Timeline of Japan 2001-2005

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2001        Jan 6, The number of national ministries and agencies was cut from 22 to 12 in an effort to expand efficiency and shift power from bureaucracies to politicians.
    (SSFC, 1/7/01, p.D3)

2001        Jan 22, Fukushiro Nukaga, economics minister, resigned in a bribery scandal and was succeeded by Taro Aso.
    (WSJ, 1/23/01, p.A1)

2001        Feb 9, The US nuclear submarine Greeneville struck the Japanese fishing boat, Ehime Maru, near Oahu with 35 people on board including 13 students. The boat sank in 5 minutes and 9 men and boys were killed. The sub was practicing a rapid ascent and had 15 civilian guests onboard. It was later revealed that civilian visitors sat at 2 of the subs 3 main controls when it surfaced. Capt. Scott Waddle, the sub skipper, was relieved of duty pending investigation. Sonar contact with the fishing vessel had been established over an hour before the accident. Capt. Waddle was later reprimanded and submitted his resignation.
    (SFC, 2/10/01, p.A1)(SSFC, 2/11/01, p.A3)(SFC, 2/13/01, p.A3)(SFC, 2/14/01, p.A2)(SFC, 2/15/01, p.A3)(SFC, 2/21/01, p.A2)(SFC, 3/15/01, p.A3)(WSJ, 4/24/01, p.A1)(AP, 2/9/08)

2001        Feb 20, It was reported that the snow on Mt. Kilimanjaro was almost gone and that 92% had melted since 1912.
    (WSJ, 2/120/01, p.A1)

2001        Mar 10, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori announced that he would resign next month.
    (SSFC, 3/11/01, p.D1)

2001        Mar 19, Pres. Bush met with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori. They did not come up with any specific measures to revive economic growth.
    (SFC, 3/20/01, p.A10)

2001        Mar 19, Masaru Hayami, the Gov. of the Bank of Japan, said that a key interest rate will fall virtually to zero and stay there until consumer prices stop falling.
    (WSJ, 3/20/01, p.A1)

2001        Mar 24, A 6.4 earthquake near Hiroshima killed 2 people and injured at least 160.
    (SSFC, 3/25/01, p.C1)

2001        Mar 30, In Osaka Universal Studios officially opened its new theme park.
    (WSJ, 3/22/01, p.B1)(SFC, 3/30/01, p.D3)

2001        Mar, Over the last 12 months18,926 companies went bankrupt in Japan and some 199,280 people were affected.
    (WSJ, 7/5/01, p.A1)

2001        Apr 2, The new freedom of information law went into effect 2 years after it was approved by Parliament.
    (SSFC, 4/15/01, p.D4)

2001        Apr 6, Parliament approved its 1st law to protect victims of domestic violence.
    (SFC, 4/7/01, p.A11)

2001        Apr 24, In Japan Junichiro Koizumi (59) won elections to head the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). This set him up to become prime minister.
    (SFC, 4/24/01, p.A9)(SFC, 4/25/01, p.A8)

2001        Apr 26, In Japan Junichiro Koizumi named a Cabinet that included 5 women, an economics prof. and 2 outsiders.
    (SFC, 4/27/01, p.D2)

2001        May 1, In Japan Kim Jong Nam (29), the son of Kim Jong Il of North Korea, was detained with his son as they attempted to visit Tokyo's Disneyland. They were later deported to China.
    (SFC, 5/4/01, p.A14)

2001        May 15, A celebratory mood took hold of Japan after the palace formally announced that Crown Princess Masako was pregnant.
    (AP, 5/15/02)

2001        Jun 7, Mamoru Takuma (37) stabbed at least 29 people at the Ikeda Elementary School in Osaka, Japan, and killed 8 children. He was executed in 2004.
    (SFC, 6/8/01, p.A16)(SFC, 9/4/01, p.A6)(Econ, 9/18/04, p.50)

2001        Jun 21, In Japan PM Koizumi outlined an aggressive economic reform program that promised to shrink the government and create new economic incentives. Banks were given 2-3 years to solve their bad-loan problems.
    (SFC, 6/22/01, p.A15)(WSJ, 6/22/01, p.A11)

2001        Jun 29, In Okinawa a woman claimed that she was raped by an American. US Air Force sergeant Timothy B. Woodland was later charged. Sgt. Woodland was handed over to Japanese authorities on July 6. Woodland was convicted Mar 27 and was sentenced to 32 months in prison.
    (WSJ, 7/2/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 7/3/01, p.A1)(SFC, 7/3/01, p.A7)(SFC, 7/7/01, p.A1)(SFC, 3/28/02, p.A1)

2001        Jun 30, Pres. Bush met with Japan's PM Koizumi and endorsed his plan for economic reform. They agreed on alternative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions since Bush rejected the Kyoto global warming treaty.
    (WSJ, 7/2/01, p.A8)(SSFC, 7/1/01, p.A12)

2001        Jul 6, The United States turned over to Japanese authorities an American serviceman accused of rape. Air Force Staff Sgt. Timothy Woodland was convicted of rape and sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.
    (AP, 7/6/06)

2001        Jul 10, It was reported that Yoshinori Kobayashi (47), cartoon book creator, promoted a philosophy of Gomanism (politically provocative) in his best selling works. This was seen as part of a rising sense of nationalism.
    (SFC, 7/10/01, p.A8)

2001        Jul 19, Japanese prosecutors charged a U.S. airman with rape in an alleged attack on a woman in Okinawa. Air Force Staff Sgt. Timothy Woodland was later convicted and sentenced to nearly three years in prison.
    (AP, 7/16/02)

2001        Jul 21, Ten people, mostly children, were killed on a crowded pedestrian bridge as they left a fireworks display in Akashi.
    (SFC, 7/22/01, p.A14)

2001        Jul 29, The governing Liberal Democratic Party of PM Koizumi won 64 of 121 contested seats in the 247-seat upper house.
    (SFC, 7/30/01, p.A1)

2001        Aug 13, Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi tried to ease the anger of Asian neighbors by visiting a controversial war shrine two days before the actual anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender.
    (SFC, 8/14/01, p.A1)(AP, 8/13/02)

2001        Aug 15, Most local school districts turned down "The New History Textbook" due to its whitewash of 20th century history.
    (SFC, 8/16/01, p.A8)

2001        Aug 23, Novelist Ryu Murakami was featured in the WSJ and quoted to say: "Who cares about fitting into the system? Think for yourself."
    (WSJ, 8/23/01, p.A1)

2001        Aug 29, Japan launched a domestically developed rocket with hopes of developing its commercial satellite industry.
    (WSJ, 8/30/01, p.A1)

2001        Aug 30, The Nikkei fell to a 17-year low, 10,938, as the government reported declines in industrial output and consumer spending.
    (WSJ, 8/31/01, p.A5)

2001        Sep 1, In Tokyo an early morning explosion in a mah-jongg parlor killed at least 44 people. The Kabukicho district building was crammed with sex clubs and gambling parlors.
    (SFC, 9/1/01, p.A6)(SFC, 11/16/01, p.E6)

2001        Sep 10, The government reported that a dairy cow had tested positive for mad-cow disease. It was the 1st instance of the disease in Asian animals.
    (WSJ, 9/11/01, p.A1)
2001        Sep 10, The Nikkei closed at 10195, the lowest point since Aug 1984.
    (WSJ, 9/11/01, p.A19)

2001        Sep 12, Hatsuko Kikuhara (born as Hatsu Nunohara), master of traditional Japanese music, died at age 102. She was a master of the 3-string shamisen and 13-string koto.
    (SSFC, 9/16/01, p.A26)

2001        Sep 19, PM Koizumi promised to push legislative changes to permit Japanese troops to provide logistical support for a US-led war on terrorism.
    (SFC, 9/20/01, p.A12)

2001        Oct 15, Japan's PM Koizumi visited South Korea and expressed his remorse at Sodaemun Independence Park for suffering inflicted by Japan's colonial rule.
    (SFC, 10/16/01, p.B6)

2001        Oct 18, Japan's House of Representatives approved an anti-terrorism bill that defines a narrow role for its military to support US attacks in Afghanistan.
    (SFC, 10/19/01, p.A5)

2001        Nov 23, Japan said it would send 1,500 troops to help with relief operations in Afghanistan.
    (SFC, 11/24/01, p.A7)

2001        Dec 1 A baby girl was born to Japan's Crown Princess Masako and Crown Prince Naruhito, the royal couple's first child in eight years of marriage; she was later named Aiko.
    (SFC, 12/1/01, p.A2)(AP, 12/1/02)

2001        Dec 6, Japan went into recession officially for the 4th time in 10 years as the GDP shrank 0.5%.
    (WSJ, 12/7/01, p.A14)(SFC, 12/30/01, p.D8)

