Japan Timeline

Timeline for November 2023


Japan’s approval of a ¥17 trillion stimulus package and Ohtani Shōhei’s selection as American League MVP for the second time were among the leading stories in Japan in November 2023.


The Nuclear Regulation Authority approves an extension of the operating lifetime of two reactors at Sendai Nuclear Power Station in Kagoshima Prefecture, managed by Kyūshū Electric Power Company. The two reactors, which were nearing the end of their 40-year lifetime, can now operate for a further 20 years, becoming the fifth and sixth Japanese reactors to remain in use for more than 40 years.


Japan’s cabinet approves a ¥17 trillion package of economic measures, including payments to low-income households and temporary cuts in income and residence tax.


Prime Minister Kishida Fumio visits the Philippines and meets with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. In a new defense agreement, Japan will give the Philippines coastal surveillance radar systems.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio (left) with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Manila on November 3, 2023. (© AFP/Jiji)
Prime Minister Kishida Fumio (left) with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Manila on November 3, 2023. (© AFP/Jiji)


The Hanshin Tigers of the Central League defeat the Orix Buffaloes 7–1, taking their fourth win in the 2023 Japan Series. It is their second Japan Series championship, 38 years after their first victory in 1985.


At a press conference, Tanaka Tomihiro, the head of the Japanese branch of the Unification Church, apologizes for the situation in which followers and former followers are demanding the return of donations, but denies any organizational involvement in inappropriate solicitation of funds. He announces plans for the church to deposit up to ¥10 billion with the government to pay compensation to former followers.

The G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting begins in Tokyo. On November 8, the ministers agree to back humanitarian pauses in the fighting in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, stating that there is a need to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.


Hosoda Hiroyuki, a former speaker in the House of Representatives, dies at the age of 79. He resigned from the position last month due to ill health.


State Minister of Finance Kanda Kenji of the Liberal Democratic Party resigns after a report that his company had failed to pay taxes and some of its assets were seized.


Koba Kenshi, the head of the Takarazuka Revue theater company, announces that he will resign on December 1 after the release of a report concerning the death of one of the company’s actresses. He apologizes for the findings that she had been overworking, but denies claims of bullying, for which the report found no evidence.


The Cabinet Office publishes preliminary data showing Japan’s GDP fell by an annualized rate of 2.1% in July–September 2023, in the first negative growth in three quarters, as price rises affected consumer spending.

Ikeda Daisaku, the honorary president of the Buddhist organization Sōka Gakkai, dies at the age of 95. He became influential in politics after founding the party Kōmeitō in 1964, and launched Sōka Gakkai International in 1975, acting as its president himself.

Ikeda Daisaku, honorary president of Sōka Gakkai, in May 2008. (© Jiji)
Ikeda Daisaku, honorary president of Sōka Gakkai, in May 2008. (© Jiji)


Prime Minister Kishida meets Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, and asks him to lift the Chinese ban on importing Japanese seafood following the release of treated wastewater from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. It is one year since the last meeting of the two leaders.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio (left) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco on November 16, 2023. (© Reuters)
Prime Minister Kishida Fumio (left) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco on November 16, 2023. (© Reuters)


Ohtani Shōhei of the Los Angeles Angels is chosen unanimously as the American League MVP for the second time. He first received the award in 2021.

Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke receives a suspended three-year sentence at the Tokyo District Court for helping his parents to commit suicide.


A group of lawyers publishes the results of a child abuse survey of second-generation Jehovah’s Witnesses. It found that 80% of respondents were made to carry a card saying that they would refuse blood transfusions.


The government deploys the J-Alert system in Okinawa, calling on residents to take shelter, after North Korea launches a rocket in a southerly direction. The rocket is thought to pass over Okinawa, its stages landing outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone without causing damage to ships.


The Seoul High Court overturns a lower court decision and orders the Japanese government to pay compensation to former comfort women and their relatives.


A government panel proposes that foreign workers in a planned replacement system for the technical trainee program should in principle be allowed to change employers after one year. The new system will prioritize securing labor and use the word “worker” instead of “trainee.”

The Azabudai Hills multi-use complex opens in central Tokyo. Its central Mori JP Tower skyscraper becomes Japan’s tallest building at 330 meters, overtaking the 300-meter Abeno Harukas in Osaka.

The 330-meter high Mori JP Tower. (© Nippon.com)
The 330-meter high Mori JP Tower. (© Nippon.com)


In pro soccer action, Vissel Kobe defeats Nagoya Grampus 2–1 to secure its first ever J1 league title.


LY Corporation announces that 440,000 items of personal information about Line app users may have been leaked after a cyberattack.


A US CV22 Osprey transport aircraft crashes off the island of Yakushima in Kagoshima Prefecture. On November 30, one crew member is confirmed dead.

Japan’s Diet approves a ¥13.2 trillion supplementary budget for fiscal 2023 to boost the economy. It is partly funded by the issuing of ¥8.9 trillion in Japanese government bonds.

(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: Ohtani Shōhei is interviewed alongside his dog after being selected as MVP [© Kyōdō] and a newspaper extra edition conveying the news of his selection [© Jiji].)

Japan Timeline