Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, left, while South Korean President Moon Jae-in looks on at the end of a joint news conference following their trilateral summit talks in Tokyo Wednesday. Photo: AP pool
politics

Leaders of Japan, China, S Korea agree to cooperate on N Korea, promote free trade

20 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

China, Japan and South Korea agreed Wednesday to cooperate on ending North Korea's nuclear program and promoting free trade, two hot-button issues challenging their region.

The agreements came at the first summit for the Northeast Asian neighbors after a hiatus of more than two years, bringing together Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Abe said they discussed how they can get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, but he didn't provide any details. China and Japan, in particular, have differences over how best to achieve North Korea's nuclear disarmament.

The meeting comes amid a flurry of developments on the Korean Peninsula. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Moon on April 27 and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this week, in a surprise visit to the Chinese coastal city of Dalian. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, early Wednesday to finalize details of a summit planned between President Donald Trump and Kim.

"We must lead the ongoing momentum toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and achieve peace and stability in Northeast Asia," Abe told a joint news conference in Tokyo.

Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura said the three leaders also agreed to work toward two free trade agreements, a free trade pact among themselves and the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with Southeast Asian nations.

Trump has threatened all three countries with tariffs in a bid to seek trade concessions from them. His moves have raised fears of a trade war between the U.S. and China.

Li, the No. 2 official in China after President Xi Jinping, said earlier that free trade is a good way to promote a global economic recovery.

"We are willing to work with Japan and South Korea to jointly maintain regional stability and push forward the development of the three countries," he said before the meeting started.

The leaders also agreed to hold trilateral summits on regular basis and set up a secretariat. The summits, which started in 2008, are supposed to be held annually, but Wednesday's was the first since November 2015.

Analysts say Japan is trying to showcase improved ties and cooperation with China and South Korea so its views will be represented in any negotiations with North Korea.

Abe reiterated Japan's position that it would normalize ties with North Korea only if the latter took concrete steps toward abandoning its nuclear and missile programs and resolved the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korean agents.

Japan's leader is to hold talks separately with Moon and Li later Wednesday. Japanese officials said they plan to propose a free and peaceful East China Sea, but do not plan to raise contentious issues such as South Korean "comfort women" forced to provide sex to Japan's wartime military.

Moon is to leave Japan after half a day. After that, Abe will host a dinner and lunch for Li and join him on the northern island of Hokkaido on the final day of his four-day Japan visit.

Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said they want to improve Japan's strained relations with China, with the eventual goal of realizing a visit by Xi.

While Japan, China and South Korea are closely linked economically, anti-Japanese sentiment runs deep in China and South Korea because of territorial and historical disputes dating back to Japan's colonization of the Korean Peninsula and invasion of China in the first half of the 20th century.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
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Everyone seems amazed by recent developments. Is East Asia getting past the effects of the last great war..... finally, 30 years after Europe and well into another century? 

Maybe Swiss education and what, the effects of red capitalism at last work on the most elusive.

While islanders still need to make peace and the globe is getting smaller by the day, humans will define history.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Cool. If they can all knock off the pettiness, NE Asia can finally enter the 21st century.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Free trade or fair trade? Not one and the same. Good to see some level of cooperation though. A denuclearized N.Korea will be a blessing for everyone.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

I implore DPRK not to compromise do not get rid of your nukes until all nukes are removed from US bases and any other areas they are located in Japan and on Guam. All US forces must leave S Korea, military exercises must stop, do not discuss abductions until Japan faces justice about the millions of kids it has abducted, Japan and US must pay reparations for the destruction of Korea they caused during the Korean War, all 'comfort women' must be called sex slaves, Japan must cease and desist all anti Korean demonstration and arrest all demonstrators. If Kim does not demand and get these he will be betrayed.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

I implore DPRK not to compromise do not get rid of your nukes until all nukes are removed from US bases and any other areas they are located in Japan and on Guam. All US forces must leave S Korea, military exercises must stop, do not discuss abductions until Japan faces justice about the millions of kids it has abducted, Japan and US must pay reparations for the destruction of Korea they caused during the Korean War, all 'comfort women' must be called sex slaves, Japan must cease and desist all anti Korean demonstration and arrest all demonstrators. If Kim does not demand and get these he will be betrayed.

