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Asia Minute: High Level Talks for China, Japan, South Korea

Republic of Korea / Flickr
Republic of Korea / Flickr
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For the first time in three years, leaders of China, Japan and South Korea will hold a three-way summit. The gathering takes place this weekend in Seoul - and the leaders will have a lot to discuss. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Back in 2008 - the world was stumbling through what has since come to be called the global financial crisis.  In those precarious days, the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea met to discuss economic cooperation and decided to make it an annual event.  It continued that way for five years until economics gave way to pressures of historical interpretation and contemporary politics.  So there has been no three-way meeting for the past three years - though in recent months there’s been a lot of behind the scenes diplomacy.

This Sunday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye will meet together for the first time.  The next day, Park and Abe will have their first bi-lateral meeting since both leaders took power several years ago.  The topics are likely to cover familiar territory, including trade and investment and regional security issues with North Korea.  The Chosun Ilbo reports the three leaders will have dinner together at an art gallery….quoting a government source as saying “the aim is to provide a less formal atmosphere than an official government venue, since relations with Japan are uniquely tense.”

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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