TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio is planning to hold a three-way summit with US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol when he visits Madrid to attend a NATO summit next week, Japanese government sources revealed Thursday.
Through the three-way summit, Kishida is hoping to display the three nations’ unity over North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs.
According to the Japanese government’s announcement on Thursday, Kishida is scheduled to leave Japan late on Saturday to take part in a Group of Seven summit in Germany for three days from Sunday and attend the NATO summit on Wednesday.
He will return home in the afternoon on June 30.
Apparently behind the move to hold the three-way summit is Washington’s request on Tokyo and Seoul to improve their relations.
Biden is believed to have made the request when he had talks with Yoon and Kishida in South Korea and Japan, respectively, in May.
There are pending issues between Japan and South Korea, including the issue of wartime labor, preventing them to hold a bilateral summit.
During his upcoming trip, Kishida is also planning to hold a four-way summit with leaders from South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The four countries are invited to attend the NATO summit as Asia-Pacific partners.
Through these meetings, Kishida hopes to showcase Japan’s unity with the United States and Europe on sanctioning Russia and supporting Ukraine.
He is also aiming to gain the international community’s support for the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific.