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Japan, China, S Korea arranging to hold summit in December

Japan, China and South Korea are arranging to hold their annual three-way summit in December, diplomatic sources said Sunday.
Relations between Japan and South Korea, however, have recently been getting worse due to historical and trade issues, and depending on the course of the conflict, the scheduling of the trilateral summit may be put in limbo.
China, which this year holds the rotating chair of the trilateral framework, had hoped to organize the leaders' meeting much earlier following the summit of Group of 20 leading economies in Osaka in late June, the sources said.
But Japan told China that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's schedule would be tight because of other political events, including a summit of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations in France in late August, the sources said.
China now proposes that the trilateral summit be held in December and South Korea has already agreed to adjust President Moon Jae In's schedule to that end, they said.
The foreign ministers of the three Asian countries may meet on the outskirts of Beijing on Aug. 21 to coordinate the schedule for the summit, to be chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, as well as major agenda items.
The three countries last held their summit in May 2018 in Tokyo.
For Abe, the summit will serve as a good opportunity for him to create a more favorable environment for a planned trip to Japan next spring by Chinese President Xi Jinping as a state guest.
It is almost certain that Abe will hold separate talks with Li on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the trip by Xi.
But it remains uncertain at this point if Abe and Moon will meet bilaterally, even if the summit takes place as planned.


© KYODO
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