Return to home2001 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
(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
(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
(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.
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,
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.
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.
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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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,
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
(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
(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
(WSJ, 3/7/05, p.A8)
2001 Vodaphone took control of
J-Phone, Japanís 3rd largest operator. In 2003 J-Phone was renamed
(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
(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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
(AP, 9/17/02)(SFC, 10/3/02,
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.
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
(AP, 10/8/02)(SFC, 10/9/02, p.A2)(WSJ, 10/9/02,
2002 Oct 15, In Japan 5
citizens snatched by North Korean agents in 1978, returned home for
(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
2002 Nov 21, Prince Takamado, a
member of the Japanese imperial household known for his love of
sports, died after collapsing while playing squash.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
(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!"
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.
2003 Apr 2, The Japanese
government said a Japanese whaling fleet killed 400 minke whales
during a five-month scientific expedition in Antarctic waters.
2003 Apr 11, In southern Japan
an explosion ripped through a fireworks factory, killing seven
people and injuring four others.
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.
2003 Apr 28, Japanís Nikkei 225
stock prices hit bottom more than a decade after they first started
(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
(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.
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.
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
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.
2003 Aug 24, Japanís
Musashi-Fuchu routed East Boynton Beach, Fla., 10-1 to win the
Little League World Series.
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
2003 Sep 16, It was reported
that scientists in Japan have transformed mouse stem cells into
(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
(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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
(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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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,
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.
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
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
2003 Dec 19, Japan announced
that it will begin building a missile defense system.
2003 Dec 22, South Korea and
Japan began negotiations on establishing a free-trade agreement
between the East Asian economic powerhouses.
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.
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
(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.
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
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.
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
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
2004 Mar 7, In central Japan a
helicopter chartered by a TV news station crashed while filming a
highway accident, killing all four aboard,
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
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.
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.
2004 Apr 15, In Iraq 3 Japanese
hostages who had been threatened with death unless Tokyo withdrew
its troops from Iraq were released.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
2004 Aug 2, In western Japan 7
members of a family were found stabbed to death with a kitchen
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
(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.
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
2004 Aug 30, Typhoon Chaba
plowed into southern Japan, killing at least five people and
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.
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.
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.
2004 Sep 10, Japan confirmed a
12th case of mad cow disease.
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.
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.
2004 Sep 29, Tropical storm
Meari battered Japan, killing five people and injuring 52 and forced
thousands to evacuate to shelters. [see Sep 30]
2004 Sep 30, In Japan the death
toll from tropical storm Meari rose to 19 after searchers found more
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.
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
(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
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
(SFC, 10/28/04, p.A12)(Econ, 10/30/04, p.50)(AP,
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
(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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
(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
(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.
2004 Japan's Fair Trade
Commission (FTC) grew to 331 investigators and a budget of •7.82
(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
(Econ, 2/26/11, p.70)
2005 Jan 1, Japan pledged up to
$500 million in grant aid for tsunami disaster relief.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
2005 Mar 20, A magnitude 7.0
earthquake struck off the coast of southern Japan, killing one
person and injuring at least 381 others.
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.
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.
2005 Mar 25, Japanís world
fair, Aichi Expo 2005, opened. It ended on Sep 25.
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.
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
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.
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"
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
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.
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
2005 May 4, Japanese media
reported Japan will withdraw its 550 soldiers from their non-combat
mission in Iraq in December.
2005 May 7, China and Japan
agreed to try to improve strained ties and meet soon to discuss a
disputed gas field.
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.
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.
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.
2005 Jun 10, In southern Japan
an 18-year-old student tossed a homemade bomb into a high school
classroom, injuring 58 teenagers.
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.
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.
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.
2005 Jun 21, The International
Whaling Commission meting in South Korea upheld its nearly
two-decade-old ban on commercial whaling.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
2005 Jul 23, A magnitude-6.0
earthquake shook the Tokyo area, injuring at least 27 people.
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.
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
(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.
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.
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
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.
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
(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
2005 Sep 6, Japan said it had
completed the 20-year privatization of the nation's biggest
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
2005 Oct 10, Japan's space
agency conducted a test flight of a supersonic jet prototype in the
2005 Oct 11, Japan's powerful
lower house of parliament approved a plan to privatize the country's
vast postal system.
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.
2005 Oct 17,
Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi enraged China and South Korea by
visiting Tokyo's Yasukuni war shrine.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
(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.
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.
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
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
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
2005 Nov 24, Japan finalized an
agreement to forgive $6.1 billion of Iraqi debt, or about 80% of the
total owed by Baghdad.
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.
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
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2005 Dec 24, The Japanese
government said it has decided to move forward with a ballistic
missile defense program with the United States.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)