politics

Foreign ministers of China, Japan, S Korea to hold talks

15 Comments
By Hyonhee Shin

Top diplomats of South Korea and Japan plan to meet their Chinese counterpart in Beijing next week amid a flare-up in tension over trade and history, Seoul's foreign ministry said on Friday.

Foreign ministers Kang Kyung-wha of South Korea, Taro Kono of Japan and Wang Yi of China will meet from Tuesday to Thursday, the ministry said. The last such gathering was three years ago.

Kang and Kono are also expected to meet separately on the sidelines of the event, for the first time since South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday urged dialogue to mend ties. The ministry said the two-way talks had not yet been finalised.

Ties between the neighbors are arguably at their lowest ebb since their relationship was normalised in 1965, hit by a heated feud over the issue South Korean forced labor during World War Two which spilled over into a bitter tit-for-tat trade row.

In a speech marking Korea's independence from Japan's 1910-45 rule, Moon toned down his recent stringent rhetoric regarding Japan, saying Seoul would "gladly join hands" if Tokyo chose dialogue and cooperation.

At the meeting, the ministers are also expected to prepare for a summit planned later this year.

From 2008, the three countries had agreed to hold a summit every year to foster regional cooperation. But bilateral tension, including that between China and Japan, has often intervened.

"We expect the meeting will help reinforce the institutionalization and substantiate the foundation of the three-way cooperative scheme," the ministry said in a statement.

Relations between South Korea and Japan worsened sharply after the South's Supreme Court last year ordered Japanese companies to compensate some wartime forced laborers. Tokyo says the matter was settled by the 1965 treaty normalizing ties.

The talks come at a sensitive time ahead of the Aug. 28 date when Japan's decision to end South Korea's fast-track trade status takes effect, a move that prompted South Korea to follow suit.

As a countermeasure, Seoul has also warned it could consider scrapping an intelligence-sharing pact usually automatically renewed on Aug. 24 every year.

The accord, the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), eases three-way intelligence gathering with Washington which is pivotal in dealing with North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.

In a separate statement, the South Korean foreign ministry expressed concern over Kono's reported remarks that Moon should"exert his leadership" to resolve the dispute, saying they were unhelpful for stable management of two-way ties.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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Whomever is advising Moon will hopefully keep the pressure on him to keep dialogue open with Japan!

I get the feeling that Moon is realizing that it will hurt Korea more to keep this up, and that joint cooperation between Japan, the US and SK, is the only way to really deal with NK in any viable way.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The South Korean foreign ministry expressed concern over Kono's reported remarks that Moon should"exert his leadership" to resolve the dispute, saying they were unhelpful for stable management of two-way ties.

Why be concerned South Korea? The comment is very helpful. Just do it. Moon made this mess, let him fix it.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

re: Top diplomats of South Korea and Japan plan to meet their Chinese counterpart in Beijing next week amid a flare-up in tension over trade and history, Seoul's foreign ministry said on Friday.

Bad idea and bad move by Japan as it is going into a meeting 2 vs 1.

It is best that Japan make such future trade deals with Vietnam, Indonesia, etc and keep minimal trade with both SK and China as those 2 are bad business.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

rgcivilian1Today  07:40 am JST

Bad idea and bad move by Japan as it is going into a meeting 2 vs 1.

True to a great extent. On the other hand I don't think China would bat an eyelash at doing anything that benefits China at the expense of South Korea.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A total waste of time.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I don't think it's a waste of time for China who undoubtedly sees this as an opportunity for Chinese electronics companies to take over the markets dominated by Samsung and LG.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Everything is on schedule. No one can escape from the fate. The united northeast Asia is the model of the world, as simple as that.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Complete waste of time holding any talks, whilst Moon is still in office. Wait until he is impeached or a military coup in 1-2 months THEN hold talks!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

There could be such a thing as pan-Asian nationalism. Why is it impossible for China, Korea, and Japan to form a political or economic union or common military? With a united Korea? Scary. I for one am not for it at all but this is what the perspicacious poster Akie keeps bring up.

This would force Russia to be closer to India but the China has Pakistan and Japan has the US.

Don’t bother writing it’ll never happen; that isn’t the point. The possibilities are what some like Akie dreams about

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

As Abe government and its imperialist followers continue to deny Japanese imperialists’ past crimes and disclose their present intensions and nature, they will become the biggest threat to the common citizens of Japan, Korea, and China in real, and, in near future, to those of the U.S. and other countries as well, nullifying even the previous Japanese gobernemnts's policies and efforts: “As for the annexation of the Korean Peninsula, a statement issued in 2010, the centenary of the annexation treaty, by then Prime Minister Naoto Kan and endorsed by the Cabinet at that time, still remains Japan’s official position on the matter. The statement at least acknowledged the injustice of the annexation, saying, “the Korean people of that time were deprived of their country and culture ... by the colonial rule which was imposed against their will.”

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

If S. Korea gets away wtih backing out of the 1965 deal and Japan pays again. It will be in the tens of billions of dollars! North would also want payment in the near future. You pay money to Rich S. Korea while poor North hasn't received anything, they will want money too!

It will not solve historical issues, only move the bar again in the future, they will come back again with another loophole by 2025 even if you pay this thugs, blackmail money.

Shame on Japan for allowing such behavior for decades and still call them friend and ally. Shame!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In addition to economic dialogue, there is a educational committee by SK, Japan and China, to discuss common history. The work should extend to include NK, and cover security dialogue. There is no doubt that Northeast Asia will reunite for prosperity and peace, why not ?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

The united northeast Asia is the model of the world, as simple as that.

So long as China is the leader of the so-called Northeast Asia and the countries under PRC regime? I don't think Japan, Taiwan or South Korea (if it ever gets back to reality) will go for it as their political and economic ideology is incompatible with China's.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

" Even competent American administrations can’t dictate policy to other countries, particularly powerful ones like India and China. But in one flashpoint after another, the Trump administration has either failed to act appropriately, or acted in ways that have made things worse. “Almost everything they do is the wrong move,” said Susan Thornton, who until last year was the acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, America’s top diplomat for Asia..."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/16/opinion/hong-kong-kashmir-trump.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_190817?campaign_id=2&instance_id=11590&segment_id=16248&user_id=58ff2d72e78b28a1446160c72b1ef0ab&regi_id=299520410817

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When the economic target for both S K and China is Japan.., it will be extremely uncomfortable for Kono.

Hope he can withstand that pressure and stand tall for JAPAN and its industries.

When it is quite obvious that they need Japan more than Japan needs those two countries at this time.., any compromise will be a detriment to Japan's economic strength. Circumstance may change, but for now, the target by the US is against Chin and then S K, and they need Japan to boost their economies fairly or not against Japan. There are no other country that can really help those two countries.

It is difficult for Kono when both countries with SK and China both posing military THREATS directly and indirectly while playing the media game to make Japan the enemy of the world as if during WWII.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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