2001        Dec 22, A fishing boat from North Korea, suspected of spying, exchanged fire with Japanese coast vessels and sank after a 6-hour chase. 15 crewmen were lost. 2 bodies were later recovered. North Korea later denied any links to the fishing boat and accused Japan of a "smear campaign."
    (SSFC, 12/23/01, p.A15)(SFC, 12/24/01, p.A4)(SFC, 12/27/01, p.A5)

2001        Dec 28, Japan's Nikkei closed at its lowest year-end mark since 1983: 10,542.
    (SFC, 12/29/01, p.B1)

2001        Dec, Kazuko Yokoo, former ambassador to Ireland and a Labor Ministry official, was picked to serve on the Supreme Court. Yokoo was the 2nd Japanese woman to serve on the high court.
    (SFC, 12/22/01, p.A2)

2001        Lesley Downer authored "Women of the Pleasure Quarters," a history of the geisha.
    (WSJ, 5/1/01, p.A24)
2001        Alex Kerr, author of "Lost Japan," published "Tales From the Dark Side of Japan," a look at development in Japan over the last 35 years.
    (WSJ, 5/4/01, p.W10)
2001        The Japanese animated film "Spirited Away" by Hayao Miyazaki (b.1941) became the highest-grossing film in Japanese history. It won a best animated film Oscar at the 75th Academy Awards (2003).
    (SFC, 8/7/09, p.E2)(Econ., 7/6/20, p.72)
2001        Japan's government announced that it would digitize all of its procedures by 2003. As of 2020 just 7.5% of all administrative procedures could be completed online.
    (Econ., 1/2/21, p.9)
2001        Japan spent $2.7 billion on an emergency work-creation program.
    (WSJ, 3/19/02, p.A1)
2001        Hiroya Masuda, governor of Japanís northern Iwate prefecture, sent out a bold new message: "Just give up." It was an effort to improve the local quality of life.
    (WSJ, 6/30/04, p.A1)
2001        Shuji Nakamura sued his employer, Japanís Nichia Corp., for a larger share in the profits from his invention of the blue LED. He had originally received a 20,000 yen bonus. In 2004 a court ordered Nichia to pay him 20 billion yen. A deal in 2005 gave him 840 million yen.
    (WSJ, 1/12/05, p.A9)
2001        Sony Corp. established Sony Bank.
    (WSJ, 3/7/05, p.A8)
2001        Vodaphone took control of J-Phone, Japanís 3rd largest operator. In 2003 J-Phone was renamed Vodaphone.
    (Econ, 3/11/06, p.56)
2001        Takashi Tokuyama, a Japanese brewer of sake, patented his inventions of rice extracts for skin care products. By 2006 sake was being displaced by shochu, a distilled drink made from barley, rice, or sweet potatoes.
    (Econ, 8/5/06, p.55)

2002        Jan 29, In Japan PM Koizumi fired foreign minister Makiko Tanaka. Yoriko Kawaguchi was soon chosen to replace her.
    (SFC, 1/30/02, p.A8)(SFC, 2/1/02, p.A15)

2002        Jan, The jobless rate climbed to 5.4%.
    (WSJ, 3/19/02, p.A1)

2002        Feb 1, The Nikkei fell 2.1% to 9791 and closed below the DJIA for the 1st time since 1957.
    (WSJ, 2/4/02, p.C1)

2002        Feb 17, Pres. Bush opened a three-nation Asian tour in recession-wracked Japan, where he urged PM Junichiro Koizumi to follow through on long-promised economic reforms.
    (SFC, 2/18/02, p.A1)(AP, 2/17/07)

2002        Feb 18, Addressing Japan's national legislature, President George Bush said the country's recession-ravaged economy was "on the path to reform," and he urged the Diet to help curb the spread of terrorism in the region.
    (AP, 2/18/07)

2002        Feb 28, Japan reportedly planned to double its whale catch to 260 whales and include the endangered sei whale.
    (SFC, 3/1/02, p.A19)

2002        Mar 25, It was reported that educational changes for younger students in Japan included every Saturday off, a 30% decrease in rote learning, and new integral study classes to foster thinking.
    (WSJ, 3/25/02, p.A12)

2002        Mar 28, US Air Force Staff Sergeant Timothy Woodland was convicted in a Japanese court and sentenced to nearly three years in prison for raping a woman on the southern island of Okinawa.
    (AP, 3/28/03)

2002        May 11, A cow tested positive for mad cow disease for the 1st time since last fall.
    (SFC, 5/15/02, p.A13)

2002        May 24, Japan led a successful move to deny Alaska and Siberian native peoples a renewal of permission to hunt whales after a failed bid to end a 20-year moratorium on commercial whaling.
    (SFC, 5/25/02, p.A17)

2002        May 31, The World Cup soccer tournament opened in Japan and South Korea for the first time with a match between Senegal and defending champion France in South Korea. Senegal upset France, 1-0.
    (SFC, 6/1/02, p.A1)(AP, 5/31/03)

2002        May, Wal-Mart entered the Japanese market by buying a 6.1% stake in the Seiyu Ltd. supermarket chain.

2002        Jun 4, Japan ratified the Kyoto Protocol, aimed at cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases and urged the US and other countries to do so.
    (AP, 6/4/03)(SFC, 6/5/02, p.A3)

2002        Jul 4, A British ship left Takahama, Japan, with 550 pounds of defective, near weapons-grade plutonium, for return to its British supplier.
    (SFC, 7/5/02, p.A12)

2002        Jul 11, Typhoon Chata'an left 5 dead in Japan and moved north.
    (Reuters, 7/11/02)

2002        Jul 20, The number of Japanese who have died after taking diet pills imported from China has risen to four and 124 have fallen ill, Kyodo news agency reported quoting a Health Ministry report.
    (Reuters, 7/20/02)

2002        Aug 5, Japan launched a compulsory ID system aimed at bringing government into the electronic age in the face of stiff protests calling it a violation of privacy and a temptation to hackers.
    (AP, 8/5/02)

2002        Aug 9, Makiko Tanaka, former Japanese foreign minister, resigned as a member of parliament after failing to clear up allegations she had misused state funds.
    (AP, 8/9/02)

2002        Aug 12, In Japan protesters ripped up and threw away documents printed with new ID numbers. A new database that stores personal data, names, addresses, dates of birth, gender and the new ID numbers, for each of Japan's 126 million citizens, was implemented days earlier.
    (AP, 8/12/02)

2002        Aug 19, Japan has launched a diplomatic offensive to foil South Korea's attempt to rename the ocean separating the Asian neighbors from "Sea of Japan" to the "East Sea", saying the weight of history is on the Japanese side.
    (Reuters, 8/19/02)

2002        Aug 27, A Tokyo court acknowledged for the first time Japan's use of biological weapons before and during World War II, but rejected demands for compensation by 180 Chinese who claimed they were victims of the germ warfare program.
    (AP, 8/27/03)

2002        Sep 17, Kim Jong-il apologized to Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi for abductions of Japanese citizens and offered concessions on security issues of global concern. Both leaders exchanged apologies. Of 11 Japanese on an official North Korea list of those who were kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s, only 4 were still alive. Details of the kidnapped were made public Oct 2. North Korea announced that it will indefinitely extend its moratorium on missile testing as part of the North Korea-Japan Pyongyang Declaration signed during a meeting between Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
    (AP, 9/17/02)(SFC, 10/3/02, p.A8)(www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/dprkchron.asp)

2002        Oct 8, Japan's government came under pressure to shield the economy from an expected wave of bankruptcies resulting from tough new bank reforms as new evidence emerged that a brief recovery was shuddering to a halt.
    (Reuters, 10/8/02)
2002        Oct 8, Masatoshi Koshiba (76) was named one of this year's Nobel Prize winners for Physics, marking Japan's third science Nobel in as many years. Riccardo Giacconi (71) of Assoc. Univ. in Washington DC and Raymond Davis Jr. (87) of Univ. of Pennsylvania shared the prize awarded for their work on neutrinos that revised thinking about the nature of the universe.
    (AP, 10/8/02)(SFC, 10/9/02, p.A2)(WSJ, 10/9/02, p.A1)

2002        Oct 15, In Japan 5 citizens snatched by North Korean agents in 1978, returned home for a visit.
    (SFC, 10/16/02, p.A1)

2002        Oct 25, Koki Ishii (61), a Japanese opposition lawmaker known for his aggressive probing into ruling party corruption scandals, was stabbed to death in what could be the nation's first political assassination in more than four decades. The Democratic Party politician was attacked in front of his home in central Tokyo by an unidentified man in his 50s who ran away.
    (AP, 10/25/02)

2002        Nov 21, Prince Takamado, a member of the Japanese imperial household known for his love of sports, died after collapsing while playing squash.
    (Reuters, 11/21/02)

2002        Dec 1, Prof. Saburo Ienaga, Japanese historian, died at age 89. He had led battles against the government screening of textbooks.
    (SFC, 12/2/02, p.A19)

2002        Dec 13, Japan's ruling coalition agreed to tax reforms to revive the economy.
    (FT, 12/14/02, p.3)

2002        Dec 15, Japan won golf's World Cup for the first time in 45 years.
    (AP, 12/15/03)

2002        David Matsumoto authored "The New Japan: Debunking Seven Cultural Stereotypes."
    (SSFC, 8/4/02, p.M5)
2002        Tsutomu Yamaguchi (1916-2010), twice-victim of the 1945 nuclear bombs in Japan, published a collection of 31-syllable poems (tanka) that reflected on his WWII ordeal.
    (Econ, 1/16/10, p.85)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsutomu_Yamaguchi)

2002        The Institute of space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS) planned to launch its Muses-C to bring asteroid samples back to Earth.
    (SFC, 7/4/98, p.A10)
2002        Tokyo Electric Power shut its 17 nuclear reactors after it was caught falsifying safety records to hide cracks at some plants.
    (Econ, 7/25/05, p.58)
2002        The freighter Turubong 1 sailed from the North Korean port of Chongjin. Somewhere in the Sea of Japan off the coast of the quiet village of Sakaiminato, its crew dumped 522 pounds of amphetamines overboard for retrieval by smugglers. In 2006 Japanese police made their first arrests in the case, seven Japanese and a South Korean intermediary. Authorities said North Korea was involved as a government.
    (AP, 8/11/06)
2002        Nissan launched a joint effort in China with car manufacturer Dongfeng.
    (Econ, 6/12/10, p.71)
2002        Japanís Kindai Univ. managed to rear adult tuna from eggs for the first time.
    (Econ, 9/24/16, p.39)
2002        In Japan 9 people died from E. coli bacteria poisoning after eating a marinated chicken and vegetable dish at a hospital and its annex, a nursing home for the aged, in the provincial city of Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo.
    (AFP, 8/19/12)

2003        Jan 11, Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, wrapping up a three-day visit to the Russian capital, called for the abolition of all nuclear weapons in an address at a leading atomic energy research center.
    (AP, 1/11/03)

2003        Jan 12, Kinji Fukasaku (72), Japanese film director, died. His films included "Battle without Honor and Humanity" (1973), "Cops vs. Thugs" (1975), "Yakuza Graveyard" (1976) and "Graveyard of Honor" (1976) and "The Geisha House" (1999).
    (SFC, 1/28/03, p.A15)

2003        Jan 18, Activists in Tokyo carried toy guns filled with flowers, one banner at a Moscow rally read "Iraq isn't your ranch, Mr. Bush," and some 6,000 anti-war protesters in Paris shouted, "Stop Bush! Stop war!"
    (AP, 1/18/03)

2003        Jan, Eifuku, a $300 million Tokyo-based hedge fund, collapsed. George Soros was believed to have $180 million in the fund.
    (WSJ, 1/30/03, p.C1)

2003        Mar 28, Japan's first spy satellites were blasted into orbit, causing an angry North Korea to warn the move could spark an arms race in the region.
    (AP, 3/28/03)

2003        Apr 2, The Japanese government said a Japanese whaling fleet killed 400 minke whales during a five-month scientific expedition in Antarctic waters.
    (AP, 4/2/03)

2003        Apr 11, In southern Japan an explosion ripped through a fireworks factory, killing seven people and injuring four others.
    (AP, 4/11/03)

2003        Apr 24, Japanese scientists reported that a new vitamin that plays an important role in fertility in mice and may have a similar function in humans. They said Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), a substance discovered in 1979, can be categorized as a vitamin.
    (AP, 4/24/03)

2003        Apr 28, Japanís Nikkei 225 stock prices hit bottom more than a decade after they first started falling.
    (Econ, 10/18/08, p.86)(http://tinyurl.com/6d5bz8)

2003        Apr, The 54-story Mori Tower was scheduled to open in Tokyo amid a glut of commercial office space.
    (WSJ, 12/11/02, p.B1)

2003        May 9, Japan launched a rocket carrying the Muses-C probe, which planned to make contact with asteroid 1998 SF36 in June of 2005.
    (SFC, 5/10/03, p.A7)

2003        May 26, A 7.0 earthquake hit Japan's main island of Honshu. At least 54 people were injured.
    (SFC, 5/27/03, p.A3)

2003        May 31, In St. Petersburg, Russia, Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi and Hu Jintao, the new president of China, agreed in a summit to work at defusing tensions over North Korea.
    (AP, 5/31/03)

2003        Jun 9, Japan pledged $1 billion in aid to help rebuild war-torn Sri Lanka as a major donor conference opened in Tokyo. $2 billion in aid was pledged but without the participation of the country's Tamil rebels.
    (AP, 6/9/03)

2003        Jun 18, Japan, which had begun counting the homeless for the first time, estimated the homeless population at 25,000 compared to 600,000 in the US.
    (WSJ, 6/18/03, p.A1)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.86)

2003        Jul 20, In southern Japan weekend mudslides destroyed more than a dozen homes, killing 16 people.
    (AP, 7/22/03)

2003        Jul 25, Japanese lawmakers voted to send military forces to Iraq to help with reconstruction.
    (SFC, 7/26/03, p.A3)

2003        Jul 26, Across northern Japan 3 powerful earthquakes knocked out power grids, collapsed buildings and set off mudslides. At least 268 people were hurt.
    (AP, 7/26/03)

2003        Aug 24, Japanís Musashi-Fuchu routed East Boynton Beach, Fla., 10-1 to win the Little League World Series.
    (AP, 8/24/08)

2003        Aug, Toyota sold more cars in America than did Chrysler.
    (Econ, 10/11/03, p.82)

2003        Sep 16, In western Japan a man reportedly involved in a pay dispute set off an explosion that killed himself, a hostage and a police officer in an office building.
    (AP, 9/16/03)
2003        Sep 16, It was reported that scientists in Japan have transformed mouse stem cells into sperm cells.
    (SFC, 9/16/03, p.A6)

2003        Sep 18, Genshin Fujinami (44), a Japanese Buddhist monk of the Tendai sect, completed a 7-year, 24,800-mile spiritual journey to the Hiei mountains. 46 other marathon monks have completed the journey since 1885. The ritual, believed to be a path to enlightenment, dates to the 8th century.
    (SFC, 9/20/03, p.A2)

2003        Sep 20, Japan's ruling party entered the final phase of voting to choose its leader. PM Junichiro Koizumi easily won re-election as head of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
    (AP, 9/20/03)

2003        Sep 25, In northern Japan an 8.3 earthquake, the world's most powerful in 2 1/2 years, injured at least 589 people and knocked out power on Hokkaido.

2003        Sep 29,  In Japan a 23-month-old bull tested positive for new strain of mad cow disease. A quarantine of 604 cows followed to prevent the spread of  the disease.
    (AP, 10/8/03)

2003        Oct 9, Japan's PM Junichiro Koizumi ordered the lower house of Parliament dissolved, paving the way for national elections that he's counting on to strengthen his party.
    (AP, 10/9/03)

2003        Oct 15, Japan pledged $1.5 billion in reconstruction aid next year for Iraq and more down the line despite economic woes at home.
    (AP, 10/15/03)

2003        Oct 17, Pres. Bush stopped in Tokyo and thanked PM Junichiro Koizumi for aid to Iraq.
    (WSJ, 10/17/03, p.A1)

2003        Oct 23, Japan refused to grant citizenship to a Japanese couple's twins because they were born to an American surrogate mother in California.
    (WSJ, 10/24/03, p.A1)

2003        Oct 28, Japan's Sony Corp. said it would cut 20,000 workers and reduce costs by $3 billion over the next 4 years.
    (SFC, 10/29/03, p.B3)

2003        Oct 31, Kamato Hongo (116), a Japanese woman believed to have been the world's oldest person, died.
    (AP, 10/31/03)

2003        Oct, Vol. 1 of Osamu Tezuka's "Buddha" series was published in the US. The 8-volume epic was about the life and times of Siddhartha.
    (SSFC, 4/4/04, p.F1)

2003        Nov 9, Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi's ruling bloc won a majority in the country's parliamentary elections. The opposition made big gains, narrowing the ruling coalition's majority on parliament and dampening its hopes for a strong mandate to carry out ambitious economic and political reform.
    (AP, 11/9/03)(AP, 11/9/08)

2003        Nov 10, PM Junichiro Koizumi's ruling party clawed its way back to a simple majority in parliament following elections that strengthened the main opposition party.
    (AP, 11/10/03)

2003        Nov 13, Mitoyo Kawate, a 114-year-old Japanese woman who just weeks ago assumed the title of the world's oldest person, died. The oldest person is now Charlotte Benkner, of North Lima, Ohio, born Nov. 16, 1889.
    (AP, 11/13/03)

