China, Japan and South Korea hold renewed talks

China, Japan and South Korea hold renewed talks

The foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea have met for their first talks in three years.

The meeting in Seoul is thought to have focused on ways to ease tensions over territorial and diplomatic disputes.

The ministers agreed to organise a “trilateral summit” for their leaders “at the earliest convenient time”.

The three states have strong economic ties but relations still suffer from unresolved issues dating back to Japan’s actions in World War Two.

South Korea’s Yun Byung-se welcomed Fumio Kishida from Japan and Wang Yi from China to South Korea’s capital on Saturday.

Foreign ministers from the three countries last met in April 2012, for their sixth annual trilateral meeting.

It was cancelled the following year after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe angered China and South Korea by visiting a shrine that honours Japan’s war dead, including a number of senior war criminals.

Both countries have accused Tokyo of failing to adequately atone for aggression in World War Two, including its wartime use of sex slaves, known euphemistically as “comfort women”.

They also accuse Japan of whitewashing wartime atrocities in schoolbooks.

‘Problem with history’

Following the meeting, Mr Yun said the three sides had agreed to “strengthen trilateral co-operation” in “the spirit of looking squarely at history and moving forward to the future”.

Reiterating China’s position, Mr Wang said: “The war has been over for 70 years, but the problem with history remains a present issue, not an issue of the past.”




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