Trilateral summit likely to be set for May

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Trilateral summit likely to be set for May

A trilateral summit between Korea, Japan and China this year will likely be held in May, Japanese media reported yesterday. Issues regarding North Korea will be on top of the agenda, they reported.

The Mainichi Shimbun quoted a Japanese Foreign Ministry official as saying the Japanese government, the latest host of the annual event, is reviewing the plan.

Since the late 1990s, the leaders of the three Northeast Asian neighbors gathered on the sidelines of major international gatherings, but beginning in 2008, they have held a trilateral summit on an annual basis, alternating in each country.

The first one was held in Fukuoka, the second in Beijing and the third in Jeju. The Korean president and prime ministers of the two other countries have represented the countries at the meetings.

A meeting of the foreign ministers of the three countries, a preparatory meeting for the trilateral summit, is being arranged to be held in Kyoto, the paper reported. The date will be March 19-20, it said.

Other Japanese papers, including the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara met Chinese Ambassador to Tokyo Cheng Yonghua on Monday and discussed holding the foreign ministers’ meeting in March. Maehara also discussed the plan with Korea’s Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan when he visited Seoul on Saturday, the Japanese media reported.

During the foreign ministers’ meeting and the summit, the three countries are expected to discuss geopolitics on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea’s denuclearization and six-party denuclearization talks, the Japanese report said.

Meanwhile, trilateral cooperation is expected to gain further momentum this year with the launch of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, a regular consultative body. The three countries signed an agreement to set up the office last December. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the secretariat is to be opened in Songdo, Incheon, this year.

By Moon Gwang-lip []

Related Korean Article [연합]

"한중일 정상회담 5월 도쿄서 개최"
외교장관 회담은 3월 교토서

한국과 일본, 중국의 3국 정상회담이 오는 5월 도쿄(東京)에서 열릴 전망이라고 마이니치신문이 18일 보도했다.

신문에 따르면 일본 외무성은 한중일 정상회담을 오는 5월 도쿄에서 여는 방향으로 검토하고 있다.

한중일 3국은 해마다 돌아가며 정상회담을 하고 있으며 올해는 일본이 의장국이다.

정상회담에 앞서 한중일 외교장관은 3월 19∼20일 교토(京都)에서 외교장관 회담을 하기로 했다.

이와관련 니혼게이자이신문은 마에하라 세이지(前原誠司) 외무상이 17일 청융화(程永華) 주일 중국대사와 만나 한중일 외교장관 회담을 3월 교토에서 열기로 합의했다고 전했다. (연합뉴스)
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