2003        Nov 15, Japanese officials told Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld they were confident their country would not be left vulnerable by any agreements between the US and North Korea. They also indicated they would like to send troops to Iraq "as soon as possible."
    (AP, 11/15/03)

2003        Nov 26, Japan threatened to impose $85 million in retaliatory duties on American imports unless the US backs away from steel tariffs ruled unfair by the WTO.
    (AP, 11/26/03)

2003        Nov 29, A Japanese rocket carrying two spy satellites for monitoring North Korea failed to reach orbit and had to be destroyed, space officials said, a blow to Japan's space program.
    (AP, 11/29/03)
2003        Nov 29, In Iraq US senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jack Reed met with local officials in the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk. Attackers in Mahmudiyah killed 7 members of a Spanish intelligence team as it returned from a mission. In northern Iraq gunmen ambushed and murdered two Japanese diplomats and their Iraqi driver.
    (AP, 11/29/03)(SSFC, 11/30/03, p.A1)(AP, 11/30/03)

2003        Dec 9, In Japan PM Junichiro Koizumi's Cabinet approved the dispatch of about 1,000 soldiers to help in the reconstruction of Iraq.
    (AP, 12/9/03)

2003        Dec 11, ASEAN members met for a 2-day summit in Tokyo. Japan joined the 10 Southeast Asian nations in a pledge to expand trade and join forces on regional security.
    (AP, 12/11/03)

2003        Dec 12, Japan pledged $3 billion in new aid to southeast Asia and promised to work with the region to bolster security ties, liberalize trade and create a broad "economic partnership.
    (AP, 12/13/03)

2003        Dec 19, Japan announced that it will begin building a missile defense system.
    (AP, 12/19/03)

2003        Dec 22, South Korea and Japan began negotiations on establishing a free-trade agreement between the East Asian economic powerhouses.
    (AP, 12/22/03)

2003        Dec 29, Japan pledged to forgive "the vast majority" of its Iraqi debt if other Paris Club nations do the same. China later said it would consider the idea.
    (AP, 12/29/03)

2003        The new Mori Art Museum opened in Tokyo atop the 53-story Mori Tower. It was named its founder and builder, real estate developer Minoru Mori. It was part of the new 29-acre, $4 billion Roppongi Hills complex. 
    (SFC, 10/29/03, p.D1)(SFC, 11/17/05, p.E8)

2003        Gillian Tett authored "Saving the Sun: A Wall Street Gamble to Rescue Japan from Its Trillion Dollar Meltdown." It is about the clash of 2 visions of finance, a competitive American one and Japan's system of entangled preferments."
    (WSJ, 9/2/03, p.D5)

2003        Japanís government privatized J-Power, the state-owned electric wholesaler.
    (Econ, 4/12/08, p.74)
2003        Toshihiko Fukui was appointed governor of the Bank of Japan.
    (Econ, 2/14/04, p.68)
2003        US sales of Japanese manga comics reached $100 million.
    (SSFC, 4/4/04, p.F5)
2003        Japanís fertility rate fell below 1.3, down from 3.65 in 1950.
    (Econ, 11/13/04, p.45)
2003        In Japan the number of suicides rose about 50% since 1990 to 34,500.
    (Econ, 10/8/05, Survey p.6)

2004        Jan 5, Kiharu Nakamura (90), Japanese geisha, died in the US. Her 10 books included "The Memoir of a Tokyo-born Geisha."
    (Econ, 1/24/04, p.78)

2004        Feb 9, Japan passed a law making it easier to impose economic sanctions on impoverished North Korea, prompting the communist country to demand that Tokyo be barred from future multilateral talks on its nuclear program.
    (AP, 2/9/04)

2004        Feb 19, A Japanese consortium announced it will develop an Iranian oil field with reserves of up to 26 billion barrels. The deal was opposed by the United States because of fears the money could go to nuclear proliferation.
    (AP, 2/19/04)

2004        Feb 22, Japanese authorities confirmed the nation's 10th case of mad cow disease since the first sick animal was discovered in September 2001.
    (AP, 2/22/04)

2004        Feb 27, Shoko Asahara was convicted and sentenced to hang for masterminding the deadly 1995 nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway and other crimes that killed 27 people.
    (AP, 2/27/04)

2004        Feb 29, Japan's agriculture minister slammed a senior poultry industry executive for failing to report the deaths of tens of thousands of chickens on his farm, where officials have confirmed the country's third outbreak of bird flu.
    (AP, 2/29/04)

2004        Mar 7, In central Japan a helicopter chartered by a TV news station crashed while filming a highway accident, killing all four aboard,
    (AP, 3/7/04)

2004        Mar 16, Japan's Toshiba Corp said that Guinness World Records had certified its stamp-sized hard disk drives (HDDs) as the smallest in the world. The 0.85-inch HDDs, unveiled in January, have storage capacity of up to four gigabytes and will be used in products such as cell phones and digital camcorders.
    (AP, 3/16/04)

2004        Mar, In Japan $31.5 million worth of jewels from an upscale shop in Tokyo were stolen. The jewels have never been found. On Dec 18, 2009, three Serb members of the infamous "Pink Panther" ring of thieves were convicted in Belgrade of Japan's biggest-ever jewel heist, which nabbed treasures including a $27-million (euro19-million) diamond necklace. Dorothy Fasola, a British national, was also named in Japanese police papers as one of the masterminds behind the robbery.
    (AP, 12/18/09)(http://tinyurl.com/yfhxvxz)

2004        Apr 8, In a dramatic video, Iraqi insurgents revealed they had kidnapped 3 Japanese and threatened to burn them alive in 3 days unless Japan agrees to withdraw its troops. The hostages were later released unharmed.
    (AP, 4/9/05)

2004        Apr 15, In Iraq 3 Japanese hostages who had been threatened with death unless Tokyo withdrew its troops from Iraq were released.
    (AP, 4/15/04)

2004        Apr 18, Koken Nosaka (79), Japanese lawmaker, died. He was a former top government spokesman under Japan's first Socialist prime minister in the post-World War II era. He helped end political turmoil by brokering a once-unthinkable alliance between his party, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party and the now-defunct Sakigake Party in June 1994.
    (AP, 4/18/04)

2004        Apr 22, It was reported that Japanese scientists had demonstrated mammalian reproduction in mice using 2 sets of female genes.
    (SFC, 4/22/04, p.A1)

2004        May 20, Taketo Hatakeyama (41), a member of Japanís Sumiyoshi Kai crime group, killed himself as police stormed his apartment building in Utsunomiya. This followed a 2-day standoff. A woman was found dead inside.
    (AP, 5/20/04)

2004        May 22, North Korea agreed to release the family members of Japanese citizens kidnapped by Northern agents, and Japan pledged aid to the impoverished country at a summit between the two nations' leaders.
    (AP, 5/22/04)

2004        May 27, In Iraq gunmen south of Baghdad attacked a car carrying Japanese journalists Shinsuke Hashida (61) and his nephew, Kotaro Ogawa (33). The vehicle burst into flames and both were killed.
    (AP, 5/28/04)

2004        May 28, The Tokyo High Court sentenced Yoshihiro Inoue (34), a former doomsday cult member, to death for a 1995 nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subways, overturning a lower court ruling condemning him to life in prison.
    (AP, 5/28/04)

2004        May, A Japanese consulate worker in Shanghai committed suicide. Japanese newspapers later reported the official took his life because Chinese officials were pressuring him for secret information, using a "woman problem" as leverage. China accused Japan of deliberately smearing China's international image.
    (AP, 1/1/06)

2004        Jun 5, Japan's legislature adopted a bill designed to save the country's troubled pension system following an all-night debate marred by brawls and a walkout by opposition parties. The bill raised pension fund premiums from 13.58% of pay to 18.3% by 2017.
    (AP, 6/5/04)(Econ, 7/16/05, p.36)

2004        Jun 24, In Japan Cyberdyne was founded by Yoshiyuki Sankai, a professor at the University of Tsukuba as a venture company to develop his ideas for an exoskeleton suit.