A more realistic approach is far more likely to achieve peace. These demands guarantee a return to the status quo and the people that lose the most? North Koreans.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Curious, after the iran debacle, why in the world would this agreement be trustworthy? A few years down the road, a color revolution will materialize and 'democracy' will be introduced. Script so overused,it's boring. Kim better watch his six. Give an inch...

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Good news

Asian countries should overcome the differences, the past in order to build cooperative ties , promote peace and prosperity for Asia .

11 ( +11 / -0 )

If they are quick enough they could achieve it and whip the carpet away from under Trump's feet. Could be a more reliable one than with Trump who would only cancel once he's having a meltdown.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The end of the last holdout regarding Central Bank, now the real Globalist dreams becomes closer to ONE WORLD rule and one SUPREME RULER...here goes; US rules the Americas with implementation of the Amero, in Europe is Britain, with the EURO, despite BREXIT, and Russia will rule the Middle East with whatever currency come up, cashless society is next and then final touches of ONE WORLD RULE...oh and China rules Asia.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

A corner of the world where : religion, as most people see this human invention, is on a back burner; idiology has let to shooting sparrows or embracing the state god; social studies are to be abolished or suppressed if not convenient; its money as the solution for the human condition ..... until the next hype, some manga probably.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The end of the last holdout regarding Central Bank, now the real Globalist dreams becomes closer to ONE WORLD rule and one SUPREME RULER...here goes; US rules the Americas with implementation of the Amero, in Europe is Britain, with the EURO, despite BREXIT, and Russia will rule the Middle East with whatever currency come up, cashless society is next and then final touches of ONE WORLD RULE...oh and China rules Asia.

Certainly a tussle going on right now between a supra-national organizations, like the E.U, and a nationalist approach. Can we have global cooperation on global issues, like climate change and yet still have space for maintaining the sovereign nation state approach for everything else? I personally think its the best compromise.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

5 years Abe bad policy can't change 5000 years civilized Northeast Asians. The United States of Northeast Asia is the fate and the destination.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So even Japan's Abe says, "...complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula...". It'll be interesting how the US reacts to being told to leave that part of the world militarily, after already surrendering economically. Interesting axis of Japan, China and South Korea.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan's leader is to hold talks separately with Moon and Li later Wednesday. Japanese officials said they plan to propose a free and peaceful East China Sea, but do not plan to raise contentious issues such as South Korean "comfort women" forced to provide sex to Japan's wartime military.

Why should Japan?

A few years ago they made another round of apologies and compensation for the comfort women issue, at the time hailed by South Korea as being the definitive and final deal on the issue.

Bu I knew better and predicted no matter what Japan ever does, it will never be good enough to the anti Japan crowd. And just as I predicted, the anti Japan nationalists continue to claim Japan has 'never' apologized or comoensated.

Grow up!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dear's More happy more congratulations To Great leader's decision To between Three Great nobl'e country's to free Trade Peace prevail on earth And want peace peace and peace.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dear's most welcome and more congratulations to unity Great Three nob'le country's hon'ble Leader's decided free Trade To Great nobl'e north korean country peace prevail on earth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@macv

Japan and US must pay reparations for the destruction of Korea they caused during the Korean War,

You mean like they already did?

South Korea, however, benefited from big injections of foreign aid, first from the US, then Japan. A briefing paper from KoFID, a South Korean network of civil society organisations, and ReDI, a South Korean thinktank, points out that the US offered about $60bn in grants and loans to South Korea between 1946 and 1978.

From this article: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/nov/28/south-korea-development-model

You really need to stop being stuck in the past. Nothing changes with attitudes like yours.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its is a very difficult puzzle but a very profitable puzzle to make east asia united in the world community.

Dream about the japanese robotic AI, united with Korean soft program development, togheter with Chinas ability to build fast and cheap. East asia will become aside the USA the worlds most dynamic region.

The common ground will always be the confucian ethics wich contains the will to sacrifice som individual liberties for the common prosperity. Kore unite , East asia unite.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did CHYNUH cross their fingers behind their back while agreeing? I wonder.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The whole world has what NK needs, but what single item does the world need that NK produces?

Beautiful women? Handsome men? Sports?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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