Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tricky trilateral: Asian leaders meet

Tricky trilateral: Asian leaders meet
As awkward dinner parties go, the one in Tokyo tonight between the Japanese, Chinese and South Korean foreign ministers, ahead of their annual meeting tomorrow, ranks high. Tensions between Japan and China have risen sharply in recent weeks as Chinese fishermen have made more-frequent incursions near the Senkaku islands, which Japan controls but China claims. Meanwhile China is angered by South Korea’s agreement with America to host an anti-ballistic missile system called THAAD. Things are smoother between Japan and South Korea: Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, has apologised for his country’s use of Korean “comfort women” during the second world war, and is sending ¥1 billion ($10m) to a fund for them this month. In November, Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s president, will visit Japan for the first time since she took office in 2013. There is still plenty to be worked out, though—not least North Korea's increasingly erratic behaviour. Even Beijing seems a little perturbed by that.

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