Japanese FM to visit S. Korea for trilateral talks involving China: report

November 20, 2023

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa will visit South Korea later this week for trilateral talks with her counterparts of South Korea and China, a news report said Monday.

Japan’s lower house of parliament approved a two-day trip to the southeastern city of Busan by Kamikawa that will begin Saturday, Kyodo news agency reported.

South Korea has yet to make a formal announcement on the three-way ministerial meeting, but it has widely been expected that such talks will take place in Busan in late November.

The talks — among South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin, Kamikawa and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi — will likely pave the way for the resumption of the long-suspended annual trilateral summit among the leaders of the three neighbors.

The trilateral summit has not been held largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a deterioration in bilateral relations between Seoul and Tokyo over the issue of compensating Korean victims of forced labor during Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. The trilateral summit was last held in China’s southwestern city of Chengdu in December 2019.

Talks of reviving the summit gathered momentum after South Korea said in March it will compensate the Korean victims on its own without asking for contributions from Japanese companies.

The decision led to a dramatic warming of the Seoul-Tokyo ties and the resumption of reciprocal visits by their leaders.

In a senior officials’ meeting in late September, the three sides agreed to hold the tripartite summit at an early date.

Park and Kamikawa reaffirmed the commitment when they met on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco last week.