US - Japan

Chronology from Jul 2003 to Oct 2003

: James Kelly, Japanese Consul General Yabunaka Mitoji, and ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Soo-hyuk meet in Tokyo to discuss the North Korean nuclear situation.

: Secretary General Abe states on a TV Asahi program that Japan’s SDF should join a multinational force in Iraq if under a U.S.-proposed UN resolution.

: U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker says the U.S. expects Japan’s SDF to be a part of Iraqi reconstruction effort. Deputy Secretary of State Armitage says he is “certain” Japan will contribute “generous” financial support; PM Koizumi states he will carefully consider the situation in Iraq before sending SDF.

: Japan’s investigation team arrives in Iraq to assess the security situation for the sending of its SDF.

: The U.S., Japan, the E.U., and the United Arab Emirates announce an international trust fund for postwar reconstruction in Iraq, which will be managed by the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun poll shows, 63.4 percent of respondents approve the new Cabinet, although about 56 percent doubt it would be able to help the economy.

: FM Kawaguchi and Secretary of State Powell meet at the UN and agree to continue cooperation on North Korean nuclear issue.

: PM Koizumi appoints Abe Shinzo secretary general, No. 2 in the party.

: PM Koizumi wins re-election as LDP president with 399 votes (60 percent) of the 657 votes cast, he says that he will continue with economic reform.

: Suzuki Ichiro becomes the third player in MLB history and the first in 56 years to record 200 hits in each of his first three seasons for the Seattle Mariners.

: President Bush and PM Koizumi affirm that both nations will cooperate to reconstruct Iraq; Japan prepares $1 billion in financial aid for 2004 in response to U.S. request.

: FM Kawaguchi announces that a U.S. Navy air wing will be transferred from Yokohama to Misawa city, Aomori Prefecture in October.

: Tokyo Shimbun quotes a U.S. DOD official saying “Why don’t you shape up?” expressing frustrations regarding Japan’s delay in sending the SDF to Iraq.

: Marine Torres is found guilty of violent rape and sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison in Naha District Court, Okinawa, Japan.

: Under Secretary of State Bolton meets with family representatives of Japanese abducted by North Korea in Washington, D.C.

: The U.S., Japan, Australia, and France send ships to the Coral Sea as part of “Pacific Protector” multilateral naval exercise; 7 other nations are observers.

: An online Harris poll states that 32 percent of Americans regard Japan as “a close ally” in the Iraqi war – an increase from 28 percent of the previous year.

: U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Timothy Larsen states that Japan should not consider becoming a nuclear power even though the current North Korean nuclear crisis is causing instability in Northeast Asia.

: Deputy Secretary of State Armitage holds talks with Japan’s Vice FM Takeuchi Yukio in Washington, D.C. to discuss Iraq and North Korea.

: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe states that a nonaggression treaty between the U.S. and North Korea would nullify the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty.

: Treasury Secretary Snow meets with Japanese Finance Minister Shiokawa Masajuro and PM Koizumi in Tokyo to discuss Japan’s economy and the Chinese yuan’s peg to the dollar.

: Deputy Secretary of State Armitage asks Japan’s envoy for Middle Eastern Affairs Arima Tatsuo that SDF be sent to Iraq at an early date and not to “walk away” from the task of reconstruction.

: Mitoji Yabunaka, director general of Japan’s FM’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, ROK Deputy FM Lee Soo Hyuck, and Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly meet at the ROK embassy in Beijing to discuss the six-party talks.

: JDA announces plans to upgrade all four of its Aegis-equipped destroyers over four years to equip SDF with U.S.-made missile defense systems and to install the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) antimissile system for its Air SDF.

: Japanese FM Kawaguchi Yoriko speaks with Secretary Colin Powell via telephone and assures Japan’s continued support to rebuild Iraq.

: Japan cancels an official fact-finding mission and announces delays in the deployment of SDF until 2004 after the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad.

: Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba remarks that the U.S. “worships nuclear weapons as God,” during the 58th annual Peace Declaration; Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda states that Japan would not pursue such weapons itself.

: Economic Minister Takenaka Heizo meets with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, and other U.S. economic officials during a five-day trip in the U.S.

