Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right, shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, watched by South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, before their trilateral meeting in Beijing on Wednesday. Photo: Wu Hong/Pool via AP
politics

China urges Japan, S Korea to resolve dispute through dialogue

27 Comments

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday asked Japan and South Korea to resolve their differences "through dialogue," amid concern that worsening relations between Tokyo and Seoul may threaten regional economic stability down the road.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono also called on Beijing and Seoul to bolster trilateral cooperation even when respective bilateral ties sour, but his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung Wha lambasted Tokyo's moves to tighten export controls against her country.

"While maintaining a constructive attitude, it is important (for Japan and South Korea) to find out an appropriate solution through dialogue," Wang said at the outset of a foreign ministerial gathering of the three nations in Beijing.

Kono said, "Two countries sometimes face various difficulties respectively, but even under such circumstances, Japan, China and South Korea should work together trilaterally."

A Japanese government official briefing reporters later in the day quoted Kono as telling Wang and Kang that the foreign ministers "should refrain" from raising issues related to bilateral relations during the trilateral meeting.

Kang, however, told Kono and Wang that South Korea hopes that the three nations will stick to "free and fair" trade for prosperity in the region in an apparent jab at Japan, underscoring that strains between Tokyo and Seoul are unlikely to wane soon.

She also said at a joint press appearance following the talks, "It is important to eliminate unilateral and arbitrary trade retaliatory steps and remove uncertainties" in East Asia. Kang did not single out Japan.

The Japanese official said Wang did not make comments aimed at mediating in the row between Tokyo and Seoul.

Recently, Japan-South Korea ties have plunged to the lowest point since normalization in 1965 over Japanese imposition of export control measures in the wake of a string of South Korean court rulings last year ordering compensation for wartime labor.

At a three-way meeting in Bangkok earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged his Japanese and South Korean counterparts to make efforts to ease their confrontation, but no resolution has been in sight.

Although Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul agreed Wednesday to accelerate negotiations to reach regional free trade agreements, Japan-South Korea trade spats would make it more difficult for them to be realized, foreign affairs experts say.

China has voiced eagerness to expand trade cooperation with its neighbors, as the world's second-biggest economy has been slowing down due largely to an intensifying trade war with the United States.

At their meeting, meanwhile, the foreign ministers from the three East Asian nations failed to set a date for an annual summit of their leaders, slated for later this year in China.

The summit, held on a rotating basis by Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul, has occasionally been suspended against the backdrop of a chill in Japan's relations with its two neighbors over history and territorial disputes as well as political turmoil in South Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae In have shown little sign of making concessions in the escalating economic and political row between their two countries.

In 2018, South Korea's top court ruled that Japanese companies must compensate people claiming to be victims of forced labor during Japan's colonial rule of Korea.

Abe's government has argued that the decisions are against a 1965 bilateral agreement that settled the compensation issue "finally and completely," criticizing Moon's administration for violating an international treaty.

Japan has strengthened export controls on South Korea since last month, citing security anxiety. Seoul has insisted that the measures are designed to take reprisals against the court rulings, triggering a tit-for-tat trade dispute between the two countries.

Kono, Wang and Kang met at a resort in the Chinese capital also at a time when North Korea's consecutive test-firings of new weapons have added to uncertainties in the regional security situation.

The foreign ministers confirmed that the three nations will work in tandem to achieve denuclearization of North Korea.

North Korea has repeatedly launched projectiles, including what Tokyo and Seoul have suspected to be short-range ballistic missiles, off its east coast since July 25, in protest of a South Korea-U.S. joint military drill that took place from Aug. 5 through Tuesday.

As China and South Korea have expressed willingness to deepen economic relations with the North, Kono called on Beijing and Seoul to fully implement U.N. sanctions resolutions against Pyongyang.

U.N. Security Council resolutions have banned North Korea from using ballistic technology.

Among other issues raised at the foreign ministerial gathering were how to boost trilateral people-to-people exchanges on the occasion of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. In 2018, South Korea hosted the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Japanese, Chinese and South Korean foreign ministers got together for the first time since they did so in Tokyo in August 2016. The last trilateral summit was held in Tokyo in May 2018, which was the first in two and a half years.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments
Login to comment

China, the country that listens to no-one and is openly committing atrocities? get real

4 ( +13 / -9 )

China is filling the vacuum as the mediator between two major U.S. allies while trump dreams of buying Greenland. This is what happens when an idiot occupies the white house.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

China is filling the vacuum as the mediator between two major U.S. allies while trump dreams of buying Greenland. This is what happens when an idiot occupies the white house.

They're just doing the same thing the US did a couple weeks ago. China wants to be like the US so badly while doing nothing to settle it's own disputes peacefully. Gotta long way to go jr.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Sure offer a peace wreath while planning land grabs. Great strategy for China and only China.

China should mind its own internal affairs and take its own advice.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

China urges problem-solving through dialogue? dialogue? A comical story。

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Ha! China needs to tell us what Japan is doing in this "dispute". Who is doing what to whom? Tell sk to stop creating more mess.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

They must be rubbing their hands and teeth sucking in absolute glee behind closed doors.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

China please resolve your own issues with us through dialogue as well.

We don’t need any more conflicts.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Another total waste of time.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Japan should also tell China to give ROC-TW full diplomatic recognition to prove that Beijing values resolving disputes through peaceful dialogue.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Clever move by China, if it works.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Right, the Chinese government is one to give advice.

The same one that indoctrinates their citizens in anti-Japan sentiments from birth, and has encouraged violent anti-Japan riots throughout China.

Pure comedy.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Japan has tried to have a dialogue with S. Korea for decades!

S. Korea expects Japan to back down like they've done every single time when dealing with S. Korea.

Also S. Korea is trying to hurt the 2020 Olympics by making claims of radiation, claims that are unfounded just to hurt Japan's image!

This hateful country hates Japan more then any other country in the world! Fact

3 ( +8 / -5 )

sure, it's worked so well so far

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

China giving advice on diplomacy, now that’s rich.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It is an issue created by Moon, the Moron and Abe , the Agressor.

Chinese government can not get rid of those rabble rousers. First The Moron, followed by the Agressor.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

How dare Communist dictatorship China give advice to Japan about how to resolve disputes. Its none of theyre business. Butt out, Communist China!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It is an issue created by Moon, the Moron and Abe , the Agressor.

PM Abe is not an "aggressor ". Please refrain from calling him that. It is wise to remember, Moon and SK started it.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Triangle love, the new normal. Long live.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

True bt dont see earth here ie modi = muddy only xi = sea moon n sun so its still meaningless

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The evil empire giving democracies advice?  Whoa.....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

While I certainly don't approve of everything the Chinese government does, improved relations between Japan, South Korea and China can only be win-win for everyone involved.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

While the current occupant of the White House continues to ram through the geographically incorrect and philosophically challenged so-called “America First” disaster, he abrogates a useful form of influence in the region and throughout the globe.

By the way, “And we’ll see what happens” is not policy ... it’s lunacy at it worse.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

.

WHERE is this picture taken? What country?

Wonder why the CHINESE flag is in the CENTER?

.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope that at least one country has the guts to tell South Korea directly to finally stop that nonsense they have going on for years. They really need to be made aware of the crap they stage and go for the future. But apparently all are afraid they'd be branded as history forger by the worldwide Korean network of truth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In this case I have to say this,Japan have nothing to learn about democracy from dictatorial communist China.

Maybe is the other way around.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dialog is meaningless when "actions", overt and covert, do not reflect the words exchanged during and after such meetings. SK has not once in recent events shown "good faith" and "reasonable" actions to any rational discussions so far.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites