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Japan and the United States: Diplomatic, Security, and Economic Relations, Part II, 1977-1992

January 13, 1977:

President Jimmy Carter invites Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda to the U.S., and stresses the need for U.S.-Japanese cooperation to overcome the world's economic difficulties. (New York Times 1/14/77)

January 21, 1977:

The Japanese Government completes its investigation on the Lockheed scandal with the indictments of Kenji Osano and Yoshio Kodama. (New York Times1/24/77; Facts on File 2/5/77 83A2)

January 23, 1977:

Vice President Walter Mondale sets off on a nine-day trip to five European countries and Japan to discuss the Carter administration's economic and foreign policies and assess mood of key allies; Western economies are to be prime issue. (New York Times 1/22/77)

January 27, 1977:

Former Premier Kakuei Tanaka and four other defendants, Hiro Hiyama (former chairman of Marubeni Trading Co. and Lockheed's former sales agent in Japan), Toshiharu Okubo and Hiroshi Itoh (former managing directors of Marubeni), and Toshio Enomoto (Tanaka's former secretary) go on trial in Tokyo District Court on charges of accepting bribes from Lockheed Aircraft Corp. The defendants plead not guilty to charges of bribery, perjury and violating Japan's foreign exchange regulations. Tanaka is accused of having influenced the Transport Ministry to expedite All Nippon Airway's purchase of Lockheed planes between 1972 and 1974 as the premier, and that he accepted $1.6 million in bribes to arrange the deal. (Facts on File 2/5/77 83A2)

January 30, 1977:

Mondale arrives in Tokyo to meet with Fukuda to discuss economic policies. (New York Times 1/31/77)

January 31, 1977:

The second of the Lockheed trials opens in Tokyo District Court, involving eight more men accused of accepting bribes. Among them are Tomisaburo Hashimoto (former transport minister), Takayuki Sato (former parliamentary vice transport minister), Tokuji Wasaka (former president of ANA) and Naoji Watanabe (former vice president of ANA). Hashimoto and Sato plead not guilty. (Facts on File 2/5/77 83A2)

March 21-22, 1977:

Fukuda meets with Carter in Washington. Fukuda urges Carter to retain a U.S. military presence in the Pacific; Carter reaffirms his promise to consult Seoul and Tokyo before withdrawing U.S. forces from South Korea. Fukuda urges the U.S. and Japan to take the lead in solving the world's economic problems. Carter allegedly tells Fukuda that the U.S.-Japan trade imbalance is harmful to U.S.-Japan relations, specifically citing imports of Japanese color televisions. Fukuda responds that Japan has a deficit in invisible trade and services to the U.S., and that the problem of trade should be considered in terms of several years, not one. Another source of disagreement is the Japanese plan to build a nuclear processing plant; Carter asserts the plant is unnecessary and will contribute to the spread of technology used in producing nuclear weapons, Fukuda says Japan will not stop building the plant, noting that Japan signed the NPT and that the plant would provide Japan with an alternative to oil. Carter accepts an invitation to visit Japan and renews the U.S. proposal that Japan be given a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. (Facts on File 3/26/77 209E2; New York Times 3/22/77, 3/23/77)

March 30, 1977:

Japanese Foreign Minister Iichiro Hatoyama says that the U.S. proposal to ban nuclear reprocessing violates the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which guarantees the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Tokyo officials are concerned that the U.S. proposal would undermine Japanese public confidence in a program that is already controversial. (Facts on File 4/30/77 329C3)

May 9, 1977:

The "London Declaration" is signed at G7 summit; it proclaims that: "The world economy has to be seen as a whole; it involves not only cooperation among national governments but also strengthening appropriate international organizations." (New York Times 5/10/77)

May 20, 1977:

After seven weeks of negotiations, Japan signs a three-year pact known as an orderly market agreement, intended to substantially reduce the number of color television exports to the U.S. Under the pact, Japan can export up to 1.75 million TVs a year for three years, 1.56 million completely assembled and 190,000 partially assembled sets per year, with no allowance for export growth over the three-year period. The Committee to Preserve American Color Television, a coalition of 15 U.S. manufacturers and unions, expresses its discontent that this level has been set too high. Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) also charges that the agreement does not deal with alleged "predatory pricing practices" used by Japanese manufacturers, and says that the Justice Department is investigating possible antitrust violations by the Japanese manufacturers. (Facts on File 6/4/77 415E3)

May 22-25, 1977:

The 24th annual International Monetary Conference meets in Tokyo, attended by officials of 116 major commercial banks in 22 countries. Among the topics discussed are Japan's continuing balance of payments surplus and the mounting debts accumulated by developing nations with payment deficits. Japan is accused of not sharing the worldwide recovery effort with other economically strong countries, and specific criticism is directed against the Bank of Japan's policy of maintaining the yen at a relatively low value to give Japanese exports an edge in world trade. (Facts on File 6/11/77 437B3)

May 23, 1977:

At Japan's request, the GATT begins an investigation into whether a U.S. court ruling setting countervailing duties on Japanese electronics exports to the U.S. violated world trade laws set by GATT. Japan contends that the U.S. court ruling would have a widespread, damaging effect on world trade. (Facts on File 6/4/77 415E3)

July 19, 1977:

The Japanese Finance Ministry announces a record $6.64 billion trade surplus in the first half of 1977. (Facts on File 8/6/77 586C1)

July 27, 1977:

Following two days of talks with South Korean leaders in Seoul that produced a U.S. commitment to retain a major portion of U.S. troops in Korea until 1982, Defense Secretary Harold Brown stops in Tokyo to brief Japanese officials on his talks in Seoul and to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to play an important role in the Asian security. Brown reportedly tells Aso Mihara, director general of Japan's Defense Agency, that the U.S. will seek four-party talks among the U.S., North and South Korea and China about the U.S. troop withdrawal from South Korea. Fukuda reportedly shows private concern over the issue. (Facts on File 7/30/77 572D1)

August 26, 1977:

Secretary of State Cyrus Vance meets with Japanese leaders to brief them on talks with Chinese leaders, during which Prime Minister Fukuda invites President Carter to Japan. (New York Times 8/27/77)

September 26-30, 1977:

The 32nd annual joint meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are held in Washington. The main topic discussed is the slowdown of economic recovery and its consequences for world trade. President Carter says that the U.S. would meet its 1977 economic growth target of 6 percent and also calls on all nations to pursue economic policies that would increase world trade and ease internal pressures to limit foreign imports. President Carter also urged Japan to pursue economic growth to improve the pattern of world trade balances and prevent the "deleterious" consequences of protectionism. His remarks were seen as indirect criticism of economic expansion policies adopted by Japan as well as West Germany. The U.S., Japan, and West Germany, the world's richest countries, are encouraged to adopt stimulative policies that would spur consumer demand for imports from the rest of the world, where recovery was slow. The IMF's managing director, H. Johannes Witteveen, in his speech criticizes "selective" limits on trade, such as the orderly marketing agreements the U.S. had negotiated with Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. (Facts on File 10/8/77 753C2; New York Times 9/27/77)

September 27, 1977:

Treasury Secretary Michael Blumenthal announces that the U.S. trade deficit might total $25 billion to $30 billion by the end of 1977. (Facts on File 10/8/77 753C2)

September 28, 1977:

Five members of the Japanese Red Army, the revolutionary left-wing group, hijack a Japan Air Lines plane flying from Paris to Tokyo. They divert the plane to Dacca, Bangladesh, and finally surrender and release their hostages on October 3, after landing in Algiers, Algeria. Because the Japanese government waived the right to seek extradition of the hijackers during the negotiations to release the hostages, the Algerian government refuses the Japanese government's later request to return the hijackers and the ransom money to Japan. (Facts on File 10/8/77 756F2)

October 3, 1977:

The Treasury Department rules that five major Japanese steel producers, Nippon Steel Corp., Nippon Kokan K.K., Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd., Kawasaki Steel Corp. and Kobe Steel Ltd., are dumping carbon steel plate on the U.S. market at below-cost prices and that the companies should pay a 32 percent penalty duty. The government used outside estimates to calculate Japanese producers' costs, and found that instead of charging a "fair value" price of about $285 a ton, the Japanese were selling the carbon plates at around $215 a ton. The ruling will retroactively come into effect after the Treasury makes a final determination on the dumping charges. After the announcement, Japanese and European producers indicate they will accept orderly market agreements in an effort to head off a trade war. (Facts on File 10/15/77 774B3)

October 4, 1977:

The Japanese government asks the U.S. to meet three conditions before concluding an orderly market agreement: that the Japanese companies which limited their exports would not be subject to U.S. antitrust restrictions, that U.S. Steel drop its pending dumping charges, and that the U.S. promise to negotiate similar trade restrictions with European steel producers. (Facts on File 10/15/77 774B3)

October 11, 1977:

Etienne Davignon, the European Community's industry minister, calls on the U.S., Japan and Europe to begin talks on long-term remedies for their steel industries, stating that "voluntary limits on foreign shipments would only camouflage the true problem." (Facts on File 10/15/77 774B3)

October 13, 1977:

President Carter, at a press conference, says that the problems of the U.S. steel industry are part of a worldwide phenomenon of economic slowdown in major industrial countries, and that voluntary reductions are an "artificial and simplistic approach" to a structural problem. (Facts on File 10/15/77 774B3)

October 18, 1977:

The value of the dollar falls to a postwar low in Tokyo of 252.03 yen. The appreciation of the yen (14 percent since January) is viewed as "part of a widespread move against the dollar." (Facts on File 10/22/77 792D2)

October 20, 1977:

MITI announces that Japan exported a record $43 billion worth of goods during the first half of its fiscal year which began April 1. (Facts on File 10/22/77 792D2)

November 17-21, 1977:

U.S.-Japan trade talks are held in Tokyo. Richard R. Rivers, an aide to Robert Strauss, President Carter's special representative for trade, reportedly insists that Japan adopt more stimulative economic growth policies to spur domestic demand for imports, turn its trade surplus to a deficit, eliminate quotas on food imports, and restructure its marketing and distribution system. This causes a furor in Japan and the Japanese government demands that the trade talks be upgraded to Cabinet-level meetings, to which the U.S. agrees. (Facts on File 12/10/77 931A2; New York Times 9/22/77)

November 28, 1977:

Fukuda forms a new Cabinet which includes many economic experts to cope with normalization of trade relations with the U.S. and other countries. Fukuda says in a news conference that he expects Japan's $11.2 billion trade surplus to drop considerably in fiscal 1978. (Facts on File 12/10/77 932E1)

November 29, 1977:

Japanese Ambassador Masao Sawaki announces at the annual assembly of the GATT in Geneva that Japan is planning to lower tariffs on a wide range of products by 40 percent over an eight-year period to reduce its trade surplus with the rest of the world. The items being considered include autos, computers, color films, and processed food. The U.S. expresses satisfaction with the Japanese announcement. (Facts on File 12/10/77 933C2)

December 6, 1977:

After negotiations with Japan, Carter announces a plan to curb steel imports and revitalize the U.S. steel industry. The plan is to restrict imports hinged on a trigger price based on the Japanese costs of production. Imports sold below the trigger level in the U.S. market will be subject to heavy duties. The plan also will provide direct aid to U.S. domestic steel producers. (Facts on File 12/10/77 931B3)

December 12-15, 1977:

Preliminary U.S.-Japan trade talks are held in Washington. Nobuhiko Ushiba, the Japanese special trade envoy, pledges that Japan will boost its economy by 7 percent and raise the ceiling on deficit financing to 37 percent in order to stimulate consumer demand. The U.S. is skeptical of these pledges. No agreements are made on the principal U.S. demand that Japan take measures to reduce its trade surplus. In the talks, the Carter administration continues to argue that Japan's payments surplus place heavy financing burdens on the nations that incur deficits in their trade with Japan, while Japan reiterates that it needs a heavy export volume to finance its crucial imports of food, energy and raw materials. Ushiba promises that Japan will not prevent a deficit, but refuses to take measures to shift from a surplus to a deficit. (Facts on File 12/24/77 973F2; New York Times 12/16/77)

January 11-13, 1978:

Special Trade Representative Strauss, in Tokyo for discussions on trade issues, reaches agreement to equalize trade between the two nations by fiscal year 1979. Sources in Tokyo also disclose that Fukuda has requested a meeting with Carter. (New York Times 1/12/78; A P 1/13/78)

January 23, 1978:

The U.S., Japan and EEC present trade concession proposals at the Multilateral Trade Negotiations (MTN) in Geneva. (New York Times 1/24/78)

February 2, 1978:

Ambassador Mike Mansfield, in a speech to the Japan Society, New York, defends the trade and economic concessions made by Japan to the U.S. as genuine. (New York Times 2/3/78)

April 21, 1978:

The Japanese government announces a three-part program by MITI and the Economic Planning Agency to reduce the nation's trade surpluses. The program will promote imports through a liberalized government financing program; encourage the country's foreign aid disbursements; and ease the conditions generally attached to them; as well as adjust and reduce some import prices. (Facts on File 4/28/78 314A1)

April 27, 1978:

National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, in a speech to the Japan Society in New York, says that no relationship in U.S. foreign policy is more important than that with Japan, and urges Japan to assume a more positive international role commensurate with its vastly expanded economic strength. (New York Times 4/28/78)

May 1-5, 1978:

Fukuda visits the U.S. for talks on Japan-U.S. trade issues, and promises to reduce its $8.9 billion trade surplus by measures such as curbing imports, buying aircraft from the U.S. and doubling its foreign aid in three years. In return for these efforts, Fukuda asks the U.S. to stabilize the value of the dollar to the yen and to control inflation. (Facts on File 5/12/78 348E2; New York Times 5/1/78, 5/3/78, 5/4/78)

May 23-24, 1978:

After a two-day visit to China, Brzezinski visits Japan to brief Japanese officials on his talks in Beijing. He tells Premier Fukuda that China is interested in resuming negotiations on a peace treaty with Japan which had been suspended since 1975. (New York Times 5/24/78; Facts on File 5/26/78 384D2)

June 14, 1978:

China and Japan announce they are resuming negotiations towards a friendship treaty. Within days, the Soviet Union protests to the Japanese government. (Facts on File 8/25/78, 637A1)

June 20, 1978:

Japan signs a $5-billion agreement covering the purchase of 100 F-15 jet fighter planes and 45 antisubmarine patrol planes from the U.S. over the next ten years. (New York Times 6/21/78)

July 17, 1978:

Ambassador Mansfield says Fukuda is serious about spurring a Japanese economic growth rate of 7 percent. (New York Times 7/17/78)

July 28, 1978:

The Japanese government's Annual Defense White Paper, noting the growing Soviet military threat, questions the capability of the U.S. Seventh Fleet to fully protect Japan. (Facts on File 5/26/78, 384D2)

August 12, 1978:

China and Japan, represented by Foreign Ministers Huang Hua and Sunao Sonoda, sign a 10-year Treaty of Peace and Friendship in Beijing. The pact pledges mutual respect for each other's sovereignty and territory, mutual nonaggression and noninterference in the domestic affairs of each country, and calls for settlement of all disputes through peaceful means. During the negotiations, there is a deadlock over the anti-Soviet "hegemony" clause proposed by the Chinese: China wants the clause to deal specifically with the Soviet Union; while Japan, concerned with the already deteriorating relationship with Moscow, insists on a more general reference to hegemony. As part of the agreement, China drops its claim to the Senkaku Islands and indicates that they will abrogate the 30-year Sino-Soviet treaty when it expires in 1980. (Facts on File 8/25/78, 637A1)

August 12, 1978:

The Soviet Union again protests the Sino-Japanese treaty, saying that its hegemony clause "is directed against the Soviet Union." Taiwan declares that it regards the treaty as null and void, particularly noting China's acceptance of Japan's claim on the Senkaku Islands; the U.S. welcomes the treaty saying that it promotes Asian peace and stability. (Facts on File 8/25/78, 637A1)

August 26, 1978:

Japanese armed forces call for a new agreement under which Japan will pay an additional $160 million towards local costs of U.S. defensive forces; the collapse of the dollar has increased U.S. costs by about 30 percent over past year and Japan is ready to compensate the U.S. as part of an enlarged defense effort and gradual rearmament program. (New York Times 8/27/78)

September 3, 1978:

Japan announces a series of measures to stimulate the economy to meet the country's growth rate target of 7 percent in the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979. The plan will pump funds into domestic requirements such as housing and roads. (Facts on File 9/15/78, 639F2)

September 5-7, 1978:

U.S.-Japan trade talks in Washington falter as the U.S. demands that Japan lower trade barriers to U.S. exports of beef, citrus products, and poultry, while Japan refuses to commit to U.S. demands. (Facts on File 9/15/78, 639F2)

September 9, 1978:

Japan orders a record number of military aircraft from the U.S., purchasing 100 F-15's and 45 P3C spotter planes; seeks to purchase six Grumman E-1 Hawkeye airborne early warning planes; and awaits Finance Ministry approval of $100-million to pay U.S. military costs in Japan. (New York Times 9/10/78)

October 3, 1978:

Assistant Commerce Secretary Frank Weil announces that he informed Japanese Trade and Industry Minister Toshio Komoto that the U.S. advocates a change in Japan's trade policies on cartels. Two days later, Commerce Secretary Juanita Kreps complains to Premier Fukuda that Japanese businesses are resisting his "clearly expressed will" to purchase more U.S. products. (Facts on File 10/20/78, 797C3)

