South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pose for a commemorative photo ahead of the 2019 South Korea-China-Japan summit in Chengdu, China. yunhap news
The Korea-China-Japan summit is not expected to be held this year as it did last year. The Blue House recently took a position that “nothing has been decided” on the Japanese media reports that raised the possibility of the Korea-China-Japan summit being canceled, but considering the preparation time and the current political situation, it seems virtually impossible to hold the meeting. The possibility is raised that the Korea-China-Japan summit, which began to institutionalize a cooperative system for peace and common prosperity in Northeast Asia, will drift for a long time due to the South Korea-Japan conflict, the aftermath of the US-China confrontation, and obstacles such as Corona 19.
The Korea-China-Japan summit is a summit between the three Northeast Asian countries aimed at promoting regional peace and stability, economic cooperation, and improvement of relations. Since it was held in Tokyo, Japan in 2018 and Chengdu, China in 2019, it is Korea’s turn to take the presidency. However, following the failure of the meeting last year due to the aftermath of COVID-19, the conditions for holding the meeting this year are not being prepared due to the worsening of relations between Korea and Japan.
The government originally planned to hold a Korea-China-Japan summit as an opportunity to improve Korea-Japan relations. However, it is known that Japan has expressed its position that it is difficult to hold a summit in a situation where South Korea does not offer a solution to the issues of forced labor and the comfort women of the Japanese military. A government source said, “If the Korea-China-Japan summit is held, it is natural for a bilateral summit to also be held, but the domestic political situation in Japan will not accept it. “He said. In China, too, since the outbreak of COVID-19, high-level figures such as Premier Li Keqiang or President Xi Jinping have not yet gone abroad.
The Korea-China-Japan summit has been suspended in the past. Since the inauguration of the Park Geun-hye administration, conflicts between Korea and Japan have arisen, which have resulted in a series of failures in 2013 and 2014. This time the situation is worse than then. The extent and intensity of the conflict between Korea and Japan has been increasing in the past, with Japan’s export control measures in opposition to the ruling on compensation for forced labor still not being resolved, and Japan, which claims sovereignty over Dokdo, recently refused to hold a joint press conference at the Korea-U.S.-Japan Vice Ministers’ Meeting. has grown incomparably to In addition, as Japan actively sympathizes with the Joe Biden administration’s hard-line stance toward China, China-Japan relations are rapidly cooling down, so it seems difficult to create an atmosphere for South Korea-China-Japan cooperation for the time being.