Beijing proposes talks with Tokyo and Seoul

TOKYO (Reuters) – Wang Yi, a top Chinese diplomat, proposed high-level talks between China, Japan and South Korea during a meeting with Japan’s foreign minister in Indonesia this month, Kyodo news agency reported on Sunday.

Citing unnamed diplomatic sources, Kyodo said the proposal was seen as a sign of willingness among the three countries to resume talks and that Japan would accelerate preparations to implement it by the end of the year.

United States allies Japan and South Korea have criticized China’s military ambitions in the region, while tensions between Beijing and Washington have risen over a range of issues from trade to Taiwan’s autonomy.

There was no immediate comment from the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Japanese Foreign Ministry could not be reached on Sunday.

Wang Yi and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi met on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Indonesia on July 14.

They discussed a Japanese project to release wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, but could not reach an agreement.

According to the Kyodo Agency, this topic could become an obstacle in holding an early meeting between the leaders of the three countries. Their last meeting took place in December 2019.

Japan conveyed to South Korea Wang Yi’s proposal for talks, Kyodo said.

(Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama, with Ryan Woo, French edition Claude Chendjou)

Add a Comment