October 23, 1978:

Japan and China implement the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship with representatives of both countries exchanging documents of ratification in Tokyo. The ceremonies are attended by Premier Fukuda and Chinese Deputy Premier Deng Xiaoping. Deng reportedly praises the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty during the talks with Premier Fukuda and warns Fukuda of the Soviet military buildup. (Facts on File 10/27/78, 801A1)

October 26, 1978:

Yasuhiro Nakasone, a leading official of the Liberal Democratic Party, is officially implicated in testimony in the Lockheed scandal trial in a Tokyo district court. Nakasone denies the allegations in a news conference. (Facts on File 11/3/78, 838D3)

November 7, 1978:

Energy Secretary James Schlesinger warns Japan to reduce its trade surplus or face U.S. protectionist measures. (New York Times 11/8/78)

November 9, 1978:

After a two-day visit to South Korea, Secretary of Defense Brown visits Tokyo for talks on improving coordination between U.S. and Japanese armed forces in Japan. At a news conference, Brown says that Tokyo agreed to pay $118 million in 1979-1980 for facilities on American bases in Japan which will raise Tokyo's annual contribution to about $700 million. The U.S. will continue to pay direct annual costs of over $1.1 billion. He also says that the Soviet Union is strengthening its Pacific fleet and that the U.S. hopes Japan will carry out "qualitative improvements" in its own military forces, "particularly in air defense and antisubmarine warfare capabilities." (Facts on File 12/1/78 914F1, 11/17/78 872B3; New York Times 11/9/78; New York Times 11/10/78)

November 27, 1978:

Premier Fukuda unexpectedly loses the first round of an election for the presidency of the Liberal Democratic Party to Masayoshi Ohira, the party's secretary-general. Fukuda withdraws his candidacy, giving Ohira the LDP presidency and the premiership of Japan. The next day, Ohira presents a policy statement affirming the importance of Japan's relations with the U.S. and Western Europe and calls for expanding Japan's regional economic ties. (Facts on File 12/1/78, 912D2; New York Times 11/29/78)

December 7, 1978:

Ohira is confirmed as prime minister. The next day, President Carter telephones to express hope that they will be able to meet in the near future. (New York Times 12/8/78, 12/9/78)

March 4-5, 1979:

U.S.-Japan trade talks are held in Tokyo. Treasury Secretary Blumenthal meets Japanese Finance Minister Ippei Kaneko on March 4 and Premier Ohira and other officials March 5. Talks focus on the imbalance in international trade and payments between the two countries, and Blumenthal urges the Japanese to open their economy more to the U.S. (Facts on File 3/9/79, 159F3)

March 29, 1979:

The U.S. halts trade talks in Washington with Japan after rejecting Tokyo's proposals to give U.S. firms more access to Japan's Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Co. competitive procurement bidding. Special Trade Representative Strauss describes the Japanese proposal as "wholly inadequate," noting a proposed GATT accord which called for the elimination of favoritism toward domestic companies. (Facts on File 3/30/79 229D3)

April 5, 1979:

Shoichi Yamaoka, head of Nissho-Iwai's aircraft department, and his deputy, Yojiro Imamura, are indicted on charges of violating currency laws by transferring from Japan $300,000 alleged to be part of a $1 million commission received from Boeing. (Facts on File 5/25/79, 389D2)

April 13, 1979:

The Treasury Department orders 38 U.S. subsidiaries and sales agents of nine Japanese color television makers to pay $40.7 million in dumping penalties, based on a finding that Japanese exporters sold color TVs in the U.S. between January 1, 1972, and June 30, 1973, at prices below those in Japan. The Treasury Department originally orders 62 importers to pay penalties for dumping in March 1978, but only 24 comply under protest. The remaining 38 challenge the Treasury's action. (Facts on File 4/27/79, 298F2)

April 30-May 6, 1979:

Ohira visits the U.S. The joint communiqu‚ issued at the end of the meeting with President Carter notes joint efforts to achieve a "more harmonious pattern of international trade and payments," while Japan would open markets, the U.S. would try to control inflation. An agreement is also signed for cooperation over the next ten years in research in new energy technology. Also, Carter's decision to slow the pullout of U.S. forces from South Korea eases Japan's concern about the possible lessening of the U.S. commitment to East Asian security. Ohira meets members of Congress to tell them that Japan is taking steps to curb trade surpluses and warns that U.S. protectionist measures could have grave effects on world trade. (Facts on File 5/4/79, 320E1; New York Times 5/4/79)

May 15, 1979:

Two former officials of Nissho-Iwai Co., former Vice President Hachiro Kaifu and the former assistant manager of the firm's aircraft division, Kunio Arimori, are indicted on charges of violating foreign-exchange and foreign-trade control laws by paying bribes to government officials to obtain contracts for McDonnell Douglas Corp. and Boeing Co. (Facts on File 5/25/79, 389D2)

May 16, 1979:

Japan reports a trade deficit of $361 million for the month of April. This is its first April deficit in five years. Its trade surpluses with the U.S. for the first four months of the year have dropped to $1.7 billion from $2.4 billion from the previous year. (Washington Post 5/19/79; New York Times 5/17/79)

June 1, 1979:

Lockheed Corporation pleads guilty to having concealed $2.6 million in payments from 1972 to 1974 to Japanese government and business officials, including a $1.8 million payment that allegedly went to the office of then Prime Minister Tanaka. (New York Times 6/2/79)

June 2, 1979:

Special Trade Representative Strauss and Japanese External Economic Affairs Minister Nobuhiko Ushiba initial an agreement in Tokyo accepting the principle of "mutual reciprocity" as a guideline to ensure access to each other's markets. Early 1980 is set as the deadline for coordinating and standardizing testing and certification procedures for many imported items. Japan agrees to import more U.S. coal, to hold future talks with the U.S. on expanding purchases of American cigars and cigarettes, and to try to give American companies a better chance of filling orders from Japanese Government-run companies for billions of dollars in telecommunications equipment and other sophisticated machinery. (Facts on File 7/8/79 416B1; New York Times 6/3/79)

June 23, 1979:

President Carter departs for a seven-nation economic summit meeting in Japan, where he will also discuss bilateral matters with Prime Minister Ohira. (New York Times 6/24/79)

June 26, 1979:

Carter and Ohira conclude two days of talks, which reportedly produce agreements to fix specific oil import levels for 1979 and 1980. (New York Times6/24/79; 6/27/79)

June 27, 1979:

President Carter conducts a "town meeting" in Shimoda, Japan. (New York Times 6/27/79)

June 28-29, 1979:

The political leaders and economic ministers of the leading Western industrialized states meet in Tokyo for their regular economic summit to discuss common issues. The meeting is marked by the need to address the economic impact of the energy crisis and reliance upon Middle East oil.

September 3, 1979:

After a 10-day visit to China and Hong Kong, Vice President Mondale visits Japan to brief Premier Ohira on his talks with Chinese leaders in Beijing. (Facts on File 9/7/79 660D2)

October 13, 1979:

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General David Jones arrives in Tokyo for defense discussions with Japanese officials. (New York Times 10/14/79)

October 20-21, 1979:

Defense Secretary Brown visits Japan. He meets with Self Defense Agency Director Ganri Yamashita and discusses recent Soviet moves in the Kurile Islands; visits the northern islands to observe Japan's military exercises; asks for a greater Japanese military buildup, and tells Japanese officials that the U.S. will not abandon Japan in time of war. (New York Times 10/17/79; New York Times 10/21/79, Washington Post 10/21/79, Facts on File 10/26/79)

November 27, 1979:

Japan announces measures to break the fall of the yen, including suspending low-interest loans from the central banks to the commercial banks and easing restrictions on "impact loans." (Facts on File 12/31/79, 996B2)

December 10, 1979:

Secretary of State Vance requests a joint economic effort against Iran in response to the hostage crisis. In response to criticism of Japan for continuing to buy Iranian oil, Prime Minister Ohira responds that Japan will continue its oil imports from Iran but will curtail the amount if the crisis worsens. (Facts on File 12/14/79, 933B2)

December 14, 1979:

In a move designed to deflect U.S. criticism, the Japanese Cabinet, acting in response to a recommendation from Prime Minister Ohira and Foreign Minister Saburo Okita, announces that Japan will reduce Iranian oil imports and that will prohibit Japanese financial institutions from providing further credits to Iran until the hostage situation is resolved. (New York Times 12/14/79; Facts on File 12/21/79, 958C3)

December 17-18, 1979:

Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Carswell visits Tokyo and talks with Prime Minister Ohira and Finance Minister Takeshita. Ohira assures the U.S. that he regards the release of the U.S. hostages in Iran as "the highest priority." (Facts on File 12/21/79, 958C3)

December 24-25, 1979:

The Soviet Union intervenes in Afghanistan, sending forces to support the Karmal regime, and setting off a long civil war with Islamic insurgents.

January 11, 1980:

Honda Motor Car announces it will build a passenger-car assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio; it is the first move by a Japanese auto maker to build cars in the U.S. (Facts on File 1/18/80, 31F2)

January 14, 1980:

Defense Secretary Brown visits Japan where he urges Prime Minister Ohira to step up Japanese military spending to the constitutional maximum of 1 percent of GNP and reportedly asks Japan to consider buying advanced U.S. warplanes. The Japanese response is noncommittal, with Ohira reportedly telling Brown that Japan will make a decision on its own. (New York Times 1/15/80; Facts on File 1/18/80 31E1)

January 19, 1980:

The Carter administration, as a part of the American naval buildup in the Indian Ocean, withdraws the only American aircraft carrier from the waters around Japan, leaving the area without an American carrier for the first sustained period in 30 years. (New York Times 1/20/80)

January 20, 1980:

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser discusses with Prime Minister Ohira the idea of forming a Pacific Basin Community to improve economic and cultural links. The proposed community will be non-political and non-military, and will have Pacific states as members. Fraser reportedly expresses concern about Soviet aims to gain power in the Pacific, and Ohira reportedly promises to increase Japanese assistance to these states. (Facts on File 2/1/80, 78D1)

January 23, 1980:

President Carter announces what will become known as the Carter Doctrine, declaring that an attack on the Persian Gulf region will be considered an "assault on the vital interests of the United States." (Washington Post 1/24/80)

February 11-14, 1980:

Douglas Fraser, president of the United Auto Workers union, visits Japan to talk with the five major auto makers. He urges the companies to restrict auto exports to the U.S. or to increase auto production within the U.S. (Facts on File 2/22/80, 127B1)

February 26, 1980:

Japan takes part in joint naval maneuvers with the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific Ocean. (Facts on File 2/29/80, 151C3)

February 26, 1980:

Sears, Roebuck & Co. is indicted on charges of conspiracy and making false statements to U.S. customs officials to conceal $1.1 million in rebates from a Japanese television set manufacturer. This is the first indictment for widespread illegal rebates paid by Japanese manufacturers to bypass U.S. dumping laws. (Facts on File 4/4/80, 251G3)

March 2, 1980:

Japan announces a five-part plan to stop the depreciation of yen. The plan involves making a concerted effort with Switzerland, West Germany and the U.S. to stabilize the yen exchange rates; promoting the inflow of foreign currencies by offering flexible interest rates on foreigners' deposits; liberalizing interest rates on yen deposits held by foreign central banks; allowing Japanese foreign-exchange banks to offer more middle and long-term "impact" loans; and easing the controls on the amount of yen-based bonds that Japanese companies are allowed to float abroad. (Facts on File 3/7/80, 173C2)

March 20-21, 1980:

Japanese Foreign Minister Okita visits Washington for talks on increasing Japan's defense expenditures. Japan commits to increasing its contribution to the cost of supporting U.S. troops stationed in Japan and honoring standing agreements to buy some $14 billion worth of American warplanes. (Facts on File 3/28/80, 219F2; New York Times 3/20/79)

April 15, 1980:

The Finance Ministry reports that Japan registered a trade deficit of $13.43 billion in the fiscal year that ended March 31. The deficit was largely due to the rise in oil prices. (Facts on File 4/25/80, 314E3)

April 19, 1980:

Japan announces that it will not pay the $35-a-barrel price for Iran's oil. Several countries express willingness to aid Japan with alternative supplies of oil. (Facts on File 4/25/80, 298C1)

April 24, 1980:

Japan calls on its large trading companies not to sign new export contracts with Iran, and reduces its embassy staff in Tehran to join in the sanctions against Iran. (Facts on File 4/25/80, 298C1)

April 28, 1980:

The Commerce Department announces settlement of the antidumping case concerning Japanese TV imports. According to the settlement, major importers would pay the government between $75 million and $77 million. (Facts on File 5/16/80, 368C1)

May 1, 1980:

Prime Minister Ohira meets with President Carter and congressional leaders in Washington for talks aimed in part at softening criticism in the U.S. of huge imbalances in automotive trade between the two countries. Ohira and Carter sign a five-year agreement for cooperation on scientific research pacts. Ohira reportedly urges Carter not to use force but diplomatic means to resolve the Iranian hostage crisis, while Carter assures Ohira that the U.S. will provide assistance to Japan if the loss of Iranian oil imports causes Japan trouble. (Facts on File 5/9/80 341B1; New York Times 5/1/80)

May 2-4, 1980:

Ohira visits Mexico where he fails to get an increase in Mexican oil imports to Japan. (Facts on File 5/9/80, 341B1)

May 12-15, 1980:

Trade Representative Reuben O. Askew holds talks with Japanese officials in Tokyo concerning Japan's auto parts tariff. The interim agreement will remove Japan's 5 to 8 percent tariffs on imported auto parts and would ease the import of American cars and parts beginning April 1, 1981. Japan, however, does not agree to reduce the high commodity tax on imported larger autos, and also does not open up the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corp.'s procurements to foreign companies. (Facts on File 6/27/80, 482B1)

May 13, 1980:

The International Trade Commission votes to restrict imports of color television sets from Taiwan and South Korea but says the U.S. TV industry would not be harmed if quota arrangements limiting imports from Japan were allowed to expire at midyear, because of Japanese investment in U.S. TV industries. (Facts on File 5/16/80, 368C1)

May 16, 1980:

The International Trade Commission rules that imports of Japanese portable electric typewriters are harming the U.S. producers, indicating that the Commerce Department will order antidumping duties on the imports. The proceedings follow the filing of a complaint by SCM Corporation. (Facts on File 5/16/80, 368B1)

June 12, 1980:

Prime Minister Ohira dies; Chief Cabinet Secretary Masayoshi Ito becomes acting prime minister. (New York Times 6/12/80)

June 12, 1980:

The United Auto Workers union petitions the International Trade Commission for higher car import duties and quotas reducing foreign imports, particularly Japanese, under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974. (Facts on File 6/29/80, 457E2)

June 30, 1980:

Carter lifts restrictions on imports of Japanese TV sets, and renews bilateral agreements increasing TV imports from Taiwan and South Korea. (Facts on File 7/11/80, 515C3)

July 9, 1980:

President Carter and Emperor Hirohito, Acting Prime Minister Ito, and Liberal Democrat leaders, including Zenko Suzuki, meet after attending a memorial service for the late Prime Minister Ohira. Carter's unprecedented visit underscores U.S. concerns about the region, and in a TV interview, Carter stresses the growing importance of U.S.-Japan relations. (New York Times 7/10/80)

July 9, 1980:

Ford Motor Co. announces that it is exploring a possible joint production venture with Toyota Motor Co. of Japan. (Facts on File 7/25/80, 556G2)

July 17, 1980:

Zenko Suzuki is elected prime minister by the Diet. (New York Times 7/17/80)

July 29, 1980:

The Japanese Cabinet approves a 9.7 percent defense budget increase over current spending while almost all other government agencies are held to increases of 7.5 percent. The larger defense budget will permit Japan to purchase more jet fighters, patrol planes and ships mostly from the U.S. The Carter administration reportedly tells Tokyo that it considers the defense budget increase too small. (Facts on File 8/1/80, 579B2)

July 29, 1980:

Masataka Okuma, executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co. mentions three reservations about producing cars in the U.S: the extremely small scale of production; the possibility of a glut of small cars on the market once U.S. auto makers have re-tooled their plants; and unspecified labor problems. (Facts on File 8/8/80, 599G1)

August 18, 1980:

Premier Suzuki gives the first major speech of his administration which indicates he will continue many of Ohira's policies. He declares a commitment to the security treaty with the U.S. and to increase defense spending to lessen Japan's dependence on the U.S. for Japan's security. He urges the development of alternatives to oil; and pledges efforts to eliminate new public bond offerings to zero by 1985. (New York Times 8/20/80; Facts on File 8/22/80 635E2)

August 19, 1980:

Republican Vice Presidential nominee George Bush meets in Tokyo with Prime Minister Suzuki and other Japanese leaders to stress the importance of Japan to a Ronald Reagan administration. Bush also lauds Japan for increasing its military spending. (New York Times 8/20/80)

September 25, 1980:

Prime Minister Suzuki says that he is determined not to make Japan a military power, stating that Japan's "defense system is a two-pronged policy of meeting small-scale, limited aggression with Japan's own defense capability and relying upon the deterrent strength of the U.S. under the Japan-U.S. security arrangement to meet situations beyond [Japan's] capabilities." (Facts on File 10/3/80 752B1)

November 15, 1980:

The U.S. and Japan conclude the final round of talks with the Carter administration, as U.S. official Robert Hormats and Minister Kiyoaki Kikuchi report progress on handling economic issues. (New York Times 11/16/80)

November 21, 1980:

Japan agrees to give the U.S. greater access to its tobacco market. Under an agreement effective April 1, 1981, the tariff on imported cigarettes would be lowered, prices would not exceed a 45-cent differential between domestic and foreign brands, and the distribution of foreign brands would improve. Steven L. Lande, the U.S. trade representative in charge of the negotiations, says that the U.S. would withdraw its formal complaint from GATT as soon as the agreement is implemented. (Facts on File 11/28/80, 902E1)

December 1, 1980:

A new law takes effect that will open the Japanese economy to more foreign investment as well as ease rules regarding foreign exchange deposits. (Facts on File 12/19/80, 966D3)

December 11-12, 1980:

Defense Secretary Brown confers with Suzuki and Minister Joji Omura in Tokyo, where he reportedly says President-elect Reagan and the Carter administration concur that U.S.-Japan relations will be harmed if Japan does not strengthen its military position. Suzuki says that Japan's proposed increase in military spending to $10 billion in fiscal year 1980 is the most Japan can afford. (New York Times 12/13/80; Facts on File 12/19/80, 952G3)

December 16, 1980:

Defense Secretary Brown says Japan should build a naval force capable of protecting oil-supply routes from Indonesia and the Persian Gulf. (New York Times12/17/80)

December 19, 1980:

The U.S. and Japan sign an agreement in Washington under which Japan will open the procurement of a large part of its telecommunications equipment to U.S. and other foreign supplies, effective January 1, 1981. (Facts on File 12/31/80, 995A2)

January 7, 1981:

The Japan-U.S. Economic Relations Group (informally called the Wise Men), chaired by former U. S. ambassador to Japan Robert S. Ingersoll, issues measures to improve economic ties between the two countries, with stronger adherence to free trade principles. The report urges the U.S. to improve its productivity, abandon its trigger-price system for restricting steel imports and oppose protectionist measures on auto imports in the U.S. while urging Japan to create an independent trade ombudsman's office that will combat bureaucratic resistance to foreign imports and abandon protectionist policies in the area of agriculture. (New York Times 1/8/81; Facts on File 1/16/81 16D2)

January 13, 1981:

Senior U.S. officials quietly urge Japan to build its conventional military power to a point where it will be capable of defeating Soviet naval and air forces to a distance of 1,000 miles from Japan's shores; President-elect Reagan's transition staff identifies military spending and trade disputes as key issues in mutual relations. Outgoing Secretary of Defense Brown criticizes Japan's plan for increasing spending by only 7.6 percent. (New York Times 1/14/81)

February 5, 1981:

Senator John Danforth (R-Mo.) introduces a bill to limit Japanese auto imports. (Facts on File 4/3/81 217D1)

February 7, 1981:

Newly appointed Special Trade Representative William Brock is to meet this week in Washington with Japanese International Trade and Industry Ministry official Naohiro Amaya (New York Times 2/8/81)

March 23-26, 1981:

Japanese Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ito visits Washington to prepare for Prime Minister Suzuki's visit in May. Ito meets with Secretary of State Alexander Haig, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and Special Trade Representative Brock, and warns of the dangers of U.S. import restrictions. On March 24, he meets with President Reagan, where U.S. officials describe to him the current condition of the domestic auto industry and the inclination of members of Congress to impose quotas on car imports from Japan. Ito reportedly tells Weinberger that Japan will not join collective defense efforts and will decide the level of Japanese defense spending unilaterally. (Facts on File 4/3/81 217 D1; New York Times 3/21/81; New York Times 3/25/81)

April 16, 1981:

Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) warns visiting Japanese legislators that the Senate Finance Committee and the full Senate will pass the auto import bill limiting imports of Japanese cars unless Japanese auto makers cut back on exports to the U.S. (New York Times 4/17/81; Facts on File 5/8/81 306B3)

April 19, 1981:

Rokusuke Tanaka, Japan's minister of international trade and industry, proposes an annual limit on Japanese exports to the U.S. of 1.65 million automobiles over the next one or two years. (Facts on File 5/8/81 306B3)

April 28, 1981:

In a news conference in Tokyo with American reporters, Prime Minister Suzuki criticizes the U.S. for not consulting with Japan before ending its curb on grain shipments to the USSR, comments that are seen as reflecting embarrassment just prior to his U.S. visit. (New York Times 4/29/81)

April 28, 1981:

In a speech in San Francisco, U.S. Defense Secretary Weinberger warns that Japan will find it "exceedingly difficult" to defend itself with current forces and should provide "much more" of its own defense, noting that the U.S. spends a percentage of its economic wealth on defense that is six times higher than Japan spends. (New York Times 4/29/81; Facts on File 5/15/81 324B3)

April 29, 1981:

Special Trade Representative Brock comes to Tokyo to persuade the Japanese to lower their car export quota to the U.S. even more, as well as to discuss a broad range of other trade issues. (Facts on File 5/8/81 306B3; New York Times 4/27/81)

May 1, 1981:

The Japanese government announces "voluntary" limits on automobile exports to the U.S. for two or possibly three years. In response, Sen. Danforth says that he will drop his auto import limit bill. (Facts on File 5/8/81 306B3)

May 2, 1981:

In a TV interview, Prime Minister Suzuki sharply rejects the U.S. request that Japan increase military spending, warning that the Liberal Democratic Party could fall from power as a result, citing Japan's pacifist constitution. (New York Times 5/3/81)

May 4-9, 1981:

Premier Suzuki visits the U.S. mainly to discuss increasing Japan's defense responsibilities and U.S.-Japan trade relations. In a joint communiqu‚ on May 8, Japan agrees to make "even greater efforts" to improve its defenses in general. Both countries affirm their interest in maintaining peace and stability in Asia and reaffirm the importance of the U.S.-Japan security alliance. The communiqu‚ also places great value on the report of the Japan-U.S. Economic Relations Group. In his speech to the National Press Club, Suzuki says Japan will provide naval protection for a perimeter several hundred miles around Japan and in commercial sea lanes extending 1,000 nautical miles from Japan. On May 9, Premier Suzuki meets with U.S. trade negotiator Brock and agrees to a mutual reduction of semiconductor tariffs to 4.2 percent of import value. (Facts on File 5/15/81, 324B3; New York Times 5/5/81, 5/8/81, 5/9/81)

May 16, 1981:

Foreign Minister Ito resigns unexpectedly, reportedly to take responsibility for controversial wording in the U.S.-Japan communiqu‚ issued after Prime Minister Suzuki's meeting with President Reagan in Washington. The Japanese press stresses the alliance aspect of the communiqu‚, giving the impression that Suzuki promised an increase in defense spending, when Suzuki had actually rejected U.S. pressure to do so. Deputy Minister Masuo Takashima also resigns; Suzuki reportedly complains that communiqu‚ was drafted almost entirely before he met with President Reagan. (New York Times 5/16/81; Facts on File 5/22/81 337A1)

May 17, 1981:

In a newspaper interview, Edwin O. Reischauer, the former U.S. ambassador to Japan, says that U.S. Navy ships armed with nuclear weapons had been visiting Japan's ports and traveling through its waters under terms of a 1960 U.S.-Japanese tacit understanding. Tokyo's policy was that it barred the "introduction" of nuclear weapons, but the U.S. understanding was that "introduction" meant putting nuclear weapons ashore or storing them, and did not prevent the moving of weapons through Japan. A Japanese official says that "there has been no introduction of nuclear weapons into Japan," and the State Department says it is the Department's policy not to discuss publicly the deployment of nuclear weapons. (Facts on File 5/22/81, 337A1; New York Times 5/19/81)

May 22, 1981:

Addressing the Japanese Diet, Premier Suzuki says that there was never a tacit agreement between the U.S. and Japan that allowed the U.S. to introduce nuclear weapons into Japan. (Facts on File 5/29/81 355G2)

June 19, 1981:

Japanese Foreign Minister Sunao Sonoda and Secretary of State Haig confer at an ASEAN conference in Manila. The U.S. and Japan still seriously disagree on Japan's refusal to increase military spending, as Sonoda reportedly tells Haig that Japan will not be able to boost its defense effort as the U.S. wants. Sonoda reaffirms that close ties will continue despite the recent furor that led to resignation of Ito. (New York Times 6/20/81, 6/22/81; Facts on File 6/26/81 438C2)

June 24, 1981:

MITI notifies the country's seven major auto makers of the export quotas agreed to in May. (Facts on File 7/3/81 453G1)

June 29, 1981:

Defense Secretary Weinberger confers with Defense Minister Joji Omura in Washington. Omura resists the U.S. demand that Japan rapidly increase its military strength to counter the USSR military buildup. (New York Times 6/30/81)

July 27, 1981:

The U.S. Commerce Department announces the creation of a U.S.-Japan Trade Council, an upgrade of the current U.S.-Japan Trade Facilitation Committee, to be headed by Lionel Olmer, U.S. undersecretary of commerce for international trade, and Shohei Kurihara, Japan's vice minister for international affairs of the international trade ministry. (Facts on File 7/31/81 530E2)

August 11, 1981:

A Reagan administration official says that the U.S., EEC, and Japan have worked out an informal arrangement during the Ottawa economic summit for trade representatives to hold three-way talks to bar trade and investment issues from leading to major international disputes. (New York Times 8/12/81)

August 14, 1981:

The Japanese government publishes a white paper urging stronger defenses in the face of expanding Soviet power, particularly in the Kurile Islands. The paper also cites military expansion in North Korea as a danger to Japan. The same day, the Japanese government's Economic Planning Agency releases a report calling on the private sector to reduce heavy dependence on exports in order to minimize frictions with other countries. (Facts on File 8/28/81 624C1; Facts on File 8/28/81, 624E1)

August 31, 1981:

The U.S. takes the blame for an American submarine accidentally sinking a Japanese freighter on April 9 in the East China Sea. The Japanese government says it accepts the sincerity and candor of the U.S. report. (Facts on File 9/11/81 658C1)

September 6, 1981:

Trade Representative Brock reportedly warns the Japanese government and business leaders that the huge and mounting U.S. trade deficit with Japan threatens to lead to a new round of trade frictions and calls on Japan to open its markets. (New York Times 9/7/81)

September 10, 1981:

Prime Minister Suzuki visits the Kurile Islands to dramatize Japan's demand for return of the islands from the Soviet Union. (Facts on File 9/11/81 658A1)

September 21, 1981:

Hitachi Ltd. charges that the U.S. Defense Department is obstructing the sale of a sophisticated Japanese computer to China. According to Pentagon sources, the computer could be used to develop nuclear weapons and strengthen Chinese missile delivery systems. (Facts on File 10/16/81 754E1)

September 28, 1981:

Deputy Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci meets with Japanese Foreign Minister Sonoda and Japanese Defense Agency Director General Omura in a continuing effort to get Japan to increase military spending by emphasizing the Soviet threat to world security; the Japanese response reportedly is cautious. (New York Times 9/29/81)

October 2, 1981:

The Japanese government announces an economic package to stimulate domestic demand, increase imports, and aid lagging industries. Short-term measures include adding to the government's stockpiles of crude oil and some metals, while long term measures focus on promoting domestic demand and decreasing production in ailing industries. (Facts on File 10/16/81, 756B3)

October 13, 1981:

Japan announces that it will postpone taking part in the special trilateral trade talks with the U.S. and EC planned for November until it is assured that the meeting will not develop into a negotiation for curbs on Japanese exports. (Facts on File 10/16/81 756B3)

October 20, 1981:

The U.S. Treasury reports 22 Western industrialized nations have reached a final accord on cutting government export-credit subsidies by 20 percent to 25 percent; the agreement allows Japan to charge a lower minimum interest rate in recognition of lower financial market rates in Japan. (New York Times10/21/81)

October 30, 1981:

After a visit to Tokyo October 20-30, Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige criticizes the Japanese plan to aid its ailing aluminum industry through a schedule of tariffs. (Facts on File 11/6/81, 821D3)

November 2, 1981:

The Supreme Court agrees to decide if a U.S.-Japan trade agreement allowed the U.S. subsidiary of Sumitomo Shoji to discriminate in hiring (Sumitomo Shoji vs. Avigliano). A group of female secretaries sues the company, citing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while the company, which only hires male Japanese nationals for its management positions, cites a 1953 treaty that permits Japanese concerns doing business in the U.S. to decide their own hiring policies. (Facts on File 11/6/81, 810D2)

November 8, 1981:

National Security Council senior staff member for East Asia policy Donald Gregg says the U.S. is "not publicly applying pressure to the Japanese" for a military buildup and that decisions on how Japan should deal with threats to its security should be made by Japan, not U.S. (New York Times 11/9/81)

November 16, 1981:

The International Trade Commission rules that imports of stainless steel clad plate from Japan may have been injuring U.S. steel makers. The ruling comes after a complaint filed by Lukens Steel Co. that Japan Steel Works was dumping the plate on the U.S. market at a price lower than production costs. (Facts on File 11/27/81, 871F1)

November 17, 1981:

The U.S. government says that the current trade measures contemplated by the Suzuki cabinet are inadequate and presents Japan with a list of specific proposals to correct the imbalance. The proposals include entirely lifting import tariffs on 29 commodities and abolishing a wide variety of other regulations. (Facts on File 12/4/81, 897C3)

November 18, 1981:

Prime Minister Suzuki criticizes the U.S. and Europe for blaming their poor sales solely on Japan and essentially turns down a request for the removal of tariffs in order to cut Japan's trade surplus with the U.S., saying he will "study" the proposals. (Facts on File 12/4/81, 897C3; New York Times 11/19/81)

November 30, 1981:

In a major shakeup, Prime Minister Suzuki replaces 15 of 20 Cabinet ministers, and declares that the chief task of the reorganized Cabinet is to reduce the country's record trade surpluses with the U.S. and Western Europe. (New York Times 12/1/81)

December 1, 1981:

The Japanese government formally notifies the U.S. and Europe that it intends to unilaterally speed up the Tokyo Round tariff-cutting schedule by two years on over 2,000 import items. The reductions will apply to about 20 of the 29 commodities listed in the U.S. proposal. (Facts on File 12/4/81 897C3)

December 9, 1981:

The U.S.-Japan trade committee opens talks in Tokyo; Reagan administration officials, headed by Deputy Trade Representative David R. MacDonald, plan to cite a number of trade complaints dealing with import limitations and non-tariff barriers. (New York Times 12/10/81)

December 16, 1981:

Defense Secretary Weinberger warns of a possible U.S. backlash if Americans believe Japan is contributing too little to mutual security in the Far East, stating that the situation may require Japan to make "additional defense expenditures." (New York Times 12/17/81)

December 16, 1981:

Japan and China sign a $1.38 billion agreement providing Japanese financial aid to key Chinese industrial projects, and a $275 million state credit, the largest ever extended by Japan to a foreign government. Most of the aid will go to the completion of the first stage of the Baoshan Steel complex near Shanghai and the construction of a petrochemical plant at Daqing. (Facts on File 12/31/81 987C1)

December 21, 1981:

Defense Secretary Weinberger, during an interview with the Japan Broadcasting Company, urges the Japanese to increase their ability to defend their nation up to 1,000 miles offshore. (New York Times 12/22/81; Facts on File 12/31/81, 992B2)

December 28, 1981:

Japan's Cabinet approves a draft budget for the next fiscal year that includes an increase in defense spending of nearly 7.8 percent, up slightly from the current year's 7.6 percent increase. In response, the Defense Department issues a statement saying that the Japanese increase in military spending "represents an important first step toward obtaining a meaningful self-defense capability" and "demonstrates a most commendable awareness of the need and a most appropriate change of priorities." (Facts on File 12/31/81, 992E2)

January 6, 1982:

Ambassador Mansfield warns Japan that it will face a "grave risk" if it does not thoroughly remove non-tariff barriers. (Facts on File 1/22/82 35F2)

January 10, 1982:

The U.S., in the first major test of Western Europe's willingness to support, at least passively, Reagan's sanctions against the USSR in the wake of Poland's crackdown on the Solidarity trade union, repeatedly asks European nations and Japan to stop supplying vital components for a new pipeline to carry Soviet natural gas into Western Europe. (New York Times 1/11/82)

January 12, 1982:

New Foreign Minister Yoshio Sakurauchi discusses a renewed effort to open Japanese markets to imports from the U.S. and Western Europe, citing a plan for cuts in non-tariff barriers. (New York Times 12/13/82)

January 13, 1982:

Prime Minister Suzuki agrees to appoint an ombudsman to deal with complaints from foreign exporters seeking access to Japanese markets. (Facts on File 1/22/82 35D3)

January 15-16, 1982:

The chief trade officers of the U.S. (William Brock), EEC (Wilhelm Haferkamp), Japan (Shintaro Abe) and Canada (Edward C Lumpley), at an informal meeting in Key Biscayne, Florida, agree to avoid unilateral actions to curb imports. Abe pledges that Japan will take "drastic" action before the end of the month to reduce non-tariff barriers, while Brock says his counterparts have expressed concern that the U.S. Congress might act against imports from Japan and Europe to ease unemployment. (New York Times 1/17/82; Facts on File 1/22/82 35A2)

January 18, 1982:

Japan puts its 1981 trade surplus with the U.S. at a record $13.4 billion, up 92.5 percent from 1980; the trade surplus with EEC is at a record $10.33 billion, up 17.3 percent. The Japanese totals are sharply lower than U.S. Commerce Department figures because Japan includes different costs in its figures. Trade Minister Abe meets with President Reagan and members of Congress and pledges dramatic steps to open Japanese markets to imports, but U.S. Trade Representative Brock and Secretary of State Haig say that adjustment of non-tariff barriers is not enough. (New York Times 1/19/82; Facts on File 1/22/82 35A2)

January 26, 1982:

Commerce Secretary Baldrige says he favors retaliatory measures against Japan unless it shows greater willingness to accept American exports. (New York Times 1/27/82)

January 30, 1982:

Japan approves a plan for easing foreign access to Japanese markets, including elimination or reduction of 67 non-tariff barriers to trade. (New York Times1/31/82)

February 25, 1982:

Japanese government spokesman Kiichi Miyazawa and Secretary of Commerce Baldrige reportedly exchange strong remarks over GATT rules. The exchange follows reports that Baldrige used exceptionally tough language in talks with a Japanese parliamentary delegation visiting the U.S. (New York Times 2/27/82)

March 1, 1982:

Special Trade Representative Brock testifies on Senator Danforth's bill authorizing U.S. retaliation against nations that do not allow equivalent access to their markets, stating that Japan has not taken adequate steps toward opening its markets. (New York Times 3/2/82)

March 9-11, 1982:

"Combative" U.S.-Japan trade talks are held in Tokyo. Japan agrees to take steps in May to further open Japanese markets to foreign goods, and both governments agree to begin deliberations on removing current restrictions on imports of 22 U.S. farm products, as well as on Japan's quotas on beef and citrus fruits imports. Representative David MacDonald, calling for moves to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Japan by $5 billion to $10 billion, warns that Japan could pay a "high price" if it fails to open up markets to U.S. goods. (New York Times 3/11/82; Facts on File 3/26/82 217D3)

March 22-24, 1982:

Japanese Foreign Minister Sakurauchi announces in Washington that Japan will make its "utmost effort" to encourage foreign imports and settle trade imbalances with the U.S., but does not reveal specific plans. U.S. trade officials, Secretary of State Haig Jr., and President Reagan reportedly tell Sakurauchi that specific measures must be taken before the economic summit in Versailles, scheduled for June 4-6. The U.S. also asks Japan to keep Japanese auto exports to the U.S. at the current level for the next fiscal year, and Japan announces a general auto export agreement. (New York Times 3/23/82; Facts on File 4/9/82 255C1, 3/26/82 217D3)

March 26-28, 1982:

During his visit to Japan, Secretary of Defense Weinberger again urges Japan to acquire sufficient military power to defend its territory, sea lanes and air space to a distance of 1,000 miles by 1990, reportedly warning of possible U.S. congressional reprisals unless this goal is met. Weinberger also is said to have discussed a possible agreement with Japan on sharing defense-related technology. Japanese leaders reportedly counter Weinberger's points by noting the lack of a consensus within Japan to support greater military strength and the economic obstacles to acquiring military power. (New York Times 3/26/82 3/27/82 3/28/82; Facts on File 4/9/82, 254B3)

April 4, 1982:

Defense Secretary Weinberger, returning from Asia, says he is convinced he has eased concerns in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines that the U.S. might reduce its commitment to Pacific security. (New York Times 4/5/82)

April 22, 1982:

The Japanese government overrules local opposition and decides to allow military maneuvers by 800 Marines on Iwo Jima on May 4 and 5. (New York Times4/23/82)

May 27, 1982:

Japan introduces a package of trade measures aimed at opening Japanese markets to foreign products, which includes eliminating tariffs on 96 industrial goods and the reduction of import duties on 19 farm and fishery items as well as 102 other products by April 1983. The government also pledges to subject business practices restricting imported items to "fair and strict application" of antitrust laws. However, the package does not include liberalization on beef and citrus products. The Reagan administration welcomes the Japanese package, but warns that many American and European objections to Japanese trade barriers remain unresolved. (New York Times 4/28/82; Facts on File6/11/82 426E3)

June 15, 1982:

Japanese Trade Minister Abe praises the recent package of trade concessions as reducing tensions between Japan. However, Undersecretary of Commerce Lionel H. Olmer tells a meeting of two subcommittees of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the plan does not solve any problems for the U.S. (Facts on File 6/2/82 479C1)

June 22, 1982:

The Justice Department charges eighteen Japanese businessmen of Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. with conspiring to steal confidential computer information from IBM Corp. and transport it to Japan. The charge comes after an undercover operation by the FBI, prompted by IBM's discovery in 1981 that documents with confidential information had been stolen. Both Hitachi and Mitsubishi later admit that they paid for information but insist that they did not know the information was stolen. (Facts on File 6/25/82, 453G3)

July 9, 1982:

Japan proposes to increase defense spending by 7.34 percent in fiscal year 1984 while cutting the budget for most other programs by 5 percent. (Facts on File 7/16/82 514C1)

July 21, 1982:

The American division of Mitsui Co. pleads guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy in selling steel below the allowable U.S. prices. The company agrees to pay $11 million in civil penalties to the Treasury and $210,000 in criminal fines. (Facts on File 7/23/82 525B2)

July 23, 1982:

Japan announces plans for a 60 percent increase in military spending from 1983 to 1987, as part of the Cabinet-level National Defense Council's five-year program to increase Japan's defense capabilities. (Facts on File 7/30/82, 553D2)

July 24, 1982:

Revisions in Japanese history textbooks toning down accounts of Japanese military aggression during the 1930s and 1940s ignite a fierce diplomatic controversy in Asia. (Facts on File 8/20/82 617G1)

August 1, 1982:

A new Defense Department report on Allied Contributions to Common Defense shows that the U.S. continues to spend more on defense than all of its European allies and Japan together. The report singles out Japan, asserting that the country appears to be contributing "far less" than its share. (New York Times8/2/82)

August 3, 1982:

U.S. and Japanese trade officials open talks in Tokyo on a series of steps set by Japan to open its markets to foreign products. (New York Times 8/4/82)

August 12, 1982:

During his 17-day tour of the Western Pacific, Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr. urges Japan to speed up its military buildup to counter the Soviet naval threat around the world, reiterating Defense Secretary Weinberger's plea to acquire sufficient military power to defend 1,000 miles of sea around its shores. (New York Times 8/13/82; Facts on File 10/15/82, 724C3)

August 26, 1982:

Japan pledges to rewrite textbooks that downplayed Japanese military aggression during the 1930s and 1940s. (Facts on File 9/10/82, 661E2)

September 9, 1982:

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announces that the value of the nation's imports of U.S. agricultural products has been declining although the volume has risen. (Facts on File 10/29/82, 797E2)

September 16, 1982:

Prime Minister Suzuki declares a fiscal state of emergency due to an unexpected budget deficit of $9.5 billion for fiscal year 1981, and says the government would issue $11 billion more in bonds than was anticipated for fiscal 1982. (Facts on File 9/17/82, 688C2)

September 26-October 1, 1982:

Prime Minister Suzuki visits China for the 10th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations. He meets Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and reiterates his promise that Japan will correct errors in its revised school textbooks concerning Japanese military aggression in the 1930s and 1940s. Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping affirms China's support for Japanese efforts to strengthen its defenses and the U.S.-Japan alliance in a meeting with Suzuki. (Facts on File 10/15/82, 755C2)

September 30, 1982:

The Defense Department announces an agreement with Japan for stationing up to 50 U.S. F-16 warplanes at Misawa Air Base in northern Japan beginning in 1985. Following their meeting at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Weinberger and Japanese Defense Minister Soichiro Ito announce the agreement under which the U.S. will deploy the fighter-bombers on the main Japanese island of Honshu to strengthen the U.S. presence in the Pacific and confront the USSR more directly. (New York Times 10/1/82; Facts on File 10/15/82 754C3)

October 12, 1982:

Under growing criticism of his leadership within the LDP and complaints about his economic policies, Prime Minister Suzuki announces he will resign. (Facts on File 10/15/82 754E1; New York Times 10/13/82)

October 21, 1982:

U.S. trade officials cut short a scheduled three-day round of agricultural talks in Honolulu with Japan on the second day. Donald Nelson, assistant U.S. trade representative for agricultural affairs, leads the U.S. delegation and Hiroya Sano, director general of the ministry of agriculture's economic affairs bureau, leads the Japanese team. The meeting is terminated because of the Japanese refusal to accept the U.S. team's proposal for unrestricted imports of U.S. beef and citrus fruits by Japan. (Facts on File 10/29/82, 797E2)

October 27, 1982:

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Charles H. Percy (R-Ill.) calls for a probe into Japanese government policies that have intentionally depressed the yen to gain an export advantage. (New York Times 10/28/82)

November 10, 1982:

The Reagan administration charges that Japan has not lived up to its commitment to open its markets to American products and warns that it may retaliate by taking an even tougher position on Japanese imports. The administration also releases a report to Congress detailing Japanese and American exports. (New York Times 11/11/82)

November 26, 1982:

Yasuhiro Nakasone becomes leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and premier of Japan. The day before assuming the post, Nakasone says his new administration will give priority to improving trade and security ties with the U.S. He also states that he advocates amending the clause of the Japanese Constitution that bans the state from raising armed forces. These views are laid out in a "political resume" provided to the U.S. explaining his views on a wide range of security, diplomatic and political questions. (Facts on File 12/3/82 886F2 and Facts on File 12/3/82 886E1; New York Times 11/28/82)

November 28, 1982:

Sandanori Yamanaka, the new MITI minister, pledges to take an international perspective with regard to trade problems between the U.S. and Japan, despite his protectionist views in the past. (New York Times 11/29/82)

December 3-4, 1982:

A U.S.-Japan trade subcommittee meeting is held in Tokyo. The U.S. delegation, led by Deputy Trade Representative MacDonald, submits a list of requests for liberalization of the Japanese market and asks Japan to respond to each question on the list by a specified but undisclosed deadline. (Facts on File 12/10/82, 921G1)

December 5, 1982:

Japanese trade officials, following two days of talks with U.S. officials, tentatively offer to open the country's trade market further to foreign goods and state that Japan will submit a timetable of when it will make decisions for various items. (New York Times 12/6/82)

December 7, 1982:

Prime Minister Nakasone directs his Cabinet to increase imports and ease trade relations with U.S. and Europe. (New York Times 12/8/82)

December 15, 1982:

Eight major U.S. steel producers and their trade group announce that they are filing a fair-trade complaint with USTR Brock against Japan. (Facts on File 12/31/82 974F2)

December 22, 1982:

The Senate unanimously adopts a resolution urging President Reagan to apply a new trade weapon against Japan barring American companies from taking a 15 percent investment tax credit when buying certain Japanese machine tools. The resolution is viewed in Japan as a broadside aimed at Japanese industrial policy. (New York Times 12/23/82, 12/27/82)

December 24, 1982:

The Japanese Tariff Ratio Council approves a plan to cut import duties on 47 farm and 28 industrial items, effective April 1, 1983, but excludes key farm products, beef and citrus fruits, from the package. (Facts on File 12/24/82 953B3; New York Times 12/24/82)

December 30, 1982:

Prime Minister Nakasone and the Japanese Cabinet approve a $216.2 billion fiscal 1983 budget that, in response to American urging, will increase military spending by 6.5 percent to $11.8 billion. Defense Secretary Weinberger says Japan has made a "reasonably significant effort," but has not gone far enough toward matching its self-defense goals. (New York Times 12/31/82; Facts on File 12/31/82 987E3)

January 3, 1983:

After meeting with senior EC commissioners in Brussels, Foreign Minister Abe warns that the U.S., Japan and the European Community need to make the "utmost effort" to avoid a collision on trade issues, and hints that Japan might consider retaliation against any protectionist measures towards Japanese exports. (Facts on File 1/1&7/83 7F2)

January 8, 1983:

Ambassador Mansfield says that while Japan has made "very significant" efforts to raise military spending, the U.S. will continue to press for further increases. (New York Times 1/9/83)

January 12, 1983:

Japan announces new measures to dismantle non-tariff barriers to trade, including creation of a Cabinet-level office to recommend changes in laws relating to imports by March 31. (Facts on File 1/21/83, 26B2)

January 16, 1983:

U.S. Treasury Under Secretary Beryl Sprinkel says attempts to solve the international debt crisis will fail and the world recession will worsen unless other Western nations and Japan join U.S. in stimulating their economies. (New York Times 1/17/83)

January 17-20, 1983:

Prime Minister Nakasone meets with President Reagan in Washington, where Reagan urges Nakasone to open up Japanese markets to U.S. imports and to increase defense spending more rapidly. Special Trade Representative Brock urges the premier to take "drastic action" to increase import quotas for U.S. beef and citrus products. Nakasone says Japan is reducing its trade and tariff barriers faster than any other nation in the world, and cautions the U.S. against taking protectionist countermeasures. On other economic issues, Reagan announces the formation of a U.S.-Japanese working group on energy and plans to study the issue of Japanese access to Alaskan oil. On defense issues, Nakasone pledges that he will work to build up Japan's air defenses, and, in an interview with theWashington Post, reveals an assertive stance on military defense that stirs controversy in Japan and elicits a warning from the USSR. Nakasone later meets with both House and Senate members on Capitol Hill, where he confirms that Japan plans to defend "several hundred miles" of ocean and 1,000 miles of sea lane. Summing up the meetings, Reagan describes U.S. relations with Japan as a troubled but happy marriage. (Facts on File 1/21/83 26B2; New York Times1/19/83, 1/20/83)

January 24, 1983:

In a speech at the opening of a new session of the Japanese Diet, Prime Minister Nakasone tones down his stand on Japan's military defense and says that improving military capabilities would have to be in line with Japan's five-year defense plan through 1987 and with the Japanese Constitution. He also says that Japan has to open markets further to foreign goods. (Facts on File 1/28/83, 62E2)

January 30-31, 1983:

Secretary of State George Shultz visits Tokyo as part of a 12-day trip to Japan, China, South Korea and Hong Kong. On January 31, he confers with Prime Minister Nakasone and Foreign Minister Abe and promises that the U.S. will not risk the security of Japan and other non-European countries when negotiating medium-range missile control with the Soviet Union. Shultz also tells Nakasone that Japan must open its markets further and expand its defense capabilities. (Facts on File 2/11/83 85A3; New York Times 2/1/83)

February 8, 1983:

Japanese electronics company Hitachi pleads guilty to conspiracy charges that it stole confidential information from IBM Corp., receiving the maximum fine of $10,000 from the U.S. district court in San Francisco. (Facts on File 2/18/83, 112C3)

February 10, 1983:

The Commerce Department announces that Japan has agreed to open its high technology markets and government-sponsored research to U.S. businesses. (Facts on File 2/18/83, 118G3)

February 15, 1983:

Japan announces that it will extend a voluntary program restraining automobile exports to the U.S. for the third year. The extension was agreed to in Tokyo the previous week between USTR Brock and Japan's Minister of International trade and industry, Sadanori Yamanaka. (Facts on File 2/18/83, 118G3)

February 25, 1983:

Trade Representative Brock rejects a request by U.S. steel makers that the federal government place restrictions on Japanese steel imports. (Facts on File 3/4/83, 146E2)

March 19, 1983:

U.S. and Japanese representatives meet in Tokyo to discuss the pledge that Japan made two years ago to take over defense of 1,000 miles of sea lanes south and east of Japan. American officials describe the project as part of continuing efforts to get Japan to take a more active role as ally. Funding is the major obstacle, given Japan's current large budget deficits, but the U.S. is hopeful of getting Tokyo to abandon its self-imposed limit of 1 percent of gross national product on military spending. (New York Times 3/20/83)

March 26, 1983:

Following a three-month study by seven ministries of some 30 to 40 product laws, the Japanese government approves measures to ease the country's stringent import standards, including amendments to 17 laws on standards and product certification. (Facts on File 5/6/83, 335A3)

April 12-13, 1983:

Senior officials from the foreign ministries of Japan and the Soviet Union meet in Tokyo to review political and military developments in Asia. During the talks, the Japanese repeat their earlier protest over the stationing of Soviet SS-20 medium-range missiles in eastern Siberia. Foreign Minister Mikhail Kapitsa responds that these missiles are positioned to counter U.S. seaborne nuclear missiles in the northwest Pacific. (Facts on File 4/29/83, 309G2)

April 30-May 10, 1983:

Prime Minister Nakasone visits the ASEAN countries and Brunei, where the major subjects of discussion are trade, defense, and the Vietnamese presence in Cambodia. He gives assurance that Japan will defend its sea lanes without threatening its Asian neighbors and pledges to represent ASEAN nations at the upcoming economic summit at Williamsburg, Virginia. (Facts on File 5/13/83, 345A3)

May 14-16, 1983:

The U.S. and Japan hold talks in Tokyo on Japan's industrial targeting policy. It is the first negotiation between U.S. and Japanese trade groups established to hold bimonthly meetings to discuss trade issues. The U.S. group is led by Deputy Trade Representative Michael Smith and the Japanese group by Kunio Komatsu of MITI. The U.S. government and American businesses express concern that the Japanese policy of industrial targeting adversely affects U.S.-Japan trade and allows Japanese companies to undercut the U.S. market. In response, Japan argues that industrial policy is a domestic matter. (Facts on File 6/3/83, 414B3)

