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Abe mulls holding talks with China’s Li in Thailand

TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering holding talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang early next month on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and related meetings in Thailand, government sources said Wednesday.

 

Abe hopes to confirm cooperation toward realizing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan around next spring, according to the sources.

 

Chances remain slim, however, for talks between Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae In, who is also expected to take part in the multilateral gatherings in Bangkok, with little progress so far on resolving disputes over wartime compensation and trade issues.

 

A South Korean court ruling last year ordering a Japanese company to compensate for wartime labor led to the worsening of bilateral relations as Tokyo maintains the issue was settled under a 1965 accord.

 

Abe is expected to take part in regional summits, including one between the ASEAN countries, Japan, China and South Korea, as well as the East Asia Summit involving additional countries such as the United States and Russia.

 

The prime minister is also expected to attend a leaders’ meeting for an Asia-wide free trade agreement called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

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