TOKYO, July 23 (Reuters) – Top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi proposed high-level talks between China, Japan and South Korea in a meeting with the Japanese foreign minister in Indonesia this month, Kyodo news agency reported on Sunday.
The proposal is seen as signalling a willingness to resume talks among the three countries and Japan would accelerate preparations to make it happen by the end of the year, Kyodo reported, citing unidentified diplomatic sources.
U.S. allies Japan and South Korea are wary of China’s increasing military assertiveness and of growing tensions between China and the U.S. over a range of issues including trade and self-ruled Taiwan.
China’s foreign ministry did not immediately comment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo could not be reached for comment on Sunday, outside business hours.
Wang and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi met on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Indonesia on July 14.
They discussed a Japanese plan to discharge into the sea treated radioactive water from its wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant but they fell short of an agreement.
The issue of the water could be a sticking point preventing an early meeting of leaders of the three countries, Kyodo said.
The last time the three countries’ leaders met was in December 2019.
Japan conveyed Wang’s proposal for the talks to South Korea, Kyodo said.
Source : Reuters