Monday’s Mainichi wrote that although senior diplomats from Japan, China, and South Korea agreed to strengthen economic cooperation between their nations during their talks in Tokyo on Sunday, they failed to finalize the details of a foreign ministerial meeting envisioned for Aug. 23-24 in Tokyo. Deputy Foreign Minister Akiba held separate bilateral meetings with his Chinese and ROK counterparts. The Japanese diplomat lodged a protest over Chinese government ships’ recent moves near the Senkaku Islands during his meeting with his Chinese counterpart, while he and his ROK counterpart discussed such issues as North Korea and the comfort women.
Sankei wrote that attention is focused on whether during their foreign ministers’ meeting this week the three nations will be able to lay the groundwork for an Abe-Xi meeting in September and a trilateral summit in November. The paper speculated that the atmosphere of the talks will be unfavorable due to Tokyo’s displeasure over Chinese government ships’ recent sailing in Japanese waters near the Senkaku Islands and Beijing’s opposition to South Korea’s decision to deploy a U.S. military THAAD system.