

: Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller visits Hiroshima and Nagasaki to attend peace memorial ceremonies and then to Tokyo to lead US delegation to Japan-US Commission on Disarmament and Nonproliferation.

: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Kuala Lumpur. They discuss the upcoming anniversary of World War II, coordination on China and North Korea, and the TPP.

: Vice President Joseph Biden calls Prime Minister Abe to apologize for “causing trouble” after WikiLeaks alleges NSA spied on Tokyo.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga announces that Japan will temporarily halt construction on the base at Henoko for one month (from Aug. 10 to Sept. 9) to give time for the government to continue discussions with Okinawa Gov. Onaga.

: US Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks Sydney Seiler travels to Tokyo to meet senior officials, including Deputy Director General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Takizaki.

: US hosts a meeting of the TPP trade ministers in Maui, Hawaii.

: The third US-Japan Cyber Dialogue is held in Tokyo. Officials discuss bilateral cooperation on cyber issues such as infrastructure protection, capacity building, and cybercrime.

: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim travels to Tokyo to participate in alliance and other bilateral discussions.

: Japan’s Lower House votes to pass new security legislation, and the bills are sent to the Upper House. If the Upper House does not vote on the legislation within 60 days, then the bills will return to the Lower House and can be enacted by a two-thirds vote.

: Japan’s Lower House Special Committee on Security-Related Legislation approves security bills, paving the way for a vote by the full House.

: Assistant Secretary for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance Frank Rose visits Tokyo to meet Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, and Cabinet Office officials to discuss space security, missile defense, and arms control.

: Total of 9,766 Japanese scholars, artists, and other public intellectuals, including Nobel laureate Toshihide Masukawa, sign a petition opposing the new security legislation.

: Approximately 20,000 protesters, including students, NPO groups, and older citizens, gather in Hibiya Park to demonstrate their opposition to the security bills.

: About 750 members of Gambare Nippon!, a conservative activist group in Japan, organize a protest to support the security legislation.

: Japan Innovation Party (JIP) submits bills as a counterproposal to the LDP’s proposed security legislation.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide and Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi hold talks in Tokyo, and Suga apologizes for the criticism by several LDP lawmakers of Okinawan newspapers in a meeting on June 25.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan Ambassador Sung Kim visits Tokyo to meet senior officials including Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director General Junichi Ihara.

: US Special Advisor for Children’s Issues Ambassador Susan Jacobs visits Tokyo to discuss continued cooperation consistent with the Abduction Convention and the resolution of pre-Hague Convention cases.

: President Obama signs both TPA and TAA into law.

: US hosts the seventh trilateral dialogue with India and Japan in Honolulu.

: Adm. Kawano Katsutoshi, Japan’s chief of the Joint Staff of the Self-Defense Forces, acknowledges concerns about China’s behavior in the South China Sea in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. He suggests that Japan may consider conducting surveillance of the South China Sea.

: At a meeting of an LDP study group set up to discuss the Abe administration’s culture and art policies, several lawmakers deeply criticize the Okinawa Times and the Ryukyu Shimpo. Hyakuta Naoki, a former governor at NHK and close adviser of Prime Minister Abe, is quoted as saying the papers “must be closed down by any means,” while other lawmakers advocate punishing the papers by targeting their advertising sources.

: House votes 286-138 to pass TAA, sending the final trade-related bill to the president’s desk.

: Senate votes 60-13 (with 13 Democrats joining all but five Republicans) to give TPA to President Obama, allowing him to keep on track with negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

: Prime Minister Abe announces that the current Diet session will be extended to Sept. 27 to ensure passage of the new security legislation.

: House votes 218-208 (with 28 Democrats joining all but 50 Republicans) to narrowly pass legislation to give TPA to President Obama.

: Hawaii Gov. David Ige visits Tokyo and meets Prime Minister Abe to promote expanded travel between Japan and Hawaii.

: US House of Representatives votes in favor of TPA (219-211), but votes against Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which defeats the trade package passed by the Senate.

: Adm. Harry Harris, newly appointed commander of US Pacific Command, visits Tokyo and meets Prime Minister Abe.

: House approves the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, but TAA is voted down 126-302.

: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe and expresses interest in bringing Japan’s new high-speed maglev train technology to Maryland.

: Three constitutional law professors­ – Hasebe Yasuo (Waseda University), Kobayashi Setsu (Keio University), and Sasada Eiji (Waseda University) – appear before the Lower House Commission on the Constitution. All agree that the package of security bills before the Lower House is unconstitutional.

: Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga visits Washington and meets Office of Japanese Affairs Director Joe Young, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Cara Abercrombie, and Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to discuss the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

: US Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers leads a delegation of House members to Tokyo, where they meet with Prime Minister Abe and discuss missile defense and the broader US rebalance efforts in Asia.

: Lower House deliberations begin on the security legislation.

: US Senate approves a trade package (62-37) including Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).

: The Special Committee on Security-Related Legislation is created in the Lower House to discuss the Abe government’s proposed security bills.

: Abe Cabinet submits the two security bills to the Lower House for deliberation.

: Abe Cabinet approves two security bills meant to expand the overseas role of the Self-Defense Forces in international security efforts and the US-Japan alliance.

: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi visits Tokyo to accept the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun and meets with Prime Minister Abe.

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