2004        Jul 11, In Japanís upper-house elections PM Junichiro Koizumi and his Liberal Democratic Party LDP won 49 seats, one seat less than the opposition DPJ. Koizumi and his Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling bloc held on to a majority.
    (Econ, 7/17/04, p.41)(AP, 7/11/05)

2004        Jul 17, Japanís NTT DoCoMo launched a wallet phone aimed to combine cash and cell phones with a small embedded chip that can store money and personal information.
    (Reuters, 7/18/04)

2004        Jul 19, Zenko Suzuki, former prime minister of Japan (1980-1982), died.
    (SFC, 7/21/04, p.B7)

2004        Jul 23, The Japanese government reported that suicides in Japan in 2003 surged to an all-time high topping 34,000 deaths in a trend fueled by health and financial troubles.
    (AP, 7/23/04)

2004        Aug 2, In western Japan 7 members of a family were found stabbed to death with a kitchen knife.
    (AP, 8/2/04)

2004        Aug 9, In Japan a nonradioactive steam leak killed 5 people and injured seven in the worst-ever accident at a nuclear power plant in Fukui prefecture. The No. 3 reactor of the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant was shutdown and not restarted until January 2007.
    (AP, 8/9/04)(Econ, 8/14/04, p.54)(AP, 1/9/07)

2004        Aug 12, Japanís Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group (MTFG) announced that it had beaten the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group for the acquisition of UFJ. [see Aug 30]
    (Econ, 8/14/04, p.66)

2004        Aug 20, Tropical storm Megi swept out to sea beyond northern Japan, leaving behind an arc of destruction that killed 13 people.
    (AP, 8/21/04)

2004        Aug 30, Japan's Supreme Court ruled that troubled bank UFJ Holdings Inc. can pull out of a deal to sell its trust business to a smaller rival, clearing the way for a full takeover of UFJ by larger Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group (MTFG).
    (AP, 8/30/04)
2004        Aug 30, Typhoon Chaba plowed into southern Japan, killing at least five people and injuring 73.
    (AP, 8/30/04)

2004        Sep 1, Accused U.S. Army deserter Charles Jenkins said he will surrender to the US to face charges that have dogged him since he vanished from his unit in South Korea in 1965. After expressing a desire to put his conscience at rest, Jenkins reported on September 11, 2004 to Camp Zama in Japan. He reported in respectful military form, saluting the receiving military police officer. On November 3, 2004, Jenkins pleaded guilty to charges of desertion and aiding the enemy, but denied making disloyal or seditious statements Ė the latter charges were dropped. He was sentenced to 30 days' confinement and received a dishonorable discharge, being released six days early, on November 27, 2004, for good behavior. Jenkins and his family settled on Sado Island in Japan.
    (AP, 9/1/04)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Robert_Jenkins)

2004        Sep 5, Typhoon Songda, billed as the strongest to hit southern Japan in at least three decades, lashed Okinawa island with heavy rains and high winds and headed toward Japan's main islands.
    (AP, 9/5/04)

2004        Sep 8, Japan's coast guard found five more bodies from an Indonesian cargo ship that ran aground during a powerful typhoon that has hammered Japan, raising the death toll from the storm to at least 28.
    (AP, 9/8/04)

2004        Sep 10, Japan confirmed a 12th case of mad cow disease.
    (AP, 9/13/04)

2004        Sep 14, Mount Asama, one of Japan's largest and most active volcanoes, began spewing gray smoke into the air. Its last major eruption was in 1783.
    (AP, 9/15/04)

2004        Sep 17, Mexico and Japan signed a free trade agreement that Mexicans hope will ease their reliance on the United States while encouraging Japan to build more factories there. PM Junichiro Koizumi wrapped up a four-day Latin American trip then headed for New York to pitch for a permanent Japanese seat on the UN Security Council.
    (AP, 9/17/04)

2004        Sep 29, Tropical storm Meari battered Japan, killing five people and injuring 52 and forced thousands to evacuate to shelters. [see Sep 30]
    (AP, 9/29/04)

2004        Sep 30, In Japan the death toll from tropical storm Meari rose to 19 after searchers found more victims.
    (AP, 9/30/04)

2004        Oct 9, Typhoon Ma-on hit Japan. It was the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan's Pacific coastline in a decade and left 2 dead with 5 missing.
    (AP, 10/9/04)(WSJ, 10/11/04, p.A1)

2004        Oct 12, Police found 7 young people slumped over dead in a parked van outside Tokyo in what was believed to be Japan's biggest-ever group suicide. Another 2 people were found dead in a rented car parked in Yokosuka.
    (AP, 10/12/04)(SFC, 10/13/04, p.A2)

2004        Oct 15, Japan won a two-year term on the U.N. Security Council along with Argentina, Denmark, Greece and Tanzania.
    (AP, 10/15/04)

2004        Oct 19, Typhoon Tokage (Lizard), the biggest typhoon to hit Japan in more than a decade, roared over the country's main island with heavy rain and fierce winds leaving at least 16 people dead and 12 others missing.
    (AFP, 10/20/04)(SFC, 10/21/04, p.A3)

2004        Oct 21, China and Japan planned emergency talks over energy rights in the disputed waters between them.
    (WSJ, 10/21/04, p.A17)
2004        Oct 21, Japan's deadliest typhoon in more than two decades left at least 66 people dead as rescuers searched frantically for 22 still missing in floods and landslides.
    (AP, 10/21/04)

2004        Oct 23, Several earthquakes, the largest measuring 6.8, hit northwestern Japan, toppling homes, causing blackouts, cutting water and gas and derailing a bullet train. 40 people were killed and as many as 1,900 injured.
    (SFC, 10/28/04, p.A12)(Econ, 10/30/04, p.50)(AP, 10/23/05)

2004        Oct 30, The decapitated body of a Japanese backpacker (Shosei Koda) was found wrapped in an American flag in northwestern Baghdad; the militant group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi later claimed responsibility. In 2006 Hussein Fahmi (28), an operative for al-Qaida in Iraq, confessed to carrying out 116 beheadings, including that of 24-year-old Japanese backpacker Shosei Koda.
    (WSJ, 11/1/04, p.A1)(AP, 10/30/05)(AP, 3/2/06)

2004        Oct 31, Japan condemned the beheading of a Japanese hostage in Iraq as a despicable act of terrorism and vowed to keep its troops in the country on their reconstruction mission.
    (AP, 10/31/04)
2004        Oct 31, African and Asian leaders opened a two-day conference in Tokyo to spur trade and investment between the two regions. The gathering is a follow-up meeting of the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD III) held last year and is co-hosted by Japan, the World Bank. TICAD, a Japanese initiative, was started in 1993 to raise international support for African development and has been held every five years.
    (AP, 10/31/04)

2004        Nov 10, Japan's navy went on alert when a submarine was detected in Japanese waters between the southern island of Okinawa and Taiwan. Japan soon determined that it was Chinese nuclear submarine and incident strained relations between two of Asia's biggest economic and military powers.
    (AP, 11/13/04)

2004        Nov 12, It was reported that Japan and China owned about a quarter of outstanding US Treasury debt. They held $723 and $172 billion respectively.
    (WSJ, 11/12/04, p.C4)

2004        Nov 29, A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 struck Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, injuring at least 24 people.
    (AP, 11/29/04)

2004        Dec 10, Japan's government overhauled its defense guidelines, easing an arms exports ban and singling out North Korea and China as security threats.
    (AP, 12/10/04)

2004        Dec 15, A walking, talking child-size robot from Honda Motor Co. managed an easy, although comical, jog in the Japanese automaker's latest quest to imitate human movement.
    (AP, 12/15/04)

2004        Dec, Sakae Hatashita (81) arrived in Japan following a solo sailing across the Pacific from San Diego. He planned to bury his wifeís ashes. Hatashita died in 2005 of a heart attack on his return trip shortly after leaving Japan.
    (WSJ, 7/12/05, p.A13)

2004        Akihiko Matsutani authored ďShrinking-Population Economics: Lessons from Japan."
    (Econ, 11/20/10, SR p.6)
2004        Japan enacted civil defense legislation.
    (Econ, 9/2/17, p.31)
2004        Japan enacted a law stating that people wishing to register a gender change must have their original reproductive organs removed and have a body that "appears to have parts that resemble the genital organs" of the gender they want to register.
    (AP, 3/20/19)
2004        Japan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) grew to 331 investigators and a budget of •7.82 billion.
    (Econ, 10/8/05, Survey p.9)
2004        In Japan workersí pay dropped to about 64% of corporate earnings.
    (Econ, 10/8/05, Survey p.4)
2004        Japanís video game makers introduced the Nintendo DS (dual screen) and Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable).
    (Econ, 2/26/11, p.70)

2005        Jan 1, Japan pledged up to $500 million in grant aid for tsunami disaster relief.
    (AP, 1/1/05)
2005        Jan 1, Japan was forecast for 1.7% annual GDP growth with a population at 127.4 million and GDP per head at $37,550.
    (Econ, 1/1/05, p.91)
2005        Jan 1, Japanís currency opened at 102.41 yen to the dollar. Rising oil prices pushed it down in April to 108.91 to the dollar.
    (WSJ, 4/7/05, p.C16)

2005        Jan 18, A tsunami conference began in Japan with calls to expand warning systems.
    (WSJ, 1/19/05, p.A1)

2005        Jan 22, In Japan the world's nations ended their tsunami conference and agreed to work together to better guard their people against natural disasters.
    (AP, 1/22/05)

2005        Jan 27, It was reported that Japanís trade with China in 2004 exceeded its trade with the US for the 1st time. This included figures for Hong Kong.
    (WSJ, 1/27/05, p.A10)

