Japan, China, S. Korea Hold Ministerial Talks


The foreign ministers South Korea, China and Japan met in Seoul on Saturday for talks focussed on reducing regional tensions caused by their territorial and historical disputes. The three top diplomats met after a series of bilateral meetings for the first formal talks since April of 2012. A joint statement after the talks said they have agreed to set up a trilateral summit of their countries' three leaders, as soon as it becomes convenient. Such a summit has not been held for nearly three years. Although the three countries have strong economic ties, relations have remained frosty because of ongoing territorial disputes with China, and animosity dating back to Japan's colonization of Korea and occupation of parts of China before and during World War II. Prior to the talks, South Korean President Park Geun-hye met with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se to discuss issues of concern to all three countries. The trilateral talks are not expected to result in any tangible progress, but could be a stepping stone to restoring annual talks to discuss cooperation.

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