Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R), Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Yun Byung-se(C), Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, pose for a group photo before the 7th Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of China, South Korea and Japan in Seoul, South Korea, on March 21, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
SEOUL — The foreign ministers of South Korea, Japan and China agreed on March 22 to continue to develop trilateral cooperation mechanism as an important framework of cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity in Northeast Asia.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi takes part in the 7th Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of China, South Korea and Japan in Seoul, South Korea, on March 21, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
In a joint press release issued after a trilateral meeting, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se and Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida expressed their hope that the meeting will see the beginning of a restoration process of trilateral cooperation mechanism.
The talks were held almost three years after the last meeting in April 2012. The talks were suspended as China-Japan and South Korea-Japan relations soured due to rows over historical and territorial issues.
Participants take part in the 7th Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of China, South Korea and Japan in Seoul, South Korea, on March 21, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
In the spirit of facing history squarely and advancing toward the future, the ministers vowed to address related issues properly and improve bilateral ties and trilateral cooperation.
“The three ministers emphasized that respective bilateral ties among the three countries constitute an important foundation for trilateral cooperation, and that the deepening of trilateral cooperation, in turn, contributes to each bilateral relations and to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Northeast Asian region,” the statement said.
The ministers also promised to more actively promote over 50 intergovernmental consultative mechanisms and numerous cooperation projects among the three side, and accelerate trilateral free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations.
In terms of East Asia cooperation, the three top diplomats welcomed the expected establishment of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Community at the end of this year, and decided to build on the momentum by promoting trilateral cooperation within the existing frameworks of regional cooperation.
During the meeting, the ministers also discussed global issues, including terrorism and extremism, the situation in Ukraine and the international economy, and vowed to continue close coordination on various global challenges.