US - Japan

Chronology from Jul 2004 to Oct 2004

: Japan lifts ban on U.S. poultry imports from the states of Rhode Island, Delaware and Maryland. (Japan imposed the ban on U.S. poultry imports on Feb. 7 following the discovery of chickens infected with avian flu in Delaware).

:   New defense chief, Ono Yoshinori suggests Japan be allowed to engage in collective defense and make a more active contribution to international security.

: Japan tells U.S. counterparts that relocation of the U.S. Army’s I Corps headquarters to Camp Zama in Kanagawa is “politically difficult.”

: Koizumi forms new Cabinet to push reforms; former education minister Machimura Nobutaka is named foreign minister.

: Koizumi urges UNGA to give Tokyo a permanent seat on the UNSC.

: Koizumi says Japan will uphold its constitutional ban on using military force, even as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council but continues supporting the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

: Koizumi tells Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi that Japan’s Self-Defense Forces will stay in Iraq after Dec. 14 deadline.

: Bush and Koizumi hold meeting in New York City to discuss issues in the bilateral relationship.

: A high-level U.S. administration official suggests that Japan abrogate the oil field development contract in Azadegan signed between Japan and Iran if Iran’s nuclear suspicions are referred to the United Nations Security Council.

: Japan-U.S. Joint Committee on the SOFA agrees to set up a joint study group on bilateral cooperation in handling accidents involving U.S. military aircraft.

: Japan-made parts found in Libyan nuke plant.

: 30,000 Okinawans rallied to protest the handling of the crash of U.S. military helicopter at a local university campus

: White House assures Japan that President Bush supports its bid to become a permanent U.N. Security Council member.

: Alleged deserter Sgt. Charles Robert Jenkins surrenders to U.S. military authorities in Japan.

: Bobby Fischer wins case allowing delay in deportation to the U.S.

: WTO authorizes Japan’s retaliatory measures of up to $78 million annually to counter U.S. payments to companies under the anti-dumping provisions of the Byrd Amendment.

: Japan and U.S. agree to set up a consultative body to improve implementation of the SOFA and how to facilitate cooperation between the U.S. military and Okinawa prefectural police.

: Japan’s Defense Agency requests 4.933 trillion yen for FY 2005.

: Defense Agency chief Ishiba suggests that Japan consider revising the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) if bilateral discussions to prevent “arbitrary use” of the accord do not produce a solution in the handling of the recent helicopter crash in Okinawa.

: The U.S. government releases a statement saying the U.S. military in Japan will not fly CH-53D helicopters at the request of the Japanese government until it is “appropriate” to do so.

: Japan’s Justice Ministry rejects Fischer’s request for protection as a political refugee and issues an order to deport him.

: Kyodo cites U.S. and Japanese sources in reporting that  the U.S. plans to relocate 2,600 Marines in Okinawa to other parts of Japan starting in 2008. Until 2008, the 3rd Marine Division will reduce troops in Okinawa by sending 2,190 of them to South Korea, the Philippines, and other parts of Asia for training and other purposes.

: FM Kawaguchi and Secretary Powell discuss the Aug. 13 crash of a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter; Kawaguchi requests Powell to suspend the flight of helicopters of the same type until cause of crash is ascertained.

: The Japanese government calls resumption of U.S. helicopter flights “extremely regrettable,” complaining that the U.S. military had not done enough to address the question of safety.

: Japan’s House of Representatives Speaker Kono Yohei suggests that Japan should maintain its war-renouncing Constitution rather than revising it in order to try and gain a permanent seat of the UN Security Council.

: U.S. forces resume flight drills at Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, despite protest by Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha following the helicopter crash.

: A U.S. military transport helicopter crashes at a university campus in Ginowan, Okinawa, but there was no report of casualty from students.

: Secretary Powell says the U.S. will support Japan’s bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, but thinks it should consider revising Article 9 of the Constitution if it wants to contribute to the good of the international community in a manner commensurate with that responsibility.

: Powell urges Japan to weigh the pros and cons of investing in Iran, which is under scrutiny for its nuclear program.