2005        Feb 4, Japan confirmed its 1st human death from mad-cow disease. It was suspected that the man died as a result of beef he consumed in England around 1989.
    (WSJ, 2/7/05, p.A16)

2005        Feb 5, in central Japan police found 9 bodies were found in two cars in what appeared to be the country's latest group suicides.
    (AP, 2/5/05)

2005        Feb 14, In western Japan a man carrying a knife burst into a public elementary school and stabbed at least 3 adults. Kyodo News reported that one of the victims died.
    (AP, 2/14/05)

2005        Feb 16, Japan released GDP numbers indicating that its economy has technically been in a recession since Spring of 2004.
    (Econ, 2/19/05, p.40)

2005        Feb 21, Kyodo News said that Japan's Princess Aiko, the 3-year-old daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife, will be next in line for the Chrysanthemum Throne after her father.
    (AP, 2/21/05)

2005        Feb 26, Japan put a weather satellite into space for the first time since a humiliating failure 15 months ago in hopes of entering the launch market.
    (SSFC, 2/27/05, p.A3)

2005        Mar 7, Sony Corp. picked Sir Howard Stringer (63), Welsh-born head of its US operations, to replace chairman and CEO Nobuyuki Idei.
    (WSJ, 3/7/05, p.A1)

2005        Mar 14, Akira Yoshizawa (94), an origami master whose expressive paper gorillas made an art out of Japan's craft tradition, died of heart failure and pneumonia.
    (AP, 4/3/05)

2005        Mar 20, A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck off the coast of southern Japan, killing one person and injuring at least 381 others.
    (AP, 3/20/05)

2005        Mar 22, Kenzo Tange (91), Japanese architect, died. His work included the stadiums for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
    (SFC, 3/23/05, p.B7)

2005        Mar 24, Chess legend Bobby Fischer walked free from a Japanese detention center and immediately headed to the airport to fly to his new home in Iceland.
    (AP, 3/24/05)

2005        Mar 22, India said it has reached a basic agreement with Japan on the joint development of natural gas off the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
    (AFP, 3/26/05)

2005        Mar 25, Japanís world fair, Aichi Expo 2005, opened. It ended on Sep 25.
    (SSFC, 3/27/05, p.F2)(http://www.expo2005.or.jp/en/)

2005        Mar, Takafumi Horie, chief executive of Japanese Internet portal Livedoor, authored ďMaking Money for Beginners."
    (WSJ, 2/3/06, p.A1)

2005        Apr 4, PM Junichiro Koizumi proposed privatizing Japan's postal service by 2017, a step that would create the world's biggest bank out of the mammoth pile of cash deposited at post offices by conscientious Japanese savers.
    (AP, 4/4/05)

2005        Apr 13, Japan and India took a first step to a possible free trade deal with an agreement to spend a year looking at the effects of a pact on the two major Asian economies.
    (AFP, 4/14/05)

2005        Apr 16, Protesters in Shanghai threw stones and broke windows at Japan's consulate and Japanese restaurants as tens of thousands of people defied government warnings and staged demonstrations against Tokyo's bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat.
    (AP, 4/16/05)

2005        Apr 22, Japan's PM Koizumi apologized for his country's World War II aggression in Asia in a bid to defuse tensions with regional rival China, but a Chinese diplomat dismissed the remarks, saying "actions are more important" than words.
    (AP, 4/22/05)

2005        Apr 23, The leaders of China and Japan met in an effort to end a dispute over Japan's World War II aggression that has badly damaged relations between them. They met on the sidelines of a summit for Asian and African leaders in Jakarta.
    (AP, 4/23/05)

2005        Apr 25, A packed commuter train that was behind schedule and may have been speeding jumped the tracks and hurtled into an apartment complex, killing 107 people and injuring 450 in Japan's worst rail accident in 40 years.
    (AP, 5/1/05)

2005        Apr 29, Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi wooed India, aiming to build a partnership with New Delhi to cope with the growing clout of China in a changing continent.
    (AP, 4/29/05)

2005        May 4, Japanese media reported Japan will withdraw its 550 soldiers from their non-combat mission in Iraq in December.
    (AP, 5/4/05)

2005        May 7, China and Japan agreed to try to improve strained ties and meet soon to discuss a disputed gas field.
    (Reuters, 5/7/05)

2005        May 20, Australia stepped up diplomatic efforts to stop Japan from increasing its whale hunt, saying up to 35 countries were opposed to the plan.
    (Reuters, 5/20/05)

2005        May 25, Japan and Malaysia agreed to key elements of a free-trade pact, to be launched in December, covering automobiles and most other economic sectors.
    (WSJ, 5/26/05, p.A10)

2005        Jun 2, Australia led 15 countries including Britain, France and Germany in a protest on against Japan's plans to expand its annual whale hunt.
    (AP, 6/2/05)

2005        Jun 10, Two American scientists and an Austrian conductor won this year's Kyoto Prizes, the Japanese awards for achievement in the arts and sciences.
    (AP, 6/10/05)
2005        Jun 10, In southern Japan an 18-year-old student tossed a homemade bomb into a high school classroom, injuring 58 teenagers.
    (AP, 6/10/05)

2005        Jun 14, Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. broke ground on a new assembly plant in Russia, in a vote of confidence in the booming Russian consumer market despite investors' jitters over the Yukos case.
    (AP, 6/14/05)

2005        Jun 16, Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, Japanese resort and railroad kingpin, pleaded guilty to charges of insider trading and falsifying records at the opening of his trial. This was widely seen as a symbol of the growing pressures toward transparency and social responsibility in corporate Japan.
    (AP, 6/16/05)(SFC, 6/17/05, p.C1)

2005        Jun 20, Japan said it would dramatically expand its research whaling, doubling the number of minke whales it kills annually for scientific study.
    (AP, 6/20/05)
2005        Jun 20, The leaders of Japan and South Korea failed to make progress on mending ties damaged by a territorial dispute over islands in the Sea of Japan and a flap over Tokyo's militaristic past during a tense summit.
    (AP, 6/20/05)

2005        Jun 21, The International Whaling Commission meting in South Korea upheld its nearly two-decade-old ban on commercial whaling.
    (AP, 6/21/05)
2005        Jun 21, Taiwan sent two warships to protect fishermen who have repeatedly been chased by Japanese patrol boats away from rich fishing grounds near disputed islands in the East China Sea, a decision likely to raise diplomatic tensions.
    (AP, 6/21/05)

2005        Jun 23, A fast food chain in northern Japan began offering a whale burger , even as anti-whaling nations urged Japan to cut back on its catch at an international conference on whaling.
    (AP, 6/23/05)

2005        Jun 30, China overtook Japan as the worldís largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. The combined China and Hong Kong reserves stood at $833 billion.
    (Econ, 9/17/05, p.80)

2005        Jul 4, A Japanese parliamentary committee approved bills that would create the world's largest bank by privatizing the state-run postal system, which handles trillions of dollars in savings and insurance deposits.
    (AP, 7/5/05)

2005        Jul 15, Two Japanese tankers collided in the Pacific Ocean off the central Japan coast, sparking a blaze that killed one sailor and left five others missing.
    (AP, 7/15/05)

2005        Jul 16, Yi Ku (73), the son of Korea's last crown prince, died alone of a heart attack in Japan. He was the last member of the Chosun dynasty that ruled Korea from 1392 until 1910.
    (AP, 7/24/05)

2005        Jul 20, Japanese electronics giant Hitachi said it has become the first foreign company to win certification from US transport authorities for its bomb-detection equipment, opening up major new markets.
    (AP, 7/20/05)

2005        Jul 22, Japan's Parliament approved legislation authorizing the defense chief to shoot down missiles without permission from the prime minister or Cabinet, boosting a missile defense system Japan is working on with the United States.
    (AP, 7/22/05)

2005        Jul 23, A magnitude-6.0 earthquake shook the Tokyo area, injuring at least 27 people.
    (AP, 7/23/05)

2005        Aug 1, Japan said it would retaliate against Americaís abuse of WTO anti-dumping rules with a 15% duty on 15 American products.
    (Econ, 8/6/05, p.62)

2005        Aug 8, Japanese lawmakers rejected legislation to split up and sell the nation's postal service, leading PM Junichiro Koizumi to call snap elections next month. He promised to make the vote a referendum on his reform plan and pledged to resign if it fails.
    (AP, 8/8/05)

2005        Aug 16, A 7.2 earthquake shook northeastern Japan, triggering landslides, sending a shower of ceiling debris into a crowded indoor swimming pool and shaking skyscrapers as far away as Tokyo. At least 59 people were reportedly injured.
    (AP, 8/16/05)(WSJ, 8/17/05, p.A1)