May 17, 1983:

The Defense Department informs Congress of plans to sell 26 Harpoon anti-ship missiles to Japan for about $26 million. (New York Times 5/18/83)

May 18-20, 1983:

Commerce Secretary Baldrige visits Tokyo. On May 19, he meets with the president of NTT Corp. and agrees on steps to improve the U.S. share in the Japanese telecommunications market. On May 20, he meets with Prime Minister Nakasone and Finance Minister Noboru Takeshita. He suggests that Japan consult with U.S. firms to help revitalize depressed Japanese industries and urges them to strengthen the yen against other currencies. In a news conference the same day, Baldrige says that the Japanese industrial targeting policy negates other Japanese concessions that aim at liberalizing trade. (Facts on File 6/3/83, 414B3,United Press International 5/20/83)

June 30, 1983:

Japan announces that it will not extend voluntary restraints on automobile exports to the U.S. for the fourth year. Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says that this step would destroy the recovery of the U.S. automobile industry and pledges to introduce legislation setting quotas on Japanese automobile and steel exports to the U.S. (Facts on File 7/22/83, 554D3)

August 22, 1983:

Defense Secretary Weinberger meets in Washington with Japanese Defense Agency head Kazuo Tanikawa for talks on security issues. (New York Times8/23/83, Associated Press Washington Dateline 8/23/84)

September 24, 1983:

Defense Secretary Weinberger, in Tokyo, discusses the need for increased military spending with Japanese Defense Minister Tanikawa and Foreign Minister Abe. (New York Times 9/25/83)

October 6, 1983:

IBM Corp. announces it has settled its civil suit charging Hitachi Ltd. and several Hitachi employees with stealing confidential IBM computer technology. IBM will drop the civil suit against Hitachi in return for the establishment of procedures for reviewing new Hitachi products and for Hitachi's promise to pay the costs of the case. (Facts on File 10/14/83, 777C1)

October 12, 1983:

Former Prime Minister Tanaka is found guilty of having accepted $2.1 million in bribes from the Lockheed Corp. to arrange the purchase of Lockheed aircraft by Japan's largest domestic airline. Tokyo District Court sentences him to four years in prison and fines him $2.1 million; also sentenced are four of Tanaka's co-defendants, his executive-secretary, Toshio Enomoto, and three former executives of Marubuni Corporation, which was Lockheed's sales agent in Japan. (New York Times 10/12/83; Facts on File 10/14/83, 771B1)

November 1, 1983:

Reversing its June decision, the Japanese government announces that it now will extend voluntary restrictions on the number of cars exported from Japan to the U.S. for the fourth year. The announcement comes after negotiations between Special Representative Brock and Japan Minister of International Trade and Industry Uno. The new restriction is agreed to in part because of the renewed strength of the U.S. automobile industry. (Facts on File 11/4/83, 836E1)

November 3, 1983:

The House of Representatives passes a "domestic content" bill designed to require Japanese auto makers to use specified percentages of U.S. parts and labor in cars that the foreign firms sell in the U.S. The bill would apply to all companies that sell over 100,000 vehicles in the U.S. annually. (Facts on File 11/4/83, 836A3)

November 8, 1983:

Japan and the U.S. reach a final agreement on the export of Japanese military-related technology to the U.S. Under the accord, a Joint Military Technology Commission is to be created, Japanese representatives on the commission will have to approve future import requests by the U.S., and the U.S. is not to re-export Japanese military technology to third countries without prior approval from Tokyo. Japan hopes the agreement will mute U.S. criticism of Japan for not spending more for its own defense. (New York Times 11/9/83; Facts on File 12/2/83, 914F1)

November 9, 1983:

President Reagan arrives in Tokyo, where he is welcomed in a ceremony conducted by Emperor Hirohito, on the first stop of a seven-day trip to Japan and South Korea designed to strengthen economic and political ties with both countries. The first U.S. president to address the Diet, Reagan warns about growing protectionist sentiments in the U.S., reasserts his commitment to reach an arms-control agreement with the Soviet Union, reaffirms America's nuclear responsibilities, and says that Japan and the U.S. could form "a powerful partnership for good." After their meeting, Reagan and Nakasone pledge renewed efforts to solve U.S.-Japan trade problems, and announce an accord to strengthen the yen against the dollar, in order to reduce the massive U.S. trade deficit with Japan. (New York Times 11/9/83; 11/10/83; 11/11/83; Facts on File 11/18/83, 868A3)

November 12, 1983:

In his weekly radio address, broadcast from South Korea, President Reagan urges the lowering of Japanese trade barriers and pledges to work against protectionism in the U.S. (New York Times 11/13/83)

December 26, 1983:

Prime Minister Nakasone is elected to a new four-year term by the Japanese Diet. He says he will keep his pledge to the U.S. to increase Japan's military spending, but suggests that increases might not be as high as Washington would like, as he also pledges to abide by the seven-year old Cabinet guideline limiting military outlays to less than 1 percent of gross national product. (Facts on File 12/31/83, 995E2, New York Times 12/28/83)

January 21, 1984:

In connection with a Japanese Foreign Ministry announcement of a budget proposal containing a 5.1 percent increase for defense, for an annual total of $12.5 billion, Foreign Minister Abe says U.S. critics of Japan's defense policies focus too hard on how much money is spent and not enough on "overall" Japanese efforts. (New York Times 1/22/84)

January 25, 1984:

The Japanese Cabinet approves an austere $217 billion budget for fiscal 1984, which is only 0.5 percent above the fiscal 1983 budget. The budget provides a 6.55 percent increase in defense spending but keeps the military spending below 1 percent of gross national product. Prime Minister Nakasone reportedly intervened to secure the 6.55 percent increase, rather than the lower level of 5.1 percent recommended by the Ministry of Finance. Secretary of Defense Weinberger says that the figure "compares favorably with those of [NATO] allies and constitutes progress toward Japan's self-chosen defense goals," but urges Tokyo to raise defense spending faster in years to come. The State Department comment is cautious, given that the increase is far less than senior administration officials have said privately is needed for Japan to fulfill "mutually agreed upon roles and missions." (New York Times 1/26/83; Facts on File 1/27/84 61B1)

January 26-31, 1984:

Foreign Minister Abe visits the U.S. where he meets with President Reagan, Secretary of State Shultz, Defense Secretary Weinberger and Vice President Bush. On January 30, Japan and the U.S. sign an agreement aimed at giving U.S. telecommunications firms a larger share of the Japanese market. The three-year pact allows U.S. firms the right to participate on equal terms with Japanese firms in the research and development operations of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Co., and requires Japan to translate procurement documents into English and accept bids in English. The new agreement does not remove a ban on the sale of U.S. satellites. (Facts on File 2/10/84 102F3)

March 11, 1984:

The Japanese government, after months of debate, agrees to let American representatives participate in influential advisory councils that shape legislation and policy concerning Japan's trade and industry. U.S. Commerce Department Counselor Clyde Prestowitz says the agreement in principle will let U.S. officials attend meetings as participants. Prime Minister Nakasone supports the accord, though other government and industrial leaders oppose it. (New York Times 3/12/84, 3/13/84)

March 23-26, 1984:

Prime Minister Nakasone visits China, where he meets with General Secretary Hu Yaobang, as well as Deng Xiaoping and Zhao Ziyang. Topics discussed include increasing Japan's investment to China, and China's backing for North Korea's proposed peace talks involving the two nations and the U.S. (Facts on File 4/27/84 305C3)

April 3, 1984:

Special Trade Representative Brock warns Japan that a failure to reach an agreement on imports of beef and citrus could have very unpleasant consequences for the trading relations of the two countries. Four days later Brock and Japanese Agriculture Minister Shinjiro Yamamura reach a pact in Washington to increase the amounts of U.S. beef and citrus products that could be exported to Japan. (Facts on File 4/20/84 276D1)

April 17, 1984:

U.S. Assistant Treasury Secretary Beryl Sprinkel announces further improvements in negotiations with Japan on the issue of U.S. beef and citrus product exports to Japan, but does not specify the content. (Facts on File 4/20/84 276D1)

April 17, 1984:

Reagan administration officials, following talks with Japanese financial experts in Washington, say they expect Japan to announce measures to provide greater access to Tokyo capital markets by foreign financial institutions; the measures reportedly include permitting foreign banks to borrow more yen in Japan, and removing restrictions on interest rates and on the ability of foreign corporations to borrow yen. (New York Times 4/18/84)

May 8-10, 1984:

Vice President Bush visits Tokyo during a two-week trip to Asia, where he discusses trade and economic issues with Japanese officials. Bush warns Foreign Minister Abe that Japan's trade surplus with the U.S. puts a strain on U.S.-Japan relations. He repeats the warning in a meeting with Prime Minister Nakasone, calling for lower tariffs on U.S. lumber and wine, and for the further liberalization of Japan's financial and capital markets. (Facts on File 6/29/84 474B1)

May 12, 1984:

Japan concedes that it cannot meet its own timetable for strengthening its armed forces sufficiently to resist foreign attack. The acknowledgement comes as the government approves a three-year delay in its military buildup, pushing back until early 1991 the acquisition of weapons that originally were to have been in operation in 1988. Defense Secretary Weinberger, in a stopover in Tokyo, asserts that Japan should determine its own military goals without the U.S. telling it what to do. (New York Times 5/13/84)

May 29, 1984:

The U.S. and Japan announce a major agreement that could substantially expand the international role of the yen and provide new business opportunities in Japan for American banks and stock firms. The agreement will expand the market for international bond issues denominated in yen, deregulate Japanese domestic capital markets and give foreign companies greater access to Japanese financial markets. Japan also agrees to create an international market in which non-Japanese borrowers and investors could transact bonds denominated in yen. Treasury Secretary Donald Regan says that the new package is "a major start" to making the yen a more international currency. Deputy Minister of Finance Tomomitsu Oba admits that the agreement could initially cause the yen to fall in value but it will promote economic efficiency and fulfill Japan's international responsibilities, helping to eliminate friction with the U.S. (Facts on File 6/1/84 384B3; New York Times 5/29/84, 5/30/84)

September 6-8, 1984:

South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan visits Japan, becoming the first South Korean leader to make an official visit there since 1945. The two leaders were supposed to discuss trade and technology issues, but the agenda reportedly changed due to national security issues. In a joint statement issued September 8, Nakasone calls for a "direct dialogue" between the two Koreas and appeals for the admittance of North and South Korea to the United Nations. (Facts on File 9/14/84 672F2)

September 12, 1984:

The U.S.-Japan Advisory Commission issues a report which warns against the Soviet military buildup and says Japan's defense capability fell short of its obligations. (Facts on File 11/30/84, 896A1)

September 14, 1984:

The Japanese Defense Agency states in its annual report on security that the Soviet military buildup increases the risk of the "latent threat" to Asia, and that the U.S. deployment of new bombers and missiles in the Pacific represents signs of an effort to "strengthen the credibility of deterrence." (Facts on File 11/30/84 896A1)

September 18, 1984:

President Reagan announces that the administration will seek "voluntary" quotas to protect domestic steel producers from foreign imports. (Facts on File 9/21/84, 688A2)

October 25-November 1, 1984:

A senior Soviet delegation, led by Politburo member Dinmukhamed Kunayev, visits Japan. Prime Minister Nakasone tells Kunayev that Japanese-Soviet relations depend upon resolving the Kurile Islands question. On October 31, Soviet Central Committee member Vadim Zagladin calls on Japan to reduce military ties with the U.S. in order to foster peace in Asia. (Facts on File 11/30/84 896A1)

October 29, 1984:

Prime Minister Nakasone is elected leader of the Liberal Democratic Party for a second two-year term. He pledges "stability and continuity" in Japan's foreign policy and says that he would maintain the present security ties with the U.S. (Facts on File 11/2/84 819A2)

November 26, 1984:

The Japanese government says it has protested to the Soviet Union the repeated violations of Japanese airspace by Soviet bombers. (Facts on File 11/30/84 896A1)

December 5, 1984:

Japan agrees to voluntarily restrict its exports of steel to the U.S. Under the agreement, Japan will reduce its exports to the U.S. to 5.8 percent of the U.S. market in 1985. (Facts on File 12/21/84 940D1, Washington Post 12/6/84)

December 20, 1984:

The Japanese Diet passes a bill to sell the public telecommunications corporation, Nippon Telephone and Telegraph, by April 1, 1985. The Diet also passes two laws that will in effect enable foreign companies to offer "value added network" services in Japan. (Facts on File 12/31/84 987A3)

December 29, 1984:

The Japanese Diet passes a draft budget for fiscal year 1985, which proposes a 6.9 percent increase in defense spending and approximately a 10 percent increase in foreign aid spending. (Facts on File 12/31/84 987A2)

January 2, 1985:

President Reagan and Prime Minister Nakasone meet in Los Angeles, agreeing to arrange high-level talks on finding ways to open several Japanese markets to American products. (New York Times 1/3/85)

January 28-29, 1985:

The U.S. and Japan hold trade talks in which they agree to study four market areas - telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, computers and electronics, and forest products - that the U.S. claims are closed to U.S. goods and services. (Facts on File 2/15/85 109D2)

March 1, 1985:

President Reagan announces that the U.S. will not ask Japan to extend "voluntary" automobile export quotas to the U.S. The President, in a statement released to the press, maintains that his actions are based on the "wisdom of maintaining free and fair trade for the benefit of the world's consumers." White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater says that "there are no hidden deals" nor "any hidden smiles or winks" but "simply setting a climate and a policy" in the hope of liberalizing Japanese trade. The same day, both nations lift their tariffs on imports of semiconductors. (Facts on File 3/8/85 148D2 and 4/12/85 262C2)

March 13, 1985:

Japanese officials, following meetings in Washington, express strong concern that relations with the U.S. are deteriorating as result of stubborn two-way trade problems. (New York Times 3/14/85)

March 19, 1985:

Following expressions of concern by the Japanese government about the Soviet military buildup in the Far East, Ambassador Mansfield offers assurances to Japan that the U.S. will not sign an arms accord with the Soviet Union that ignores the security concerns of Japan and America's other allies. (New York Times3/20/85)

March 28, 1985:

The Japanese government announces that it will set a new ceiling for automobile exports to the U.S. that will be 24.3 percent higher than exports for the year ending March 31. This produces protests in both countries, the U.S. charging that the ceiling is too high and Japanese auto manufacturers saying that the limit is too restrictive. The Senate condemns Japan's "unfair" trading practices in a 92-0 non-binding vote urging President Reagan to retaliate. (Facts on File 3/29/85 222C1)

March 30-31, 1985:

Commerce Undersecretary Olmer and National Security Council aide Gaston Sigur go to Japan as special envoys to win trade concessions. (Facts on File 4/5/85 234F2)

April 2, 1985:

The Senate Finance Committee approves a bill that would require the president to take action under U.S. "unfair trade" laws to restrict Japanese imports of telecommunications equipment and other goods if Japan does not open up its markets to U.S. goods within 90 days. The House of Representatives passes a non-binding resolution (349-19 vote) asking President Reagan to act within 90 days against Japanese trade barriers and other causes of the U.S.'s $37 billion 1984 deficit with Japan. (Facts on File 4/5/85 234F2)

April 3, 1985:

The Japanese government issues a statement defending its record on trade liberalization, stating that the Senate Finance Committee's bill is "discriminatory" because it singles out Japan, and that the new Japanese trade law issued April 1 made Japan "second only after the U.S. in the world" in providing greater access to its telecommunications industry. (Facts on File 4/5/85 234F2)

April 9, 1985:

The Japanese government introduces measures to liberalize Japanese markets. The package includes measures for the four areas (forestry, pharmaceuticals, electronics and telecommunications) that were under negotiation by the U.S. and Japan. Prime Minister Nakasone appears on national television to ask the Japanese to "buy more foreign products" because the current trade friction may affect "the life and death of our country." Vice President Bush praises Nakasone for showing " a good deal of courage" in introducing the measures, and White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan lauds the prime minister's appeal but says that the plan contained few new initiatives. (Facts on File 4/12/85 261B3)

April 15-19, 1985:

Pursuant to an agreement on April 13 between Japanese Foreign Minister Abe and Secretary of State Shultz in Washington, D.C., Japan and the U.S. hold talks on simplifying standards for telecommunications equipment in Japan. On April 19, they reach an agreement that will allow U.S. equipment to enter the Japanese market more easily. (Facts on File 5/17/85 369G2)

April 25, 1985:

The U.S. and Japan hold talks on pharmaceuticals and medical equipment in Tokyo. Japan pledges to take measures to speed the approval process for pharmaceutical products and medical equipment. (Facts on File 5/17/85 369G2)

May 9, 1985:

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces an agreement with Japan for preliminary design of a space station to be built by the U.S. The agreement is signed in Tokyo by Reiichi Takeuchi, Japan's minister of state for science and technology, and by NASA Administrator James M. Beggs. (Facts on File 5/31/85 408B2)

May 14, 1985:

The Japanese Cabinet approves a five-year plan to cut steel exports to the U.S. from 6.3 percent to 5.8 percent of the U.S. market, retroactive to October 1, 1984. (Facts on File 5/17/85 369G2)

May 30, 1985:

A Commerce Department study reports that by 1987, about one-third of the U.S. car market will be captured by Japanese automobile makers. (Facts on File 7/5/85 496D1)

June 10, 1985:

Japanese Defense Minister Koichi Kato discusses the defense of Pacific sea lanes around Japan and other issues with Defense Secretary Weinberger during a meeting in Washington. (New York Times 6/11/85)

July 30, 1985:

Japan announces new steps to further open its markets to foreign goods. The package includes 88 measures easing procedures on goods entering the country; reduction or elimination of some tariffs; a pledge to discuss market access for 22 agricultural products; and measures to liberalize Japan's capital markets. In a televised statement accompanying the presentation of the plan, Prime Minister Nakasone urges the U.S. not to take up protectionist legislation aimed at Japan and urges the Japanese people to cooperate with the "action plan." However, reaction among the U.S. and Western nations remains cool. (Facts on File 8/2/85 563A3)

September 7, 1985:

President Reagan announces a series of steps to increase U.S. exports to certain foreign markets that have "unfair" protectionist trading practices, using powers granted under section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act allowing the president to retaliate against countries with unfair practices. The president says he will initiate official investigations against trading practices in South Korea, Brazil and Japan. The case against Japan will deal with the cigarette, shoe and leather markets. The president will hold negotiations with the targeted nations, but if the negotiations fail, the administration will take countermeasures. (Facts on File 9/13/85 677A1)

September 18, 1985:

The Japanese Cabinet adopts a five-year, $76 billion defense spending plan that is likely to breach the nations' policy of keeping military spending under 1 percent of the gross national product, unless the economy grows faster than predicted. (Facts on File 9/20/85 701F3)

November 29, 1985:

The Tokyo Stock Exchange announces the selection of three American and three British securities firms as members, marking the first time foreign firms will be allowed to join the 107-year-old exchange. (Financial Times, London 12/3/85)

January 10, 1986:

Year-long Market-Oriented, Sector-Specific (MOSS) talks between the U.S. and Japan on four product areas end, with the greatest progress achieved in telecommunications. Secretary of State Shultz and Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe issue a joint agreement to continue the talks and add new sectors. (Japanese Economic Newswire, 1/11/86)

January 21, 1986:

A class action suit seeking damages on behalf of all Japanese-Americans interned during World War II is reinstated by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. The suit had been filed in March 1983, but was dismissed in May 1984. (Facts on File 3/7/86 150E3)

February 13, 1986:

Japan announces that it will extend for a sixth year curbs on automobile exports to the U.S., retaining the ceiling of 2.3 million units from the previous year. (Facts on File 3/7/86 157F1)

March 17, 1986:

The U.S. dollar drops to a post-World War II low against the Japanese yen, falling to 174.5 yen to the dollar. The Japanese central bank intervenes in foreign exchange markets to slow the rapid rise of the yen. (New York Times 3/18/86)

March 26, 1986:

The Supreme Court rules against the Zenith Electronics Corp. in its antitrust lawsuit against Japanese television manufacturers, sending the case back to the federal appeals court in Philadelphia. (Facts on File 4/4/86 229F2)

April 5, 1986:

Defense Secretary Weinberger meets with Prime Minister Nakasone and Foreign Minister Abe in Japan, and urges Japan to join the Strategic Defense Initiative. (Facts on File 5/16/86 346D2)

April 9, 1986:

Japan records a record high trade surplus of $52.58 billion for the 1985 fiscal year, according to a report issued by the Finance Ministry. (Facts on File 4/18/86 276A3)

April 12-14, 1986:

Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone visits the U.S., where he meets with President Reagan at Camp David April 13-14. Nakasone says that his government's expansionary economic policies and measures to encourage imports, along with the stronger yen, should lead to a decline in the Japanese trade surplus with the United States by autumn. President Reagan praises Nakasone for his commitment to economic reform and says the relationship between the two countries remains "strong and vital." The two leaders agree to form a group consisting of government ministers to monitor Japan's economic reforms, but the two nations are unable to reach an agreement on items to be included in a new round of talks on opening up Japan's markets to U.S. goods. (New York Times 4/12/86, 4/16/86, 4/14/86, 4/15/86; Facts on File 4/18/86 276A3)

April 25 1986:

President Reagan begins a 13-day trip to the Far East to talk with ASEAN nations and to attend the G-7 summit in Tokyo. (Facts on File 5/2/86 312D1)

May 7, 1986:

The G-7 Summit is held in Tokyo, during which participants pledge to "act together" in the fight against terrorism. (Facts on File 5/9/86 331E1)

May 27, 1986:

The International Trade Commission imposes trade penalties on Japanese semiconductor makers because of charges that Japanese manufacturers are "dumping" 64K and 256K dynamic random access memory chips on the U.S. market. The ITC rules by a 4-2 vote to impose antidumping duties ranging from 11.87 percent to 35.34 percent of U.S. prices on 64K chips from Japan. (Facts on File 6/6/86 408G3)

May 28, 1986:

Trade Representative Clayton Yeutter reaches a preliminary agreement with the Japanese government to suspend further penalties on computer chips in exchange for a commitment by Japan to increase its purchases of U.S. semiconductors, and to raise the prices of chips sold in the U.S. (Facts on File 6/6/86 408G3)

July 22, 1986:

The Japanese Diet reappoints Nakasone as prime minister. Nakasone reshuffles the Cabinet; only he and Chief Cabinet Secretary Masaharu Gotoda retain their previous posts. (Facts on File 7/25/86 886A1)

July 31, 1986:

The U.S. and Japan sign a five-year trade pact on computer chips. Under the pact, Japan will take steps to allow foreign microchip makers to increase their share of the Japanese market to reportedly more than 20 percent by 1991, and will also police Japanese manufacturers to guard against dumping in foreign countries. The U.S. agrees to suspend the tariffs on Japanese chips that it had imposed in May, but stresses that the sanctions could be re-imposed if the conditions of the agreement are not met. (Facts on File 8/1/86 554B2)

August 8, 1986:

The Japanese Cabinet approves a white paper on defense that urges the country to step up its defense capabilities to match a Soviet military buildup in the Far East. (Facts on File 8/22/86 626A1)

September 8, 1986:

Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, following a meeting with Treasury Secretary James Baker, says Baker did not request interest rate cuts or other specific measures to stimulate Japan's economy. (New York Times 9/9/86)

September 9, 1986:

Chief Japanese Cabinet Secretary Gotoda announces that the Japanese government has agreed in principle to participate in the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative. Gotoda says the SDI is a "non-nuclear defensive system" that "would possibly contribute to the deterrence of not only the U.S. but the West as a whole, including Japan," and that it is "not inconsistent" with a 1969 parliamentary resolution that requires Japanese space projects to have "peaceful objectives." (Facts on File 9/26/86 699B3)

October 31, 1986:

The U.S. and Japan announce an agreement, signed by Treasury Secretary Baker and Finance Minister Miyazawa, to coordinate their economic policies and bolster both economies. Under the agreement Japan agrees to accelerate its sluggish economy by cutting interest rates, among other actions, and the United States agrees to abandon its efforts to drive the dollar down against the yen, with both nations agreeing the current dollar-yen rate is appropriate. (Facts on File 11/7/86 828F1; New York Times 11/1/86)

January 21, 1987:

Treasury Secretary Baker and Finance Minister Miyazawa hold an emergency meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss the depreciating dollar and its impact on the Japanese economy. Despite their broad agreement in October 1986 that the dollar-yen rate is appropriate, the dollar has continued to fall. They issue a statement saying that there have been "recent instances of temporary instability" in the foreign exchange markets, but do not agree to intervene to bolster the dollar. (Facts on File 1/23/87 25A1)

January 23, 1987:

Japan formally decides that its defense spending does not need to be less than 1 percent of the gross national product. The Cabinet affirms that Japan will remain a "peace-loving nation" but that defense spending need not respect a GNP percentage, and that instead, funds would adhere to the targets set out in a five-year defense plan. (Facts on File 2/6/87 79B2)

January 27, 1987:

Japan announces that it will extend its voluntary limit on automobile exports for the seventh year, through March 1988, holding the limit to 2.3 million units. (Facts on File 2/6/87 66C3)

March 27, 1987:

The Reagan administration announces that the U.S. has decided to impose duties of 100 percent on a wide range of popular electronic products imported from Japan. This action comes after Tokyo's alleged failure to satisfy the 1986 agreement barring Japanese companies from selling semiconductor chips in the U.S. for less than a "fair market value" as determined by the U.S. Instead of imposing tariffs on the chips themselves, which will affect U.S. computer manufacturers, the administration chooses to put tariffs on other products made by the same companies. (Facts on File 4/3/87 213A1)

April 7, 1987:

Former Foreign Minister Abe plans a trip to Washington on April 19 to prepare for Prime Minister Nakasone's visit. Abe will arrive two days after U.S. trade sanctions come into force, thus avoiding the embarrassment of being in the U.S. when they take effect. (New York Times 4/8/87)

April 17, 1987:

The U.S.-imposed 100 percent tariffs on Japanese electronics imports, worth about $300 billion annually, take effect. (Facts on File 4/17/87 260B2)

April 29-May 2, 1987:

Prime Minister Nakasone visits Washington for talks with President Reagan, where they pledge to reduce the "politically unsustainable" $58 billion Japanese trade surplus with the U.S. Nakasone states that the Bank of Japan will bring down the discount rate, which should theoretically reduce the trade surplus over time, and that the government will open Japanese markets more to foreign countries and buy more imported goods. President Reagan does not agree to lift the U.S. electronics tariffs, but he does agree that the dollar should not fall further. (New York Times 4/30/87; Facts on File 5/1/87 301A1)

May 1, 1987:

The Japanese finance ministry announces a record trade surplus of $101.4 billion during fiscal 1986. (Facts on File 5/1/87 301A1)

May 29, 1987:

The Japanese government approves a $43-billion program to stimulate the economy and ease trade frictions with the U.S. (New York Times 5/30/87)

June 8, 1987:

President Reagan announces at the G-7 Summit in Venice that he will lift 17 percent of the sanctions on electronics goods levied against Japan. (New York Times 6/9/87)

June 29, 1987:

Defense Secretary Weinberger ends a visit to Japan, during which the topics of discussion included Japan's impending choice of a new generation of fighter aircraft and whether it will be developed by Japanese companies or purchased from a U.S. defense manufacturer. Weinberger reportedly tells Japanese officials that both nations' security interests have been undermined by the Toshiba Machine Company's illegal sale to the Soviet Union of advanced equipment used to improve submarines. (New York Times 6/29/87, 6/30/87, 6/30/87)

July 7, 1987:

Following the revelation that Toshiba has sold sensitive defense-related technology to the Soviet Union, the U.S. Commerce Department decides that Toshiba will have to obtain individual licenses for every product of strategic value that it wants to import from the U.S. (Facts on File 7/17/87 506B1)

July 16, 1987:

Japanese Trade Minister Hajime Tamura meets with Secretary of Commerce Baldrige in Washington to promise that Japan will work harder at keeping militarily useful technology out of the reach of communist countries. (Facts on File 7/17/87)

July 21, 1987:

Japan formally joins the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative. The agreement is signed in Washington by Defense Secretary Weinberger and Nobuo Matsunaga, Japan's ambassador to the U.S. (Facts on File 8/21/87 601F3)

September 20, 1987:

Prime Minister Nakasone, in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, meets with President Reagan to discuss a wide range of issues, including Japanese concerns about trade legislation pending in Congress and proposed American import sanctions against Toshiba Corporation products in retaliation for the sale by a Toshiba subsidiary of sensitive technology to the Soviet Union. (New York Times 9/21/87)

October 2, 1987:

After meeting with Defense Secretary Weinberger in Washington, D.C., Japan's Defense Director General Yuko Kurihara announces that Japan has dropped a plan to design and build a new jet fighter and instead will make multiple purchases of a modified version a U.S. plane. (Facts on File 10/16/87 769B2)

October 6, 1987:

President Reagan and Crown Prince Akihito of Japan discuss ties between their two countries during a brief meeting at the White House. (New York Times10/7/87)

October 20, 1987:

Prime Minister Nakasone chooses former Finance Minister Noboru Takeshita to succeed him as president of the governing Liberal Democratic Party and as his successor as prime minister. (Washington Post 1/20/87)

November 4, 1987:

President Reagan removes some punitive tariffs that were imposed on electronics imports from Japan, in response to the judgment that the Japanese seem to have stopped dumping computer chips in the U.S. market. (Facts on File 11/13/87 844B2)

November 6, 1987:

Noboru Takeshita becomes the new prime minister of Japan. (Facts on File 11/13/87 853C1)

November 19-20, 1987:

After meeting top Japanese leaders including Prime Minister Takeshita and Construction Minister Ihei Ochi, Commerce Secretary C. William Verity, Jr. criticizes Japan's refusal to open its public works construction projects to U.S. companies and warns of possible congressional retaliation. (New York Times 11/21/87; Facts on File 11/27/87 886A1)

December 3, 1987:

Japan blocks adoption of a GATT ruling ordering Tokyo to lift import quotas on 10 categories of agricultural products. (Facts on File 12/11/87 921C2)

December 3, 1987:

The U.S. House of Representatives votes 399 to 17 to ban Japanese construction companies from participating in building projects funded by the U.S. government unless Tokyo eases existing restrictions and allows U.S. companies more access to similar projects in Japan. (Facts on File 12/11/87 921C2)

January 12-15, 1988:

Prime Minister Takeshita arrives in Washington for meetings with President Reagan. The discussions focus on the persistent economic problems between the two countries, including reducing the U.S. trade deficit with Japan, stabilizing the falling dollar and reducing Japanese interest rates. Takeshita reportedly provides data to show that Japan is meeting several important demands of its trading partners by relying on domestic demand rather than on exports for economic growth, stimulating its economy and reducing its global trade surplus. (New York Times 1/11/88, 1/14/88, 1/14/88)

February 4, 1988:

A small group of lawmakers led by Representative Charles Bennett (D-La.) oppose the sale of the Navy's most sophisticated Aegis air defense system to Japan, an export worth at least $500 million, on the grounds that Japan might not keep the technology secret. Other concerns voiced at a House subcommittee meeting deal with Japan's trade practices and its contribution to military efforts in the Pacific. (New York Times 2/5/88)

March 21, 1988:

The Senate votes 53 to 30 against a resolution to reject an agreement, signed by the Reagan administration in 1987, that would allow Japan to reprocess spent nuclear fuel and to recover plutonium from the fuel without a case-by-case approval form. (Facts on File 3/25/88 208B2)

March 29, 1988:

U.S. and Japanese trade negotiators, meeting in Washington, reach agreement to open Japanese public works projects to bidding by U.S. construction firms, ending a two-year dispute. (Facts on File 4/8/88 241E2)

May 26, 1988:

The Japanese Diet approves a U.S.-Japanese nuclear cooperation pact that allows Japan to ship spent nuclear fuel to Western Europe from the U.S. for reprocessing. (Facts on File 6/10/88 428F1)

June 6, 1988:

Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, on a visit to Japan, warns that despite easing tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the USSR still poses a military threat in the Far East, and asks that Japan pay a larger share of the costs to support U.S. military personnel in Japan. Carlucci also asks Japan to expand its foreign aid program for nations such as the Philippines, Turkey, Portugal, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. (New York Times 6/7/88; Facts on File 6/24/88 456C3)

June 20, 1988:

Japanese Agriculture Minister Takashi Sato and U.S. Trade Representative Clayton K. Yeutter sign a trade pact in Tokyo to gradually remove Japanese quotas on imports of U.S. beef and citrus products, with the goal of completely removing the quotas by April 1991. (Facts on File 6/24/88 467C2)

July 18-20, 1988:

Secretary of State Shultz visits Japan as part of an 18-day trip to the Far East, during which he praises the U.S. and Japan for "turning a corner" in their relations by reversing the growth of the trade imbalance. (Washington Post 7/20/88; Facts on File 8/5/88 568D1)

August 6, 1988:

A House Armed Services subcommittee warns that Western Europe and Japan must rely less on the U.S. and more on their own forces and funds to defend themselves, citing declining American political support for deployment of forces abroad. The subcommittee also says that U.S. allies should share or pay for all additional debts incurred by the U.S. in stationing its forces overseas, payments that it says would reduce the U.S. defense burden by more than $7.7 billion a year. (New York Times 8/7/88)

September 1, 1988:

The Federal Communications Commission approves an initial technical guideline for high-definition television (HDTV) standards. The new standards exclude the two competing systems that are being developed by the Japanese and the Europeans. (Facts on File 9/16/88 676G1)

October 13, 1988:

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan arrives in Tokyo to hold talks with senior Japanese monetary officials. (Japanese Economic Newswire 10/13/88)

November 14, 1988:

Mike Mansfield says he will resign as ambassador to Japan, expressing confidence that the often-stormy U.S.-Japan relationship is fundamentally strong. (New York Times 11/15/88)

November 29, 1988:

The U.S. and Japan reach a formal agreement on the production of a new jet fighter for the Japanese military. Under the accord, signed by Foreign Minister Sosuke Uno and Ambassador Mansfield, the main contractor will be Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. (Facts on File 12/16/88 942G2)

December 9, 1988:

Kiichi Miyazawa resigns as finance minister and deputy premier over his involvement in a stock-trading scandal. He was implicated in the affair after his name was used by a high-level aide to purchase thousands of shares of Recruit Cosmos Co., a fast-growing real estate firm, which were later sold for a profit when the company went public. (Facts on File 12/16/88 942E1)

December 28, 1988:

Secretary of State Shultz and Secretary of Defense Carlucci tell Congress that Western Europe, Japan and South Korea can and should shoulder more of the financial burden for the common defense, an issue expected to be a critical question for President-elect Bush in the coming year, as pressure mounts to reduce the American military budget. (New York Times 12/29/88)

January 6, 1989:

Emperor Hirohito dies of cancer. President Reagan extends condolences to his family and to the people of Japan, and announces that President-elect Bush will lead the U.S. delegation to the funeral. (New York Times 1/7/89, 1/11/89; Facts on File 1/13/89 11D3)

January 10, 1989:

MITI announces that it will continue the voluntary quota of 2.3 million units on auto exports to the U.S. in the fiscal year beginning April 1. (Facts on File 1/20/89 39A1)

January 31, 1989:

President Bush names career diplomat Michael H. Armacost as U.S. ambassador to Japan, replacing Mike Mansfield. (Washington Post 2/1/89; New York Times 2/14/89)

February 1-7, 1989:

Prime Minister Takeshita visits the United States, where he confers with President Bush on military and trade issues. Secretary of State James A. Baker 3rd and Foreign Minister Sosuke Uno meet to discuss a plan for joint production of a new Japanese fighter plane, the FSX. (New York Times 2/1/89, 2/3/89; Facts on File 2/10/89 82E1)

February 23-25, 1989:

Foreign leaders who have gathered in Tokyo for the funeral of Emperor Hirohito, including President Bush, hold bilateral meetings. (Facts on File 3/3/89 137A1)

March 25, 1989:

President Bush attempts to revise the FSX development accord in response to congressional and administrative criticism that Japanese access to American technology might provide a competitive advantage. The revisions would prevent access to some wing-control computer programs and advanced engine technology. The delay in negotiations leads to sharp expressions of irritation and bitterness among Japanese officials, and is seen as an early challenge to the Bush administration's diplomatic skills in dealing with Tokyo (Financial Times 3/25/89, New York Times 3/28/89

April 17, 1989:

The Bush administration temporarily blocks the sale of General Ceramics Inc., which is currently a government contractor, to Tokuyama Soda Co. of Japan because of national security reasons. (Facts on File 5/12/89 339B2)

April 28, 1989:

President Bush announces that Japan and the U.S. have concluded a revised accord on joint development of a new Japanese FSX fighter plane. Under the pact, the U.S. will be guaranteed about 40 percent of the development and production work on the FSX. The deal also provides for U.S. access to new technology developed by Japan during production of the plane. (Facts on File 5/5/89 314F2)

April 28, 1989:

Trade Representative Carla A. Hills announces that the U.S. will retaliate against Japan for restricting U.S. access to its telecommunications market unless the situation is remedied immediately. The retaliation will be made under the authority granted by the 1988 Omnibus Trade Act to the Trade Representative to review all bilateral telecommunications accords annually. Hill says that Japan has violated the Market Oriented Sector Specific Agreements (MOSS) signed by the two countries in the mid-1980s. A Japanese embassy spokesman in Washington responds that, "We in Japan have completely honored the MOSS agreement concerning telecommunications and it is regrettable that the U.S. government has taken such unilateral action." (Facts on File 5/5/89 315B2)

May 1, 1989:

The State Department formally notifies Congress of the administration's April 28 conclusion of the FSX deal with Japan. A motion of disapproval is filed the same day within the Senate, and the following day in the House. (Facts on File 5/5/89 314F2)

May 16, 1989:

The Senate votes down a resolution of disapproval of the FSX deal sponsored by Senator Alan J. Dixon (D.-Ill.), and approves a measure sponsored by Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) to tighten several provisions that are already a part of the agreement. (Facts on File 5/19/89 360B2)

May 25, 1989:

President Bush identifies Japan, Brazil and India as unfair traders under the Super 301 provision of the 1988 Omnibus Trade Act. If they fail to eliminate the cited unfair trading practices within 12 to 18 months, they will be subject to U.S. trade retaliation. The U.S. specifically cites Japan's restriction of purchases of satellites, supercomputers and forest products. The president authorizes sweeping bilateral negotiations with Japan aimed at eliminating "structural impediments to trade" in the Japanese economy. The negotiations reportedly were proposed by Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady as a way to reduce the number of specific charges against Japan under the provisions of 301. (New York Times 5/26/89; Facts on File 6/2/89 396A3)

May 26, 1989:

Foreign Minister Uno calls the U.S. move to target Japan for unfair trade practices "extremely regrettable," charging that the U.S. was trying to divert attention from its budget deficit, and that U.S. itself has restrictive import measures to a considerable degree. Minister of International Trade and Industry Hiroshi Mitsuzuka says that the government has "no intentions of entering into negotiations with the U.S. under the conditions imposed" by the Super 301 provision. (Facts on File 6/2/89 396A3)

May 30, 1989:

Michael Armacost criticizes Japanese trading and economic practices in his first public address as ambassador to Tokyo. (Facts on File 6/2/89 396A3)

May 31, 1989:

Japan agrees to begin negotiations on structural reforms with the U.S. on condition that the bilateral talks include U.S. structural problems such as the budget deficit. (Facts on File 6/2/89 396A3)

June 2, 1989:

Foreign Minister Uno is elected premier of Japan, replacing Takeshita, who resigned over his involvement in the Recruit Scandal. (Facts on File 6/9/89, 427C3)

June 7, 1989:

The House of Representatives votes conditional approval of the FSX agreement between U.S. and Japan. The legislation will bar the transfer of "critical" jet engine technology to Japan and would prohibit Japan from selling or transferring FSX technology to third countries. (Facts on File 6/23/89 461A1)

June 12, 1989:

After a meeting in Tokyo, the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association and the Electronic Industries Association of Japan announce the formation of a consumer electronics task force to facilitate information flow between Japan and the U.S. and to study ways to expand U.S. involvement in HDTV electronics production. (Facts on File 7/14/89 512D2)

June 21, 1989:

IBM and six other leading U.S. computer and semiconductor firms announce the formation of a consortium, U.S. Memories Inc., to build a plant to produce dynamic random access memory chips and attempt to recapture the market lost to the Japanese. (Facts on File 7/14/89 512B1)

June 23, 1989:

The Commerce Department announces an agreement to monitor the use of drift nets by Japanese fishing fleets in the North Pacific. (Facts on File 7/21/89 533A3)

June 26, 1989:

In a speech to the Asia Society in New York, Secretary of State Baker proposes the establishment of a "pan-Pacific entity" among the U.S., Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the newly industrialized countries of East Asia to coordinate trade and economic policies. He also says that Japan should play a bigger political role on the world stage, commensurate with its economic power. (New York Times 6/27/89; Facts on File 7/7/89 491D1)

June 28, 1989:

After a week of discussions in Washington, D.C., the U.S. and Japan reach a telecommunications trade accord that will open Japanese mobile telecommunications markets to foreign companies. (Facts on File 7/14/89 511D3)

July 29, 1989:

The Senate Armed Services Committee will ask President Bush to negotiate an agreement for Japan to pay the entire cost of keeping U.S. troops on bases in that country. (New York Times 7/30/89)

July 31, 1989:

President Bush vetoes a bill passed by Congress that sets restrictions on a U.S.-Japan joint venture to develop the FSX fighter plane. (Facts on File 9/1/89, 64-E2)

August 9, 1989:

Former Education Minister Toshiki Kaifu becomes the new premier of Japan, and selects a new Cabinet. (Facts on File 8/11/89 583A3)

August 31-September 5, 1989:

Prime Minister Kaifu visits U.S. to offer assurances that recent political turmoil has not undermined Japan's dependability or willingness to negotiate thorny trade and security disputes, and to shore up his political standing at home. President Bush reportedly urges Kaifu to transform Japan into an "important superpower" to curb trade tensions and cement an "enduring partnership" with the U.S. (New York Times 9/2/89, 8/30/89; Facts on File 9/8/89 655C1)

September 4, 1989:

U.S.-Japan trade talks begin in Tokyo. (Facts on File 9/8/89 655C1)

September 13, 1989:

The Senate narrowly fails to override President Bush's veto of restrictions on an agreement for U.S.-Japanese joint development of the FSX fighter plane. (Facts on File 9/15/89 673G3)

September 25, 1989:

Vice President Dan Quayle, meeting Prime Minister Kaifu in Tokyo during a four-nation tour of Asia, brings a message of reconciliation and says the alliance with the U.S. should not be overshadowed by trade disputes. (New York Times 9/26/89; Facts on File 10/6/89 738D1)

September 27, 1989:

Sony Corp. agrees to buy Columbia Pictures Entertainment for $3.4 billion, the biggest foreign acquisition to date by a Japanese company. (Facts on File 9/29/89 724E2)

September 29, 1989:

The Senate approves the automatic payment of reparations to Japanese-Americans interned during World War II. (Facts on File 10/13/89 763G1)

October 20-28, 1989:

Former President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, visit Japan as guests of the Fujisankei Communications Group. The trip causes some controversy because of the nearly $2 million payment that Fujisankei gave the Reagans, in addition to the $6-8 million the company spent on their visit. The former president is presented with Japan's highest imperial honor, the Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, by Emperor Akihito. He dines with former Prime Ministers Takeshita and Nakasone as well as with Prime Minister Kaifu. (New York Times 10/21/89; Facts on File 11/3/89 824C3)

November 5, 1989:

The U.S. and Japan reach agreement in Tokyo on a major expansion of air service between the two countries. Under the new pact, air service is expected to increase by 30 to 50 percent. (Facts on File 12/22/89 945C2)

November 9, 1989:

The East German government decides to open the Berlin Wall, one of a series of events signaling the approaching end of the Cold War. (Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, p. 494)

November 20, 1989:

The International Trade Commission decides that three Asian telephone manufacturers (Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Toshiba Corp., and the Taiwanese subsidiary of Nitsuko Ltd.), are dumping their goods in U.S. markets. The ruling will allow the imposition of U.S. antidumping duties against small private telephone branch exchanges, multi-line telephone sets, and other similar systems imported from Japan. (Facts on File 12/8/89 906F1)

November 20, 1989:

Studies conducted separately by the Economic Policy Institute and the National Advisory Committee on Semiconductors say that the U.S. is in danger of falling further behind Japan in the semiconductor industry. (Facts on File 12/8/89 911C2)

November 22, 1989:

Trade Representative Hills announces after negotiations that the U.S. has decided to delay retaliatory action under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act against the Japanese construction industry until 1990, although Japanese barriers to U.S. participation in the industry remain "unreasonable." (Facts on File 12/8/89 906D2)

November 23, 1989:

Ninety-nine Japanese construction companies agree to pay $32.6 million to settle accusations that they had rigged bids on a variety of projects at the U.S. Naval base in Tokyo, marking a major victory for the U.S. against one of Japan's most powerful and closed industries. (New York Times 11/24/89)

December 12, 1989:

The Bush administration announces accords with 18 nations to phase out most subsidies to domestic steel industries, and the imposition of new steel quotas for major trading partners. The quota for Japan is cut to 5 percent from just over 6 percent. (Facts on File 12/22/89 945E1)

December 28, 1989:

The Japanese government announces plans to offer large tax credits to Japanese firms that greatly increase imports of foreign-made manufactured goods. (Washington Post 12/29/89, New York Times 12/29/89)

January 17, 1990:

MITI announces that it will continue to impose a quota of 2.3 million units on auto exports to the U.S. in fiscal year 1990. (Facts on File 2/9/90 93E2)

February 20-23, 1990:

Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney visits Japan after touring South Korea and the Philippines. Japanese government leaders accept the U.S. plan for withdrawal of 5,000 to 6,000 American troops stationed in Japan, as Cheney stresses that the announcement does not imply a lessening of U.S. commitment to Asian security. He meets with Prime Minister Kaifu and other top political leaders, whom he asks for increases in Japan's monetary support for the U.S. troops stationed in Japan. (New York Times 2/15/90; Facts on File 3/2/90 137D1)

February 22, 1990:

Trade Representative Hills says that the U.S. will fight any attempts by the Europeans to close their markets to Japanese cars manufactured in U.S. factories. (Facts on File 3/16/90 174F30)

March 2-3, 1990:

Prime Minister Kaifu meets with President Bush in Palm Springs, California, and promises action to resolve the trade imbalance between the two countries, stating that Japan would base its future economic growth less on exports and more on domestic demand for consumer goods and services. Other topics of discussion include combating drugs and aid to Eastern Europe. (New York Times 3/3/90; Facts on File 3/9/90 165B3)

March 21, 1990:

The Pentagon, in a report to Congress on critical weapons technology, states that Japan the lead the U.S. in five strategic areas - semiconductors, robotics, superconductivity, photonics and biotechnology. (New York Times 3/22/90)

March 23-25, 1990:

U.S. and Japanese trade negotiators, as part of the ongoing Structural Impediments Initiative (SII) talks, exchange lists of detailed suggestions on improving each other's economies. The 80 Japanese suggestions for the U.S. economy generally aim at shifting the economy to an emphasis on production from one based on consumption, while the 240 American suggestions for Japan generally aim at making Japanese markets more accessible to foreign-made goods and at increasing demand for those goods. On this same date, U.S and Japanese trade negotiators announce a new agreement to make Japanese markets more open to U.S. supercomputers. (Facts on File 3/3/0/90 219B2 and 3/30/90 219C1; New York Times 3/24/90 3/27/90)

March 27, 1990:

The United States and Japan reach a basic agreement to cooperate on research on technologies likely to be critical to future American weapon systems. (New York Times 3/28/90)

March 30, 1989:

The Bush administration releases an annual report on foreign trade barriers to U.S. exports, in which Japan leads the list of unfair trading countries, and warns that Japan faces retaliation if certain barriers are not eliminated by June 16. (Facts on File 4/6/90 239F1)

April 3, 1990:

The U.S. and Japan reach an agreement for Japan to eliminate a government ban on buying satellites made abroad. (Facts on File 4/6/90 239F1)

April 5, 1990:

The U.S. and Japan pledge to eliminate some major structural barriers to free trade, under which Japan promises to seek changes in corporate and spending policies aimed at boosting domestic consumer demand and curtailing monopolistic practices. The U.S. pledges to work on the structural causes of the trade deficit by improving education, bolstering savings and investment, and cutting the cost of capital. (Facts on File 4/6/90 239F1; New York Times 4/6/90)

April 7, 1990:

In a joint communiqu‚ announced in Paris, members of the G-7 express concern over a recent decline in the value of the Japanese yen. (Facts on File 4/13/90 259E1)

April 13, 1990:

Boeing Co. announces that Japanese contractors will not be partners in the development of its 767-X next-generation commercial aircraft. (Facts on File 4/20/90 286G3)

April 17, 1990:

The United States criticizes its allies for not doing enough to carry more of the financial burden of defense. The Pentagon cites two of America's largest and wealthiest allies, Japan and Canada, for what it calls below-par contributions to Western defenses. (New York Times 4/18/90)

April 25, 1990:

In Tokyo, the U.S. and Japan reach an agreement on opening Japanese markets to U.S. lumber products. (Facts on File 5/4/90 316F1)

April 25, 1990:

Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, Special Trade Representative Hills says that Japan has made considerable progress in opening its markets to U.S.-manufactured satellites, supercomputers and forest products, which had been targeted as unfair in the Super 301 designations of the 1988 U.S. Omnibus Trade Act, and that retaliating against Japan would be counterproductive. (Facts on File 5/4/90 316F1)

April 27, 1990:

President Bush decides against identifying Japan and Brazil as unfair trading partners under the Super 301 provision of the 1988 U.S. Omnibus Trade Act. Japan calls this decision a "proper" one. (Facts on File 5/4/90 316F1)

June 28, 1990:

Following a marathon four-day session, the U.S. and Japan sign a final agreement that commits both nations to reforming their domestic economies with the aim of reducing the U.S. trade deficit with Japan, concluding the second stage of the Strategic Impediments Initiative (SII). The agreement, reached only with the personal intervention of President Bush and Prime Minister Kaifu, commits Japan to more concrete measures aimed at stimulating domestic consumption and opening up the market. (New York Times 6/29/90; Facts on File 6/6/90 495E3)

August 2, 1990:

Iraq invades Kuwait. The ensuing crisis raises the question of whether and how Japan will contribute militarily to its resolution. (Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, p. 495)

September 26, 1990:

African-American members of Congress, in a series of House speeches, call on President Bush to protest racial slurs by Justice Minister Seiroku Kajiyama, who later apologies for his remarks. (New York Times 9/27/90 and 10/18/90)

October 3, 1990:

West and East Germany unite under the leadership of the Kohl government. (Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, p. 495)

October 15, 1990:

In the GATT Uruguay Round negotiations, the U.S. proposes a farm trade agreement, which would include agreement by Japan to reform and scale back its rice import restrictions by converting to tariff barriers from its current non-tariff barriers. Japan rejects this proposal. (Facts on File 11/2/90 809A1)

October 16, 1990:

The Japanese Cabinet approves a plan to send Japanese Self Defense Forces to join the U.S.-led force deployed in the Persian Gulf in the wake of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Under the plan, the troops will be permitted to fill only non-combat roles, but could carry weapons for personal defense. Though Prime Minister Kaifu claims that the mission "does not involve the threat or the use of force and is fully compatible with the Constitution," there is much opposition to the plan within Japan. (Facts on File 10/19/90 772D1)

November 10, 1990:

Japan's LDP formally withdraws its proposal to send Japanese non-combat soldiers to Saudi Arabia to join U.S.-led forces against Iraq, because of strong resistance among the public and opposition party members. Instead, they will provide an all-civilian corps of medical and technical personnel to be sent to the Gulf region. (Facts on File 11/16/90 847D1)

December 11, 1990:

The Treasury Department issues a tough new report on the slow opening of Japan's financial markets, saying foreign banks and securities firms are still blocked from competing on equal terms because of legal and informal hurdles, despite Tokyo's emergence as a major financial center. (New York Times 12/12/90)

December 20, 1990:

Japan, responding to pressure from the U.S., promises to increase its share of the cost of maintaining 50,000 United States troops in Japan from 40 percent to 50 percent. U.S. officials praise the announcement, although it falls short of congressional demands that Japan either pay the total cost of American troops or face the prospect of gradual withdrawal. Japan takes this step despite moves to cut back military spending overall. (New York Times 12/21/90)

January 16, 1991:

The Persian Gulf War begins. (Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, p. 495)

January 24, 1991:

Prime Minister Kaifu proposes that Japan send non-combat aircraft to the Persian Gulf to help evacuate refugees from the area, and that Japan contribute an additional $9 billion to support the allied force in the region. These offers provoke criticism both from within the LDP and from opposition politicians. (Facts on File 1/24/91 46E1)

February 27, 1991:

The Gulf War ends, as President Bush announces that Kuwait has been liberated. (Beschloss and Talbott, At The Highest Levels, p. 495)

March 29, 1991:

The Bush administration releases its annual report on foreign trade barriers to U.S. exports. Though the report does not carry the threat of retaliation because the Super 301 provision of the 1988 Omnibus Trade Act has expired, Japan still leads the list of nations that have obstacles to free trade. (Facts on File 4/4/91 234C2)

April 4, 1991:

President Bush and Prime Minister Kaifu, in a lunch meeting in Newport Beach, California, seek to ease tensions arising from trade issues and American criticism of Japan's role in the Persian Gulf War. Kaifu, whose party faces a tough election in the coming week, had lobbied for the meeting to prove to the Japanese public that he still has a strong relationship with Bush. (New York Times 4/5/91; Facts on File 4/11/91 266E1)

April 17-19, 1991:

Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev visits Japan, the first ever visit by a Soviet president. The meeting between Gorbachev and Prime Minister Kaifu focuses mainly on the Kurile Islands, on which an agreement remains elusive. In a joint statement, they agree that the islands are the primary obstacle to improved Soviet-Japanese relations. To ease the situation, Gorbachev agrees to allow the Japanese to visit the islands without visas; and says that the Soviet Union will reduce its military presence there. In a speech before the Diet, Gorbachev offers an outline for a new Asian security plan involving a conference on confidence- and security-building measures. (Facts on File 4/25/91 295B3)

April 24, 1991:

Premier Kaifu announces the deployment of six naval vessels to the Persian Gulf to clear mines laid there by Iraq. The action, the first foreign mission by Japanese armed forces since World War II, is widely supported in public opinion polls because of the ceasefire in the Gulf. He also announces an additional $82.5 million for emergency relief for refugees from Iraq. (Facts on File 4/25/91 307G1)

April 26, 1991:

Trade Representative Hills announces that sanctions will be imposed if Japan fails to open up the construction industry to the U.S. by June 1. (Facts on File 6/13/91 433D2)

May 1, 1991:

The Big Three U.S. auto companies file a complaint with the U.S. Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission alleging that Japanese auto makers, especially Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Co., are dumping minivans in the U.S. market. (Facts on File 6/13/91 433A3)

May 22, 1991:

The U.S. and Japan present assessments on the progress of structural reform which began under the Structural Impediments Initiative, which are characterized by mutual dissatisfaction with the results to date. (Facts on File 6/13/91 434B1)

June 1, 1991:

The U.S. and Japan reach a tentative agreement in Tokyo to open more Japanese public works projects to U.S. firms. Under the agreement, U.S. firms will be able to bid on and win contracts for an additional 17 large public works projects for the next decade. It also establishes public hearings that will clarify the specifications of a given project, extends the bidding deadline to give U.S. and other foreign companies more time to prepare their bids, and includes measures to prevent "danger" or bid-rigging practices. (Facts on File 6/13/91 433D2)

June 4, 1991:

The U.S. and Japan sign an agreement on semiconductors. The pact will last for three years and aim at expanding the U.S. share of the Japanese market in semiconductors. In return for the Japanese concessions, the U.S. agrees to lift the remaining $155 million of import duty sanctions imposed during the Reagan administration. (Facts on File 6/13/91 433F1; New York Times 6/4/91)

July 8, 1991:

The Commerce Department rules that Japanese manufacturers are dumping the high-technology screens used on laptop computers and recommends a tariff of 63 percent. Computer companies such as IBM and Apple Computer say that the decision will hurt them since U.S. manufacturers were unable to produce the kind of screens they needed, thus forcing them to raise the prices of their laptop machines. (Facts on File 12/31/91 977B1)

July 11, 1991:

President Bush and Prime Minister Kaifu meet at Bush's Kennebunkport, Maine home to settle the question of the $500 million a year payment that the U.S. wanted as Japan's contribution to Persian Gulf War. (New York Times 7/12/91)

July 14, 1991:

Japan, under pressure from U.S. trade negotiators, sets new rules barring firms from fixing prices, driving competitors out of the market and blocking certain types of imports. (New York Times 7/15/91)

July 27, 1991:

Treasury Secretary Brady makes an unusual public statement of support for Japanese Finance Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, who is threatened by the public furor over a Japanese stock market scandal. (New York Times 7/28/91)

August 24, 1991:

Following an abortive hard-line coup against his government, Gorbachev resigns as head of the Communist party. Within a week, the Soviet parliament bans all Communist party activities. (Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, p. 495)

September 14, 1991:

The government of Prime Minister Kaifu formally proposes to the Diet a bill that would allow up to 2,000 Japanese military personnel to be dispatched abroad to participate in U.N. peace-keeping missions. The bill would authorize the dispatch of Japanese forces to zones where ceasefires have been declared, limiting their role to supporting U.N. peace-keeping efforts, and allowing them to evacuate should fighting resume. The bill is opposed by the Socialist party and the Communist party. (Facts on File 10/3/91 749A3)

September 18, 1991:

The U.S. bans imports of fish caught with drift nets, which are used by fishing fleets from Japan, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea and France. (Facts on File 10/3/91 740B3)

October 17, 1991:

At a news conference at the Finance Ministry in Tokyo, Treasury Under Secretary David C. Mulford issues a public attack on Japan's financial regulation. In his remarks, Mulford accuses the Japanese Finance Ministry of dragging its feet on promised changes by refusing to provide timetables or take dramatic steps. He further charges the ministry with permitting a host of anti-competitive practices in financial markets and issuing regulations in obscure ways to make them opaque to outsiders. (New York Times 10/18/91)

November 5, 1991:

Following his accession to the presidency of the LDP on October 27, Kiichi Miyazawa is formally appointed premier of Japan at a special Diet session, succeeding Toishi Kaifu. (Facts on File 11/7/91 845F2)

November 11, 1991:

Secretary of State Baker meets with Premier Miyazawa in Tokyo, where they discuss topics including the sovereignty of the Kurile Islands, and U.S. calls for Japan to remove its barriers on rice imports. In public statements during his visit, Baker calls on Japan to assume a more active role in protecting democracy and advocating free trade, saying that Japan should stop relying on "checkbook diplomacy" to protect its narrow interests, and should not wait to be pressured by other countries to take action. More specifically, Baker seeks a greater Japanese role in promoting compromise in global free-trade talks, in United Nations peace-keeping efforts, and in the campaign to dissuade North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. (New York Times 11/12/91; Facts on File 11/21/91 874A2)

December 7, 1991:

In a speech marking the 50th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese, President Bush urges veterans of the attack to forget their rancor toward Japan, and apologizes for the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during the war. Prime Minister Miyazawa expresses his "deep feelings of responsibility" for the attack, and Foreign Minister Michio Watanabe pledges to pass a resolution expressing regret for launching the offensive, but the effort collapses in the Diet. (Facts on File 12/12/91 935E1)

December 10, 1991:

The passage of a bill authorizing dispatch of Japanese military forces on peace-keeping missions is blocked in the upper house of the Japanese Diet due to opposition from Communist and Socialist party members. (Facts on File 12/12/91 943C2)

December 20, 1991:

The Commerce Department rules that Japanese auto makers are dumping minivans in the U.S. market. (Facts on File 12/31/91 977B1)

December 25, 1991:

Gorbachev resigns and the USSR is dissolved. (Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, p. 495)

December 27, 1991:

The Bush administration announces that it will ask Taiwan and Japan to extend their voluntary restraints on machine tool exports to the U.S. for two years. (Facts on File 12/31/91 977B1)

January 7-9, 1992:

President Bush visits Japan for meetings with Prime Minister Miyazawa as part of an 11-day tour of Australia and Asia. The primary emphasis of the discussions is trade, as Bush has cast his journey as a "relentless" personal quest to boost exports and create more jobs for Americans. One center piece of the visit is the announcement by Bush and Miyazawa of a "Strategy for World Growth" in which Tokyo commits to making greater public investment, stimulating domestic demand and achieving a growth rate of 3.5 percent in 1992. The document also endorses the U.S. dollar's relatively low value versus the Japanese yen, as a tool for reducing the trade imbalance between the two nations. On the perennial issue of automobiles, Japanese manufacturers announce their intention to boost the value of U.S.-made auto parts they would buy between March 31, 1991, and March 31, 1995, and Japan wins "voluntary" agreements by Japanese auto makers to increase the sales of U.S.-built cars through their dealer networks in Japan. Japan also pledges to make public-sector procurement of computers more open to foreign vendors. The two countries also issue a joint declaration pledging cooperation in collectively defending Asia in the post-Cold War era. These accomplishments are overshadowed, however, by Bush's collapse during a state dinner on January 8 due to a stomach virus. (New York Times 1/7/92; 1/9/92, 1/10/92; Facts on File 1/16/92 17A1)

January 20, 1992:

In a speech to supporters, LDP politician Sakurauchi says that the U.S. risks becoming nothing more than "Japan's subcontractor" and says "the deterioration in quality of U.S. workers" is the true source of the trade gap between the U.S. and Japan, and that "one-third of the Americans cannot even read." This causes considerable anger in the U.S. and embarrassment for Japan. Sakurauchi apologizes the next day saying that he had not intended to "disparage or slight American workers." (Facts on File 1/23/92 46F1)

January 20, 1992:

Premier Miyazawa says that the agreements reached on auto imports from the U.S. during President Bush's visit represented a "target" and not a "definite promise," causing disgruntlement in the American automobile industry. (Facts on File 1/23/92 46F1)

January 27, 1992:

Nissan Motor Co. President Yutaka Kume rebukes Chrysler Corp. Chairman Lee Iacocca for comments suggesting that Japan is trying to renege on recent agreements to increase to $19 billion the value of U.S. auto parts exported to Japan. (Facts on File 2/6/92 86F1)

January 30, 1992:

During a meeting with President Bush in New York City, Prime Minister Miyazawa tries to smooth over recent tensions in U.S.-Japan trade relations, assuring Bush that Japan will make good on its promises to import more U.S. products, particularly automobile parts. (New York Times 1/31/92; Facts on File 2/6/92 86F1)

February 3, 1992:

Prime Minister Miyazawa, during a meeting of a Diet budget committee, says that "the ethic of working by the sweat of one's brow has seemed to be lacking" among Americans in recent years, and that the same tendencies appeared in Japan during its "bubble economy" in the 1980s. (Facts on File 2/6/92 86F1)

February 17, 1992:

Japan's newly appointed ambassador to the U.S., Takakazu Kuriyama, describes the relationship between the two countries as teetering on a "rather crucial period of mutual adjustment," stating that the U.S. is only slowly getting used to the idea of sharing power with an economically resurgent Japan. (New York Times 2/18/92)

February 20, 1992:

U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) says he will propose legislation to cap Japanese automobile imports to the U.S. at the current level. The restrictions would include models made by Japanese-owned factories in the U.S. as well as those from Japan. (Facts on File 3/19/92 185B1)

April 26, 1992:

Prior to a G-7 meeting held in Washington, D.C, Finance Minister Tsutome Hata argues that Japan "had taken sufficient policy steps" but the other G-7 members said that the recent collapse of Japan's "bubble economy" has the potential to retard international economic growth. (Facts on File 4/30/92 302B3)

May 15, 1992:

Japanese leaders tell Vice President Quayle that after months of U.S. coaxing they will lend and invest as much as $400 million in private enterprises in Eastern and Central Europe, though the Japanese continue to hold out on the issue of aid to former Soviet republics, at least until the Kurile Islands are returned. The promise comes as Quayle ends a four-day visit intended to repair damage from Bush's ill-fated trade mission in January. During the visit, Quayle repeatedly denies that the Bush administration's vision for the post-cold war era is to use Japan as a silent dispenser of cash around the world. (New York Times 5/16/92)

May 19, 1992:

The Commerce Department rules that two Japanese auto makers, Toyota and Mazda, are dumping minivans in the U.S. market. The Commerce Department suggests imposing 12.7 percent tariffs on Mazda's minivans and 6.75 percent on Toyota's. (Facts on File 6/4/92 414A1)

June 4, 1992:

The U.S. and Japan reach an agreement on trade in semiconductors. The pact includes an understanding that the private sectors of both nations would cooperate to allow U.S. microchip makers to increase their share in the Japanese market. (Facts on File 6/25/92 476G1)

June 8, 1992:

MITI releases a report on unfair trading practices by the U.S. and the EC. The report is particularly critical of the U.S. practice of pressuring its trading partners to accept "voluntary" export restraint agreements, the U.S.'s excessively aggressive use of antidumping rules, and the "Buy American" campaigns by U.S. and state governments that discriminate against imports. The report also suggests that trade disputes should be taken to GATT, instead of addressed through bilateral negotiations. (Facts on File 6/18/92 456B2)

June 15, 1992:

The Japanese Diet gives final approval to a peace-keeping bill that would allow up to 2,000 military personnel to be dispatched in United Nations peace-keeping operations abroad. (Facts on File 6/18/92 456B1)

June 24, 1992:

The International Trade Commission finds that U.S. auto companies are experiencing minimal damage by sales of two Japanese-made minivan models, reversing the ITC's former ruling that Mazda and Toyota were dumping minivans in the U.S. market. (Facts on File 7/9/92 510F2)

July 1, 1992:

Prime Minister Miyazawa visits President Bush at the White House, where he promises that he will use "every possible means" to expand his country's domestic growth and stimulate more markets for American exports. On diplomatic and security issues, they discuss the problem of the Kurile Islands and concerns over North Korea's nuclear weapons efforts; with Miyazawa assuring Bush that Japan will not have full diplomatic ties with North Korea until it is clear that nation is not developing nuclear weapons. (New York Times 7/2/92; Facts on File 7/9/92 514C3)

July 8, 1992:

The House of Representatives passes a bill that would require the U.S. government to pursue efforts to reduce foreign trade barriers and protect selected U.S. industries by specific provisions. The bill would reauthorize the "Super 301" provision of the 1988 Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act, and would impose a quota on Japanese auto imports as well as requiring that by 1994, 70 percent of all parts used by Japanese auto-company plants in the U.S. be U.S.-made. Bush says that he will veto the bill if it passes the Senate as well. (Facts on File 7/23/92 539E2)

July 29-30, 1992:

Japan and the U.S. hold negotiations in Tokyo under the Structural Impediments Initiative. In the talks, Japan promises to reduce certain impediments hindering foreign companies' access to the Japanese market, and U.S. officials say the administration will take measures to lower the budget deficit, provide education and training to increase labor productivity, reform the health-care system and continue to promote open trade and foreign investment. (Facts on File 8/13/92 598E2)

August 1, 1992:

Treasury Secretary Brady receives complaints from prominent Asian Americans and the Japanese Embassy for using the word 'Japs'. (New York Times 8/2/92)

August 28, 1992:

Japan announces an injection of 10.7 trillion yen ($8 billion) into the domestic economy in an effort to end sluggish growth, help the banking industry and boost stock prices on the Tokyo exchange. The plan is the largest Japanese emergency package ever proposed, totaling 2.3 percent of Japan's GNP. (Facts on File 9/3/2 642A1)

September 10, 1992:

The Japanese government announces plans to dispatch over 1,800 Self-Defense Force personnel to Cambodia over the next year for U.N. peace-keeping operations. (Facts on File 9/10/92 659A3)

November 6, 1992:

The Japanese government announces that it is resuming broad economic relations with Vietnam, ending Japan's 14-year embargo. (Facts on File 12/31/92 1007B1)

December 29, 1992:

Trade Representative Hills charges that Japan is not opening its computer-chip market sufficiently to allow foreign companies to compete. (Facts on File 12/31/92 1001E1)

January 20, 1993:

William J. Clinton is inaugurated as the forty-third president of the United States.