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Joint statement planned at Japan-China-S. Korea summit

Japan, China and South Korea are aiming to hold the summit on May 26-27, in Seoul.
Japan, China and South Korea are aiming to hold the summit on May 26-27, in Seoul.
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19 May 2024 04:05:48 GMT9
19 May 2024 04:05:48 GMT9

TOKYO: Japan, China and South Korea are considering a plan for a joint statement highlighting the promotion of measures against infectious diseases and economic cooperation to be adopted at an expected trilateral summit later this month, it was learned Sunday.

Another focus is whether the three countries will be able to keep in step with one another over issues related to North Korea.

Japan, China and South Korea are aiming to hold the summit on May 26-27, in Seoul.

At the envisaged summit, the three countries will discuss mainly topics in six areas–personnel exchanges, science and technology, sustainable development, public health, economic cooperation and trade, and peace and security, according to Japanese government sources.

Because this will be the first summit among the three East Asian nations since the spread of the novel coronavirus, they are expected to confirm cooperation in the preparations for future pandemics and the sharing of related information, the sources said.

In economic cooperation, the three countries are likely to agree on expediting free and fair trade and investment, and enhancing the connectivity of supply chains.

Over the aging of society and falling populations, a common challenge for Japan, China and South Korea, they will aim to share knowledge about healthy aging, according to the sources.

Japan and South Korea hope that China will play a constructive role over North Korea, which continues nuclear and missile development, due to Beijing’s influence over Pyongyang.

At a meeting of the three countries’ foreign ministers in November last year, however, China failed to share concerns with Japan and South Korea over North Korea.

Also, China in March this year abstained from a vote on a U.N. Security Council resolution to extend the mandate of an expert panel tasked to check the implementation of international sanctions on North Korea.

“There is a gap between the position of Japan and South Korea, and that of China over North Korea,” a senior official of Japan’s Foreign Ministry said, adding, “Optimism is not warranted.”

The Japan-China-South Korea summit would be the ninth of its kind and the first since December 2019.

The three countries hold the tripartite summit once a year in principle. But some past meetings were canceled due to reasons including the deterioration of bilateral ties and the COVID-19 crisis.

In past summits, Japan tended to disagree with China and South Korea over history issues.

But over the past year or so, Japan and South Korea have moved to mend fences rapidly while advancing security cooperation with the United States.

Meanwhile, China, which is increasingly alert for the moves by Tokyo, Seoul and Washington to keep a check on Beijing, may be trying to drive a wedge into the three countries, analysts said.

The upcoming summit is planned to be attended by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Chinese Premier Li Qiang and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.

Plans for Kishida to hold a bilateral meeting with Li and Yoon are also being considered.

JIJI Press

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