February 21-24, 2013
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits the United States to seek stronger support from U.S. President Barack Obama concerning Japan's intentions with China's Diaoyu Islands. He receives a cold response.
A group of 168 Japanese lawmakers visit the Yasukuni Shrine, Which honors Japan's convicted war criminals. It also marks the first time that more than 100 lawmakers visited the shrine since October 2005.
Japan targets China as a major security threat in a defense white paper and for the first time the document discloses Tokyo's detailed combat contingency plans for handling territorial disputes.
Abe's Liberal Democratic Party wins a majority in the upper house, allowing his party to secure control over both the upper and lower houses.
On the 68th anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender, Abe sends a ceremonial gift to the Yasukuni Shrine, bearing his name and title as head of the Liberal Democratic Party. He declines to offer any expression of remorse for Japan's past aggressions in Asia.
The Japanese defense ministry considers shooting down an unmanned Chinese aircraft flying over China's Diaoyu Islands, Japanese national broadcaster NHK television said.
To justify his country's rising defense budget, Abe makes an indirect reference to China before addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York, saying that "an immediate neighbor" of Japan has been increasing military spending by more than 10 percent annually.
A Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ship ignores repeated warnings and intrudes into a drill zone of the Chinese navy. The Japanese warship remains in the drill zone until October 28.
The Diet enacts a law to allow Abe's government to create a U.S.-style National Security Council responsible for inter-ministerial and government agency coordination on matters of foreign and defense policies and protocol.
The House of Councilors passes a controversial secrecy law by a vote of 130 to 82 to prevent leaks of what it calls state secrets, despite fierce protests from the public and opposition parties.
Southeast Asian leaders respond with reluctance throughout the Japan-ASEAN Summit in Tokyo after Abe spent the whole year lobbying them to encircle China.
The Japanese cabinet approves a security policy package of three important documents—the first national security strategy, Japan's national defense program guidelines and a midterm defense program.
(Source: China Daily)