2005        Aug 18, A pride of lions attacked a Japanese woman (50) visiting the Lion and Cheetah Park at Norton, a Zimbabwe wildlife park. She died the next day.
    (AP, 8/21/05)

2005        Aug 23, Japanese electronics giants Sony and Toshiba said they would go ahead with incompatible formats for next-generation DVDs after talks to reach a common standard failed.
    (AP, 8/23/05)
2005        Aug 23, Stores across Japan started taking orders for the Roborior, a watermelon-sized eyeball on wheels that glows purple, blue and orange. Roborior can function as a virtual guard dog that can sense break-ins using infrared sensors, notify homeowners by calling their cellular phones, and send the owner's cell phone videos from its digital camera.
    (AP, 8/23/05)

2005        Aug 27, Kyodo News said Kenichi Shinoda, an ex-gang boss in Nagoya and formerly the Yamaguchi-gumi's number-two, became the sixth head of the 90-year-old yakuza gang in a ceremony in the western port city of Kobe. Japan's biggest underworld syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, formally appointed its new don, marking the first change of power for the dreaded group in 16 years.
    (AP, 8/27/05)

2005        Aug, Researchers in Tokyo announced their fabrication of flexible webs of plastic the include temperature and pressure sensors suitable for use a e-skin for robots.
    (Econ, 8/20/05, p.63)

2005        Sep 1, In Japan Tokyoís Keio University Hospital received a bomb threat linked to demands that its medical school increase their admissions. 10 other major university hospitals received similar threats but no explosives were found.
    (AP, 9/5/05)

2005        Sep 6, Japan said it had completed the 20-year privatization of the nation's biggest telecommunications company.
    (AP, 9/6/05)
2005        Sep 6, Typhoon Nabi lashed southern Japan and South Korea driving more than 300,000 people from their homes. At least 9 people were killed, and 16 people were missing, including two in South Korea.
    (AP, 9/6/05)

2005        Sep 7, A powerful tropical storm churned northward through the Sea of Japan, killing at least 16 people and leaving landslides and flooded towns in its wake.
    (AP, 9/7/05)

2005        Sep 9, Japanese software company Access Co., maker of the NetFront Internet browser for mobile devices, said it has agreed to buy PalmSource Inc., maker of the Palm operating system for handheld computers and cell phones, for $324 million in cash.
    (AP, 9/9/05)
2005        Sep 9, China deployed a fleet of 5 warships near a gas field in the East China Sea, an area disputed by China and Japan.
    (SSFC, 9/11/05, p.A12)

2005        Sep 11, Japanese voters handed PM Junichiro Koizumi's ruling coalition a landslide victory in elections for the lower house of parliament.
    (AP, 9/11/06)
2005        Sep 11, A leading newspaper said Japan plans to demand a cut in its contributions to the UN budget from 2007 after the failure of its high-profile campaign to win a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
    (AP, 9/11/05)

2005        Sep 12, In Japan PM Junichiro Koizumi's triumph in parliamentary polls handed the leader a new mandate to harness his revitalized ruling party and turn promises into action for a range of sweeping economic reforms.
    (AP, 9/12/05)

2005        Sep 16, In Osaka Susumu Kitagawa (58), convicted of robbing, raping and killing two women in the 1980s, was executed. This was Japan's first hanging of the year. His execution left 74 people on death row in Japan.
    (AP, 9/16/05)

2005        Sep 17, In Japan DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) members, stunned by the loss of a third of their 177 seats in the lower house of parliament, chose Seiji Maehara (43) as their new leader.
    (Econ, 9/24/05, p.50)

2005        Sep 21, Japan's Parliament re-elected Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister following the ruling coalition's landslide electoral victory last week, and he pledged to plow ahead with privatization of the postal service and other reforms.
    (AP, 9/21/05)

2005        Sep 22, Japan's finance ministry said government debt, already the highest in the industrialized world, rose 1.7% to a record high of 795.8 trillion yen ($7.1 trillion) at the end of June.
    (AP, 9/23/05)
2005        Sep 22, In Japan Sony Corp. said it will cut about 10,000 jobs, close 11 plants and shrink or terminate 15 unprofitable operations in an ambitious restructuring bid to revive its stumbling electronics business.
    (AP, 9/22/05)

2005        Sep 25, Japanís world fair, Aichi Expo 2005, closed.
    (SSFC, 3/27/05, p.F2)(www-2.expo2005.or.jp/en/index.html)

2005        Sep 26, Japan's Cabinet approved legislation to privatize the country's trillion-dollar postal service, pushing ahead with its plan to create the world's largest financial institution.
    (AP, 9/26/05)

2005        Sep 28, A team of Japanese scientists reported their capture on film for the 1st time the 26-foot long Architeuthis (a giant squid) as it attacked prey nearly 3,000 feet deep off the coast of Japan's Bonin islands.
    (AP, 9/28/05)

2005        Sep 29, In Japan Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. reported a new chip that uses the common electric socket as your home's connection to broadband, doing away with all the Ethernet cables or the hassle of hooking up to a wireless network device.
    (AP, 9/29/05)

2005        Oct 1, Japan privatized four debt-ridden public corporations that run the nation's highways, in the latest of PM Junichiro Koizumi's initiatives to reduce the size of government.
    (AP, 10/1/05)
2005        Oct 1, China and Japan ended 2 days of talks with no resolution on their territorial dispute in the East China Sea, which focused on oil and gas deposits straddling the border.
    (Econ, 10/8/05, p.52)

2005        Oct 4, Japan's Cabinet endorsed a one-year extension of the country's naval mission to support U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan, citing renewed concerns about terrorism after the recent bombings in Indonesia.
    (AP, 10/4/05)

2005        Oct 5, Toyota Motor Corp. said it has agreed to buy an 8.7 percent stake in rival Japanese automaker Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru cars, from General Motors Corp. for about $315 million.
    (AP, 10/5/05)

2005        Oct 6, In Japan the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper was awarded compensation from a small Internet firm that used its news headlines without permission, in a first-of-a-kind ruling in the country. The Intellectual Property High Court, a special branch court of the Tokyo High Court, ordered Digital Alliance Corp. to pay about 237,700 yen (2,000 dollars) to the Yomiuri.
    (AFP, 10/6/05)

2005        Oct 10, Japan's space agency conducted a test flight of a supersonic jet prototype in the Australian Outback.
    (AP, 10/10/05)

2005        Oct 11, Japan's powerful lower house of parliament approved a plan to privatize the country's vast postal system.
    (AP, 10/11/05)

2005        Oct 16, A Japanese newspaper reported that the US and Japan have reached a basic agreement on relocating two US military bases on the southern island of Okinawa, where the US presence has frequently provoked protests.
    (AP, 10/16/05)

2005        Oct 17,     Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi enraged China and South Korea by visiting Tokyo's Yasukuni war shrine.
    (AP, 10/17/06)

2005        Oct 26, The US accepted a Japanese proposal for the relocation of a US air station on Okinawa, resolving a dispute that had blocked progress on military realignment talks and caused friction between the two allies.
    (AP, 10/26/05)
2005        Oct 26, Toyota Motor Corp. said that its joint venture with China's biggest automaker plans to build a 3rd plant in China with annual production capacity of 200,000 passenger cars.
    (AP, 10/26/05)

2005        Oct 28, US Ambassador Thomas Schieffer said the US plans to reduce the number of American troops in Okinawa and the rest of Japan.
    (AP, 10/28/05)
2005        Oct 28, Japan's government said basing a US nuclear-powered warship in Japanese waters for the first time will boost stability in East Asia, hailing an agreement even as it drew protests from the community that will host the aircraft carrier.
    (AP, 10/28/05)

2005        Oct 29, The US and Japan agreed to step up military cooperation and substantially reduce the number of Marines on the strategically important southern island of Okinawa. The US will move 7,000 US Marines from Japan's Okinawa prefecture to Guam.
    (AP, 10/29/05)(AFP, 10/29/05)

2005        Oct 31, Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi named a new Cabinet, putting outspoken conservatives, and potential successors, in top positions and retaining his economic team.
    (AP, 10/31/05)
2005        Oct 31, Okinawa's governor told Japan's central government that a plan to build a U.S. heliport on the southern island as part of a realignment of the American military presence there was unacceptable.
    (AP, 10/31/05)

2005        Nov 1, Japanese artist Hiro Yamagata announced plans to recreate Afghanistan's destroyed Bamiyan Buddhas using as many as 240 laser beam images, a giant project that could also bring electricity to local people.
    (AFP, 11/1/05)

2005        Nov 3, North Korea's abduction of Japanese citizens decades ago took center stage at the opening of talks in Beijing between the former bitter enemies.
    (Reuters, 11/3/05)

2005        Nov 8, A fleet of Japanese whaling ships left for the seas of Antarctica amid protests Tuesday, aiming to kill 850 minke whales, almost double last year's catch, and expand the hunt to fin whales for the first time.
    (AP, 11/8/05)

