12/15/2016, 15.18
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Trilateral summit between China, Japan, and South Korea postponed to next year

South Korean President Park Heun-hye’s impeachment and tensions between Japan and China scuttle the meeting, whose aim is to boost ties, economic development and natural disaster cooperation.

Tokyo (AsiaNews) – Japan, China and South Korea have postponed until next year a trilateral summit set for Tokyo later this month, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday.

The meeting’s agenda included closer relations, economic development and natural disaster cooperation between the three countries.

“We had been planning to host the summit between Japan, China and South Korea by the end of this year. But due to various circumstances, we will rearrange it and hold it in Japan at a suitable time next year,” Kishida said.

On 2 December, the South Korean parliament adopted a motion to impeach President Park Geun-hye for abuse of power and corruption, effectively suspending her from her office.

As a result of this, the summit became uncertain. In addition, the South Korean government cancelled all scheduled meetings between January and June 2017.

Tensions and souring ties between the three North-east Asian countries contributed to the postponement as well.

One of the reasons for Beijing not to go to Tokyo is Japanese protests against Chinese naval activities near East China Sea islands claimed by the two countries.

The three countries, which have a history of enmity and war, have been taking turns to hold trilateral summits since 2008, although none took place in 2013 and 2014.

Last year's summit was held in Seoul on November 1.

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