US - Japan

Chronology from Sep 2015 to Dec 2015

: Okinawa Gov. Onaga files lawsuit at Naha District Court against the central government over its attempt to override the governor and move ahead with the Futenma relocation plan.

: Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel visits Tokyo after stopping in Bangkok, Thailand and Vientiane, Laos.

: US and Japan agree in principle to a new five-year package of host-nation support for US armed forces stationed in Japan. Under the agreement, Japan will spend about ¥189.9 billion ($1.6 billion) annually. The agreement will take effect April 1, 2016.

: Joint survey conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun and Gallup finds that 58 percent of Japanese respondents say that they consider Japan-US relations to be “good” or “very good,” up from 49 percent who felt this way in the previous poll in November 2014.

: Ministry of Foreign Affairs awards the Foreign Minister’s Commendations in honor of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II to 28 individuals and 14 groups for their outstanding contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and the US.

: US and Japan conduct a second successful test of their jointly developed Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile off the coast of Malibu, California.

: Trial begins at Fukuoka High Court’s Naha branch for the lawsuit filed by the central government against Okinawa Gov. Onaga for halting the Futenma relocation.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim hosts a trilateral meeting in Washington with ROK Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Hwang Joon-kook and Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Ishikane Kimihiro to exchange views on a wide range of issues related to North Korea.

: Department of State approves the sale of three RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned surveillance systems to Japan.

: President Obama and Prime Minister Abe meet on the sidelines of the APEC forum in Manila, where they discuss regional security and the TPP trade deal.

: US and Japan hold bilateral Extended Deterrence Dialogue (EDD) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

: Land Minister Ishii files a lawsuit with the Naha branch of the Fukuoka High Court, demanding that Okinawa Gov. Onaga retract his decision to nullify government approval to begin landfill work for the new US military facility in Henoko.

: More than thirty US and Japanese warships participate in Annual Exercise 16 (AE16) aimed at responding to the defense of Japan or a regional crisis in the Asia-Pacific.

: Full text of the TPP deal is released to the public as President Obama indicates his intent to sign the agreement.

: Fourth Meeting of the Bilateral Commission on Civil Nuclear Cooperation between the US and Japan is held in Washington. The meeting is co-chaired by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama and Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.

: Prime Minister Abe meets US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford in Tokyo.

: Landfill work for the Futenma relocation facility at Henoko resumes.

: Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism Ishii Keiichi suspends Okinawa governor’s attempt to block the building of the Futenma replacement facility at Henoko, saying the validity of the request must be examined.

: Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force joins the US and Indian navies in the annual Malabar training exercise in Chennai, India. Japan had taken part in these exercises as an invited guest in the past, but joined this year as a permanent member.

: Nine former US prisoners of war (POWs) visit State Minister for Foreign Affairs Muto Yoji in Tokyo. Muto apologizes for the suffering inflicted by Japan.

: Okinawa Gov. Onaga revokes permission for construction work to begin on the proposed Futenma relocation site at Henoko. Onaga’s predecessor, Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima HIrokazu, had given the central government permission for landfill work in December 2013.

: Third Japan-United States Open Forum is held following the Joint High-Level Committee meeting. Government officials and scientists from both countries discuss future cooperation, particularly in areas such as medical and data sciences.

: Thirteenth US-Japan Joint High-Level Committee meeting on science and technology is held in Tokyo.

: Ministers of the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries, including the US and Japan, announce the conclusion of an agreement after more than five years of negotiations.

: US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan arrives in Yokosuka.

: Vice President Joe Biden calls Prime Minister Abe after the passage of the security legislation to thank him for his continued efforts at strengthening the US-Japan alliance.

: Secretary of State John Kerry hosts the inaugural US-India-Japan Trilateral Ministerial Dialogue with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

: US-Japan-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers Meeting is held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Secretary Kerry, ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se, and Foreign Minister Kishida discuss North Korea and cooperation on regional affairs.

: Prime Minister Abe publishes an article on CNN entitled “Lessons Learned for a Better World.” The article discusses Japan’s contributions to human security, assistance for developing nations, and emphasis on sustainable growth.

: Special Seminar of the United States-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON) is held in Washington.

: Prime Minister Abe visits the US to attend the UN General Assembly Meeting in New York. Abe also meets members of the US business community and attends the Invest Japan Seminar as well as the Visit Japan Tourism Seminar hosted by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

: Japan’s Upper House votes to pass security bills. The Lower House had passed the bills on July 16.

: Special Committee on Security-Related Legislation in the Upper House of the Diet of Japan approves security bills that expand the overseas role of the Self-Defense Forces and allow Japan to exercise the right to collective-self-defense.

: Japan and the US hold the second Energy Strategic Dialogue in Tokyo. Japanese delegation is led by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General for Economic Affairs Bureau Saiki Naoko and the US delegation is led by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau of Energy Resources Mary Bruce Warlick.

: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meets Okinawa Gov. Onaga Takeshi in Tokyo to discuss the relocation of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

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