: Lt. Gen. Thomas C. Waskow, commander U.S. Air Force Japan, says there never was, and never will be, a proposal to move the 374th Airlift Wing from Yokota Air Base to Guam.

: Two Japanese destroyers and a supply vessel leave for the Indian Ocean, where they will assist the U.S.-led antiterror campaign in Afghanistan.

: About 140 troops, the first elements of the Ground Self-Defense Force’s third mission to Iraq, depart Aomori Airport for Kuwait.

: Former chess champion Bobby Fischer says he wants to renounce U.S. citizenship.

: Deputy Secretary Armitage denies linkage to Japan’s constitutional revision and retracts remark on Japan’s conditional membership on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

: Exchange of Notes concerning Modification of the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) between Japan and the U.S. They permit the SDF to provide supplies and services to U.S. forces engaged in disaster relief operations based on Japan’s request, operations equivalent to transportation of Japanese overseas residents by the SDF, as well as training, liaison, coordination, and other daily operations.

: FM Kawaguchi urges U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Thomas Fargo to reduce Japan’s burden in hosting U.S. forces.

: Asahi Shimbun reports that U.S. air base at Misawa has taken over command functions for naval patrol and reconnaissance for Asia as part of U.S. military’s global repositioning.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Hosoda Hiroyuki says Japan aims to become a permanent Security Council member under its current Constitution; Ishikawa Toru, chairman of the Joint Staff Council of the Self-Defense Forces, adds: “Military contribution is not a prerequisite to becoming a permanent Security Council member.”

: Japanese and U.S. officials begin two days of working-level talks on lifting Tokyo’s import ban on U.S. beef.

: Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer appeals Japanese plans to deport him to the U.S. and hopes to find political asylum in a third country.

: Visiting LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Nakagawa says Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told him that war-renouncing Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution is becoming an obstacle to strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance and realizing Japan’s bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat.

: Michael Green, senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, tells Nakagawa Hidenao, chairman of the LDP Diet Affairs Committee that Jenkins case will be dealt with in accordance with legal procedures while taking Japan-U.S. relations into account.

: The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) urges the Japanese government to review its three principles regulating the export of weapons to raise international competitiveness in the defense industry.

: Jenkins arrives in Tokyo from Indonesia with his Japanese wife, Hitomi Soga, and their two DPRK-born daughters, for medical treatment.

: The U.S. government asks the Japanese government to review the 1996
Special Action Committee on Okinawa report on consolidation of U.S. military bases in Okinawa.

: U.S.-Japan vice ministerial talks on Bovine Spongiworm Encephalopathy (BSE), beef exports, and other agricultural issues in Tokyo.

: Results of the 2004 Image of Japan Study in the U.S. show overall high favorability toward Japan as a dependable ally and positive evaluation of U.S.-Japan relations.

:   Former U.S. chess champion Bobby Fischer detained in Japan; awaits possible deportation to U.S. where he has been charged for playing 1992 chess match in Yugoslavia in violation of a U.S. ban.

: Working level talks between U.S. and Japan begin in San Francisco to discuss moving some marines in Okinawa to Camp Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture.

: Liberal Democratic Party (114 seats), Democratic Party of Japan (79 seats), New Komeito Party (24 seats), Japanese Communist Party (9 seats), Social Democratic Party (0 seats).

: U.S. Army defector to North Korea Charles Robert Jenkins is reunited with his Japanese wife in Jakarta, Indonesia.

: U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice meets with PM Koizumi and FM Kawaguchi to discuss North Korea and tensions between China and Taiwan.

: Defense Agency chief Ishiba Shigeru says in an annual agency report that the Self-Defense Forces troops deployed in Iraq have served Japan’s national interests, strengthened the Japan-U.S. alliance and enabled the nation to carry out its responsibilities as a member of the international community.

: Fuyushiba Tetsuzo, secretary general of New Komeito, opposes PM Koizumi Junichiro’s remarks that the pacifist Constitution should be revised so it can exercise the right to collective defense and carry out joint actions with U.S. forces.

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