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Source: Japanese Leader Due in Seoul Oct. 9

Posted September. 28, 2009 08:26,   


Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will likely visit Seoul Oct. 9, a South Korean government source said yesterday.

“Prime Minister Hatoyama is scheduled to hold a summit with President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul Oct. 9 ahead of a trilateral (South) Korea-Japan-China summit in Beijing,” the source said. “This is confirmation that shuttle diplomacy between (Seoul and Tokyo) will continue.”

The Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun also reported Saturday that Hatoyama will go to Beijing immediately after his summit with President Lee.

Late last week, Lee Sang-deuk, chairman of the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians’ Union, and South Korean Ambassador to Japan Kwon Chul-hyun asked a senior official of Japan’s ruling Democratic Party and Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada to have Hatoyama visit Seoul at an early date.

Tokyo is said to have scheduled the summit in Seoul before the three-way summit in Beijing to show the new Japanese government’s emphasis on South Korea. In Seoul, the two leaders are expected to focus on North Korea’s nuclear program, and could also discuss the Japanese emperor’s proposed visit to Seoul.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and his Chinese and Japanese counterparts will hold talks in Beijing today on preparations for the three-way Beijing summit and joint projects among the three neighboring countries.

They will also discuss the agenda for the three-way summit and cooperation for next year’s Group of 20 summit to be hosted by South Korea in November next year, as well as President Lee’s proposal of a “grand bargain” for resolving North Korea’s nuclear program.

jkmas@donga.com spear@donga.com