2005        Nov 9, Japanese electronics makers Toshiba Corp. and NEC Electronics Corp. announced they will jointly develop technology to produce next-generation semiconductors that are smaller, faster, more efficient and less costly.
    (AP, 11/9/05)

2005        Nov 11, The Japanese government announced that Yoshifumi Nishikawa, the former president of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., will lead preparation of the privatization of Japan's mammoth postal corporation. The privatization begins October 2007.
    (AP, 11/11/05)
2005        Nov 11, Automaker DaimlerChrysler AG ended its ill-fated involvement with Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Co., selling its 12.4 percent stake in the company to Goldman Sachs for an undisclosed price.
    (AP, 11/11/05)

2005        Nov 12, Japanís Hayabusa probe successfully released its Minerva surface-exploring robot, but Minerva appeared to start drifting away from the asteroid's surface. The space agency said it is targeting actual landings on the potato-shaped asteroid Itokawa on Nov. 19 and Nov. 25. The asteroid was named after Hideo Itokawa, founder of Japanís space program. Hayabusa was the 1st spacecraft to use an ion engine as its main propulsion device.
    (AP, 11/13/05)(Econ, 11/26/05, p.94)

2005        Nov 15, Japanese Princess Sayako (36), the emperor's only daughter, quit the world's oldest monarchy and married Yoshiki Kuroda, a 40-year-old urban planner.
    (AP, 11/15/05)
2005        Nov 15, US President George W. Bush has arrived in Japan to start a week-long trip to Asia, seeking progress on the North Korean nuclear crisis and looking to press China for political and economic reforms.
    (AP, 11/15/05)

2005        Nov 16, A private research agency said corporate bankruptcies in Japan climbed 23 percent to 825 cases in October from the previous month, the first increase in two months.
    (AP, 11/16/05)

2005        Nov 20, Project manager Junichiro Kawaguchi said Hayabusa, a Japanese spacecraft, has failed to land on the Itokawa asteroid in the 2nd setback for the landmark mission aiming to bring samples from such a celestial body to Earth for the first time. The space agency, after evaluating more data, said on Nov 23 that Hayabusa did land for a half-hour, but failed to collect any material.
    (AFP, 11/20/05)(SFC, 11/23/05, p.A16)

2005        Nov 21, The leaders of Russia and Japan said the settlement of a 60-year-old dispute that kept their nations from formally ending their World War II hostilities requires closer economic cooperation and patient trust-building as Tokyo backed Moscow's bid to join the World Trade Organization.
    (AP, 11/21/05)

2005        Nov 22, Japan's Liberal Democratic Party marked its 50th anniversary by unveiling a proposed revision to the country's pacifist constitution that would end the ban on having a military and give the armed forces a more assertive international role.
    (AP, 11/22/05)

2005        Nov 24, Japan finalized an agreement to forgive $6.1 billion of Iraqi debt, or about 80% of the total owed by Baghdad.
    (AP, 11/24/05)

2005        Nov 26, Japan reported that its space probe Hayabusa had landed on the surface of the Itokawa asteroid and then collected rock samples that could give clues to the origin of the solar system. Data on the sample collection was later subject to question.
    (Reuters, 11/26/05)(AP, 12/07/05)

2005        Nov 30, A Tokyo appeals court ordered the Japanese government to pay more than $27 million in compensation to residents affected by noise from a US air base, raising the amount awarded by a lower court.
    (AP, 11/30/05)
2005        Nov 30, In Japan police arrested Juan Carlos Pizarro Yagi, a Peruvian man of Japanese descent, for the murder of Airi Kinoshita, 7-year-old schoolgirl whose body was found Nov 22 in a cardboard box in western Japan. A DNA match led to the arrest. In 2006 Yagi (34) was sentenced to life in prison.
    (AP, 12/01/05)(AP, 7/4/06)

2005        Dec 6, Japan's Cabinet approved measures to demolish buildings designed using falsified earthquake safety data and to relocate residents amid a widening construction scandal. Some 60 of over 200 hotels and condominium complexes designed by Hidetsugu Aneha were ordered to be pulled down due to faked earthquake-resistance data.
    (AP, 12/06/05)(Econ, 12/10/05, p.46)
2005        Dec 6, Kyodo News said Japan plans to extend its humanitarian military mission to Iraq into 2006 but could pull its ground forces in the middle of the year if the British and Australian troops guarding them leave.
    (AP, 12/06/05)

2005        Dec 8, In Japan a typing error caused Mizuho Securities Co. to lose at least 27 billion yen, or $225 million, on a stock trade. The next day the government rebuked the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Mizuho Securities, one of the country's biggest brokerage firms.
    (AP, 12/09/05)

2005        Dec 11, Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi invited Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels to meet in Japan for talks to save their ceasefire, which is threatened with collapse after 34 people were killed in fresh violence.
    (AP, 12/11/05)

2005        Dec 12, Japan gave the final go-ahead to resume imports of some US beef after a two-year ban due to fears of mad cow disease, averting a potential trade war between the close political allies.
    (AFP, 12/12/05)

2005        Dec 14, Japanís space agency said the return of its Hayabusa probe would be delayed until June, 2010, due to a thruster problem.
    (SFC, 12/15/05, p.A19)

2005        Dec 15, Japanís ruling Liberal Democratic Party agreed to raise taxes starting in April. The timing and amount of a consumption tax increase was deferred.
    (WSJ, 12/16/05, p.A16)

2005        Dec 16, Sony Corp. unveiled an upgrade of its 23.5-inch humanoid robot QRIO, which can now recognize boxes and play with them like building blocks.
    (AP, 12/16/05)

2005        Dec 19, Japanís Honda Motor Co. said it plans to start mass-producing solar cells in 2007, eyeing growing demand for environmentally friendly energy sources.
    (AP, 12/19/05)

2005        Dec 22, Japan's government said the population dropped this year for the first time on record, signaling a demographic turnaround for one of the world's fastest-aging societies. Japan became the world's first leading economy to suffer a decline in population, with 21,408 more deaths than births, the feared onset of what may become a crippling labor shortage at mid-century.
    (AP, 12/22/05)(AP, 1/20/07)

2005        Dec 23, Greenpeace activists said a Japanese whaling fleet is "on the run" as activists chased it across the icy waters of the Southern Ocean near Antarctica. A day earlier activists in small inflatable boats had repeatedly maneuvered into position between target whales and the harpooners, allowing several whales to escape.
    (AP, 12/23/05)

2005        Dec 24, The Japanese government said it has decided to move forward with a ballistic missile defense program with the United States.
    (AP, 12/24/05)

2005        Dec 25, In northern Japan an express train traveling through strong winter winds derailed in Yamagata prefecture, killing 5 people and injuring more than 30. Heavy snowfall and blizzards have lead to the deaths of eight other people and disrupted traffic for hundreds of thousands of holiday travelers across Japan.
    (AP, 12/26/05)(AP, 12/27/05)

2005        Dec 26, Japan's benchmark stock index topped 16,000 points, reaching its highest level since October 2000. The dollar rose slightly against the yen and euro.
    (AP, 12/26/05)

2005        Dec 27, The Japanese government endorsed measures that would put more women in top government posts and provide more support for working mothers at a time when the country is facing low birth rates and a looming labor shortage.
    (AP, 12/27/05)

2005        Dec 28, Japanese harpooners slipped away from Greenpeace anti-whaling activists under cover of a storm in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica. Greenpeace vessels stuck with the Japanese whaling fleet's mother ship.
    (AFP, 12/28/05)

2005        In Japan the Chim Pom collective of 6 artists began creating guerrilla art, blurring the distinction between art and activism. The majority of their work has been documented on a series of popular and bestselling DVDs.
    (Econ, 3/10/12, p.98)(www.virtualjapan.com/wiki/Chim_Pom)
2005        Mark West authored ďLaw in Everyday Japan: Sex, Sumo, Suicide and Statutes."
    (Econ, 6/4/11, p.92)
2005        The city government of Tokyo, Japan, founded the ShinGinko Tokyo bank. It was conceived by Gov. Shintaro Ishihara. Mismanagement over the next 3 years let it burn through $1 billion.
    (Econ, 4/12/08, p.84)
2005        In Japan Shizuka Kamei founded the Peopleís New Party (PNP).
    (Econ, 9/26/09, p.88)
2005        Japanese investment in China reached $6.5 billion, more than a tenth of the total received by China this year.
    (Econ, 10/7/06, p.30)
2005        Some 500 million immature jellyfish drifted into the Sea of Japan each day. Giant jellyfish started swarming into the area in large numbers in 2002 impacting the local fishing.
    (WSJ, 11/27/07, p.A1)
2005        Japanese retailer Uniqlo entered the American market with three stores in New Jersey. Two of them closed within two years.
    (Econ, 9/17/16, p.60)

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