Reference | The Week Ahead

The week ahead April 15 to April 21

Kyodo

Monday

  • Japan and the United States to start the first round of new bilateral trade talks in Washington. They are scheduled to run through Tuesday. Officials will discuss the scope of negotiations, with Washington hoping for a pact that will cover a range of areas such as goods, services and investment, and Japan aiming to limit the talks to goods only.
  • Foreign Minister Taro Kono to meet his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing. Kono is visiting China for a high-level economic dialogue, which is expected to lay the groundwork for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Japan in June to attend the Group of 20 summit.
  • Fukuoka High Court to hand down ruling on lawsuit filed by two chronic hepatitis B sufferers seeking compensation.

Tuesday

  • Third anniversary of one of the two powerful quakes that successively hit Kumamoto Prefecture. The jolts registered the highest level of 7 on Japan’s seismic intensity scale in the town of Mashiki, killing 50 people.
  • Naha branch of Fukuoka High Court to hand down ruling on lawsuit filed by Okinawa residents seeking compensation over U.S. military aircraft noise near the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

Wednesday

  • Finance Ministry to release preliminary customs-cleared trade statistics for March, the last month of fiscal 2018.
  • Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to visit Mie Prefecture through Friday. It will likely be the Imperial Couple’s last trip outside Tokyo before the Emperor abdicates on April 30.

Thursday

  • Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to pay respects at Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture.
  • Cabinet Office to release monthly economic report for April.

Friday

  • Japan to send two Ground Self-Defense Force officers to the headquarters of an international organization monitoring the cease-fire between Egypt and Israel in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Their dispatch is based on controversial security legislation that expanded the role of the Self-Defense Forces overseas.
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to release nationwide consumer price index for March, the final month of fiscal 2018.

Saturday

  • Fukushima soccer facility J-Village, used as an operational base for dealing with the 2011 nuclear disaster, to fully reopen.

Sunday

  • Lower House by-elections in Osaka No. 12 and Okinawa No. 3 constituencies to be held. The elections are seen as a prelude to the Upper House election later this summer.
  • Elections to be held to choose mayors in 11 of Tokyo’s wards and in dozens of cities across the nation.
  • The annual spring festival at Tokyo’s war-linked Yasukuni Shrine to begin. It will run for three days.
  • World Table Tennis Championships to be held in Budapest through April 28. Japanese players including Tomokazu Harimoto, Kasumi Ishikawa and Mima Ito are expected to take part.