: Japan’s 2003 White Defense Paper is released. It emphasizes North Korea’s nuclear issue, peacekeeping operations, and supporting U.S.-led military coalitions.

: Japan raises its tariff on beef imports from 38.5 to 50 percent despite U.S. and Australian protests.

: Under Secretary of State John Bolton meets with Japanese officials in Tokyo as the last leg of his Northeast Asia trip to discuss North Korea’s nuclear issue.

: Japan and the U.S. officials fail to reach agreement by Aug. 2 deadline concerning criminal procedures for U.S. military personnel accused of crimes in Japan.

: Japan and U.S. hold working-level talks in Washington concerning SOFA revisions; Japan proposes that U.S.-selected interpreters be present during interrogations of accused military personnel conducted by the Japanese police.

: Japanese journalist Kazutaka Soto is assaulted and detained by U.S. soldiers after taking pictures in Baghdad of a U.S. military raid.

: Bill allowing dispatch of SDF to Iraq passes with 136 votes in favor, 102 votes against despite a no-confidence motion against PM Koizumi in the Lower House.

: Trial begins for U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Torres in Okinawa.

: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawless and Japanese officials meet in Honolulu to review criminal procedures for U.S. military personnel accused of crimes in Japan.

: A Gallup poll commissioned by Japan’s Foreign Ministry reveals that 67 percent of Americans and 91 percent of opinion leaders regard Japan as a “dependable ally and friend.”

: U.S. Central Command asks Japan to send and base its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in “trouble spot” Balad, Iraq. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda states that it would be “difficult” due to security concerns.

: Yomiuri Shimbun poll indicates that 31 percent are in favor of the dispatch of SDF to Iraq, while 43 are opposed and 24 percent undecided.

: U.S., Japan, and South Korea agree that the UN Security Council should adopt a resolution denouncing North Korea’s nuclear weapons development if multilateral talks are rejected.

: U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Donald Keyser meets with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe and FM Asia Bureau Chief Yabunaka in separate working-level meetings in Tokyo. They agree to enforce stronger measures related to North Korea’s illegal drugs trafficking, missiles trade, and money counterfeiting.

: WTO rules that Japan’s quarantine restrictions on U.S. apple imports violate WTO rules.

: KEDO begins working-level talks in New York to discuss suspension of nuclear reactor power project by U.S., Japan, ROK, and the EU.

: Matsui Hideki, Suzuki Ichiro, and Hasegawa Shigetoshi named as members of American League All-Star team.

: Japan sends two Air Self-Defense Force C-130 transport aircraft carrying 41 Self-Defense Force members to Jordan as part of a UN humanitarian effort to help Iraq.  Japan has dispatched C-130 transport planes 29 times since 1992 for PKO.

: JDA introduces a “layered missile defense system,” combining the ground-based PAC-3 and a sea-based SM3 into four Aegis destroyers and one Air Defense Missile Group with a budget of ¥200 billion over the next two years.

: U.S. and Japan hold a working-level meeting in Washington, D.C. on SOFA.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda announces Japan will implement a permanent law enabling SDF support as well as international contributions by officials and citizens to allied forces.

: Japanese prosecutors indict U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Torres on rape charges.

: Richard Lawless, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia and the Pacific, states Japan should make contributions that match its national strength in supporting Iraq’s postwar reconstruction.

: Japan announces that it will suspend official development assistance (ODA) unless the Burmese junta releases Aung San Suu Kyi.

: House of Representatives passes SDF Iraq dispatch bill.

: Kobayashi Takeru wins for a third time the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, NY eating 44 ½ hot dogs in 12 minutes.

: Diet lower house committee on Okinawa adopts resolution calling for a revision of SOFA and other measures to prevent crimes by U.S. forces.

: Asahi Shimbun reports that JDA will withdraw an Aegis missile destroyer from the Indian Ocean to keep an eye on North Korea.

: Mitoji Yabunaka, head of Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, meets with U.S. and South Korean counterparts in Washington to discuss a U.S. proposal on a UN Security Council statement on the North Korean nuclear issue.

: Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage expresses U.S. concerns about Japan’s oil development plan in Iran to visiting Deputy Cabinet Secretary Yachi Shotaro.

: Japan and U.S. hold Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) negotiations in Tokyo and TCOG discussions (with ROK) in Hawaii.

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