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Japan, China, ROK to hold trilateral foreign ministerial tomorrow

All papers reported on the MOFA announcement yesterday that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang and his South Korean counterpart Yun will visit Tokyo today for trilateral talks with FM Kishida on Wednesday, noting that they will probably discuss such issues as North Korea, a trilateral FTA, and international terrorism. Attention will be focused on whether the three top diplomats will be able to arrange a trilateral summit for the top leaders in Japan this year. Kishida will host a dinner for his two counterparts tonight. He is also expected to hold individual meetings with Wang and Yun to exchange views on China’s escalated patrol operations near the Senkakus and the usage of Japan’s 1 billion yen contribution to the comfort women foundation.


The dailies said China became less reluctant to hold a trilateral session at the last minute after PM Abe and other key cabinet ministers decided not to visit Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15. According to the papers, China may be anxious to enlist cooperation from its immediate neighbors ahead of the G-20 summit scheduled for early September in Hangzhou. While projecting that FM Kishida will try to arrange a summit between Abe and Xi on the margins of the G20 conference, the papers said China may not endorse the idea readily. 


In a related piece, Mainichi quoted a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying on Monday that although FM Wang will travel to Tokyo to take part in the trilateral meeting, it should not be treated as a visit to Japan.

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