Top China, Japan, South Korea diplomats meet in Busan for trilateral talks

SEOUL/BUSAN, Nov 25: The top diplomats of China and Japan arrived in South Korea on Saturday for trilateral talks with their South Korean counterpart on efforts to resume the long-suspended leaders’ summit of the three neighbours.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa each landed in the southeastern port city of Busan, the venue for the gathering, in the afternoon.

They will hold separate bilateral talks with Foreign Minister Park Jin on Sunday, before having the three-way talks later that day, Yonhap news agency reported.

The trilateral summit was last held in China’s southwestern city of Chengdu and has not taken place due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and a deterioration in bilateral relations between Seoul and Tokyo over a longstanding issue of compensating South Korean forced labour victims when it was a Japanese colony in 1910-45.

Talks of reviving the summit gathered momentum amid a warming of Seoul-Tokyo relations after South Korea said in March it would compensate the Korean victims on its own without asking for contributions from Japanese companies.

North Korea’s launch of a military reconnaissance satellite earlier this week and its growing military ties with Russia are also expected to be among the key agenda items at Sunday’s talks.

They are also likely to discuss ways to promote three-way cooperation in such areas as climate change, science and digital technologies, and people-to-people exchanges.

It will mark the first visit by Kamikawa since she took office in September. Wang last visited South Korea in September 2021.