Last updated on November 27th, 2023 at 02:07 pm
The foreign ministers of China and Japan are in South Korea to lay the foundation for a trilateral leaders’ summit, their first in-person talks since 2019. They are set to discuss a wide range of issues, including the People’s Liberation Army’s growing regional military assertiveness and Japan-South Korea’s deepening security ties with the United States.
Sunday’s three-way talks will also look into China’s ban on Japanese seafood after Japan discharged treated radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea on August 24. Japan argued the wastewater was safer than international standards and that the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded the environmental and health impact of its release as negligible.
But China called the discharge nuclear-contaminated water. Beijing also called for an independent monitoring mechanism for the wastewater release.
China, Japan and South Korea
These three countries are among the important players and powers in Asia. China, South Korea and Japan are close economic and cultural partners but the US-Beijing rivalry has affected their relations. South Korea and Japan have also tried to turn over a new leaf by putting their differences aside. With President Yoon Suk-yeol in power in South Korea, rhetoric against Japan has softened.
Moreover, North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches, meetings with Russia and its nuclear weapons program have increased security risks for Japan and South Korea. North Korea’s missile tests pose a security threat to the region.
South Korean foreign minister Park Jin says meetings with China and Japan should benefit the people of their respective countries. They are looking forward to concrete steps to restart the trilateral cooperation.
Japan and China Seek Cooperation
Yoko Kamikawa, the Japanese Foreign Minister, said they are seeking high-level talks with China on the economy. “We confirmed that we are seeking further close communication on a variety of issues, and we are hoping to hold security talks in the near future. We also discussed issues that the countries must work together on and we were able to have a meaningful exchange of views on climate change, international insurance, development finance, as well as the North Korea situation.”
The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi highlighted that China and Japan are neighbors that cannot move away. He said peaceful coexistence, lasting friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation and common development serve the fundamental interests of the two countries.