SEOUL: Japan, China and South Korea held a high-level diplomatic meeting for the first time in some four years Tuesday with the aim of realizing a trilateral summit by year-end.
Takehiro Funakoshi, senior deputy foreign minister of Japan, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Nong Rong and Jung Byung-won, South Korea’s deputy foreign minister, held talks in Seoul.
The three countries are confirming their intentions to hold a leaders’ meeting, last held in 2019, and are accelerating work to set the date and agenda. A South Korean presidential office source said that efforts are underway to realize summit talks at year-end.
It is customary for the three countries to hold a meeting of their foreign ministers before a summit, which brings together the Japanese prime minister, the Chinese premier and the South Korean president.
Such summit talks are supposed to be held annually in principle under the three-nation framework, but the deterioration of bilateral relations have stopped the three from holding a summit many times.
According to a senior South Korean government official, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his willingness to hold a trilateral summit with Japan and South Korea at an appropriate time, during a meeting with the South Korean prime minister in the Chinese city of Hangzhou on Saturday.
Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio showed his support for efforts by Seoul, the chair of the trilateral framework this year, to realize a summit when he met with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in New Delhi on Sept. 10.