Executive Intelligence Review


Leaders from China, South Korea, and Japan Gather in Tokyo for Historic Summit

May 8, 2018 (EIRNS)—In a major sign of the new paradigm of country-to- country relations being established in Asia, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and China’s Premier Li Keqiang will hold a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe May 9 in Tokyo, a revival of three-way meetings that began ten years ago but had been suspended after 2015 over tensions among the three countries, sparked by Obama pressure on South Korea.

Premier Li, arriving in Tokyo today, expressed hope that “the three countries will cement trust and seek cooperation, and contribute to regional development, prosperity and peace,” Xinhua reported.

Li Keqiang will hold bilateral talks with Abe and meet with Japanese Emperor Akihito, as well as top lawmakers of the Diet and leaders of both the ruling and opposition parties. He will attend a reception commemorating the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship and deliver a speech, Xinhua reported. He will then visit Hokkaido.

President Moon gave an interview to Yomiuri Shimbun today, saying that he would help Japan improve its ties with North Korea, calling that a key for denuclearizing the North and enhancing peace and stability in the countries’ shared region.

“Japan can play a very important role for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula,” Moon said.

“It is partly in that the normalization of North Korea-Japan relations may be a necessary part of a security guarantee for North Korea and that close cooperation between South Korea, the United States and Japan may be necessary for complete denuclearization.”

Moon said he discussed Japan’s concerns with Kim, including the issue of the abducted Japanese citizens, some of whom have not yet been accounted for.

“I told Chairman Kim that Prime Minister Abe is willing to normalize the North Korea-Japan relationship based on the spirit of clearing the problems of the past, and he said he is willing to talk with Japan at any time,”

Moon said.

“When we look back, pessimistic views had outnumbered optimistic views about a change in North Korea’s behavior, including the North Korean nuclear issue,” Moon said, but said that things have now changed.

“Chairman Kim clearly understands what the international community wants. I plan to do all I can to help strengthen the trust between the North and the U.S. so their negotiations may go well, and I will closely cooperate with key nations of the international community, including Japan, in that process.”

On relations with Japan, Moon said that

“I have consistently called for efforts to wisely overcome history issues between the two countries while pushing for future-oriented cooperation on the other hand.”

The forced labor and sexual slavery during Japan’s colonization of Korea still angers many Koreans.