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Korea-China-Japan talks could take place after ministers` meeting

Korea-China-Japan talks could take place after ministers` meeting

Posted November. 12, 2014 16:15,   


As the leaders of Korea and China agreed to push for foreign ministers’ meeting of Korea, China and Japan by year’s end, attention is focusing on whether a summit between the three nations will take place within the year. This development comes as China, which has been negative about a summit meeting, has expressed possible change in its stance. However, majority of watchers say that there are many variables because the key to whether a three-way summit will take place or not continues to depend on Japan’s attitude.

A foreign ministries’ meeting of the three nations has not taken place for since April 2012 due to China’s hardline stance. As Beijing-Tokyo relations deteriorated after Japan nationalized the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu in China) in September that year, three-way cooperation of Korea, China, and Japan also hit a snag. Korea, which was the chair of last year`s three-way summit, pushed to hold a three-way summit, to no avail. Korea is endeavoring to revive the chance for a summit, including hosting of an assistance ministers’ meeting in Seoul in September. The first summit meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday is also considered a positive sign.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday that “Prime Minister Abe is responsible. It was Japan that threw cold water to Beijing-Tokyo relations and that demanded a China-Japan summit. As Japan held (Beijing-Tokyo) dialogue it wanted, it is time (for Japan) to put into action.” Japan also should display sincerity towards Korea, including provision of a solution to the comfort women issue. After all, the key to a three-way summit is Japan’s attitude.

At director-general level meetings that were held four times this year, Japan presented an opinion that constituted regression even from the so-called “Sasae plan” that Tokyo had proposed during the Lee Myung-bak administration, and resisted pressure, saying, “We no longer have a solution to the comfort woman issue.” Noh Gwang-il, spokesman of South Korean foreign ministry, said on Tuesday, “There is no change in Korea’s stance that Japan should make sincere efforts to heal scars from the past.”