Japan rejects South Korea's offer to extend intel-sharing pact for retraction of trade controls
Japan Times -- Sep 07
Japan has decided to reject South Korea’s offer to extend a military intelligence-sharing pact scheduled to expire in November in exchange for Tokyo easing retightened trade controls, government sources said Friday.

South Korea last month notified Japan that it is pulling out of the bilateral General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), which helps the U.S. allies counter missile threats from North Korea.

Lee Nak-yeon, the South’s prime minister, has said the termination of the pact could be avoided if Japan puts South Korea back on its “white list” of trusted countries that enjoy minimum trade restrictions on goods that have military applications. The pact is set to expire on Nov. 22.

But a Japanese government official dismissed the overture, saying, “We cannot condone negotiations to barter trade controls with security cooperation. They’re completely different issues.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has said the issues are in “completely different dimensions.”

Kenji Kanasugi, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, relayed the stance to his South Korean counterpart Kim Jung Han during a meeting in Seoul late last month, a diplomatic source said.

In addition to removing South Korea from the white list, Japan has imposed stricter controls on exports of some crucial materials used to manufacture semiconductors and display panels, potentially dealing a major blow to industrial giants Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc., among others.

News source: Japan Times
Jan 18
An international group of geologists on Friday formally adopted “Chibanian” as the name of a geologic age spanning 770,000 to 126,000 years ago, researchers said, marking the first time a Japanese name has been chosen. (Japan Times)
Jan 18
With Japanese society often placing intense pressure on teens and adults alike, as well as traditional values that can frame self-sacrifice as an admirable way of taking responsibility, a high suicide rate has long been a dark mark on the nation’s culture. (soranews24.com)
Jan 18
The Hiroshima High Court on Friday revoked a lower court decision and ordered Shikoku Electric Power Co. to suspend a reactor in western Japan, dealing a blow to the government's bid to bring more reactors back online after the 2011 nuclear crisis. (Kyodo)
Jan 18
Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, a potential future prime minister according to some opinion polls, said he became the father of a baby boy on Friday. (Kyodo)
Jan 17
The report Thursday of Japan's first case of the new coronavirus that emerged in China last month has underscored issues with Tokyo's defenses against cross-border outbreaks as the region's busiest travel season of the year begins. (Nikkei)
Jan 16
Wide areas along the Sea of Japan coast are experiencing a winter with record-low amounts of snow. (NHK)
Jan 15
Spent mixed oxide fuel has been removed from a reactor at a nuclear power plant in western Japan in the first such operation in Japan, the plant operator said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Jan 15
Microsoft Corp. stops providing free support for the Windows 7 operating system Tuesday, and warned that an estimated 13.9 million computers in Japan still using the system could become more vulnerable to viruses and hacking. (Japan Times)
Jan 15
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have accepted an invitation from Queen Elizabeth to make a state visit to Britain in early 2020, in what will be their first overseas visit since Naruhito acceded to the throne in May last year. (Japan Today)
Jan 15
The communications ministry on Tuesday authorized Japanese public broadcaster NHK to start simultaneous online streaming of its television programs from April. (Japan Today)