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China hosts Japan, S Korea in show of regional unity

AFP
Beijing
Foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea made commitments Wednesday to diffuse regional tensions and make progress towards the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, although there was no sign of improving ties between Tokyo and Seoul.
The East Asian nations held a three-way summit in Beijing this week, with China positioning itself as mediator in a growing trade spat between Japan and South Korea.
China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said in a statement Wednesday that Beijing was “concerned about the recent difficulties” between Tokyo and Seoul, and urged the two to “constructively handle their differences and find appropriate solutions to the problems”.
“We should pay more attention to each other’s concerns and actively coordinate with each other,” said Wang. Seoul and Tokyo -- both of them democracies and market economies -- are mired in long-running disputes over Japan’s use of forced labour in the first half of the 20th century.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, vice-spokesman for the foreign minister of Japan Jun Saito said in their bilateral meetings Japan and South Korea had “agreed that they should further continue to have close exchange of views and close channel of communications”.

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