China, Japan and South Korea foreign ministers on Wednesday (August 21) vowed to address diplomatic issues at a trilateral summit.
Ties between Japan and South Korea were arguably at their lowest ebb since their relationship was normalized in 1965, hit by a heated feud over the issue of South Korean forced labour during World War Two, which spilled over into a bitter tit-for-tat trade row.
During a joint statement given by all three foreign ministers, South Korea’s Kang Kyung-wha said that the three countries should “remember to face history” and remove “retaliatory trade measures,” a clear jab at recent measures taken by Japan to remove it from its “white list” of trade partners.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono shied away from commenting directly on the strain with South Korea, instead saying that all three countries should “work closely” in light of diplomatic “difficulties”.
China’s Wang Yi, following Kono’s words, said that China “hopes” Japan and South Korea will take the opportunity to manage their differences constructively during the summit.
This is the ninth such trilateral foreign ministers meeting, the last being three years ago.
From 2008, the three countries had agreed to hold a summit every year to foster regional cooperation. But bilateral tension, including that between China and Japan, has often intervened. (Reuters)
(Production: Wang Shubing, Joseph Campbell, Hyunyoung Yi, Kwiyeon Ha)
Japanese electronics manufacturer NEC Corporation unveiled a prototype flying car that stayed in the air for almost a minute during a test in Japan this week.
About the size of an auto rickshaw and equipped with four horizontal propellers, the drone-like prototype reached a height of three metres (10 feet) during the test in Chiba, east of Tokyo, on Monday (August 5).
The flying car is designed for unmanned delivery flights, NEC officials said.
The Japanese government aims to start commercializing flying vehicles from around 2023, beginning with transportation of goods, and expanding to moving people closer to 2030. (REUTERS)
South Korea fired back at Japan over a deepening trade dispute on Friday (August 2), pledging it would not be “defeated again” by its neighbour, laying bare decades-old animosity at the root of a row over fast-track export status.
Addressing his ministers during a rare live television broadcast of his cabinet, South Korean President Moon Jae-in threatened countermeasures after Japan’s cabinet approved the removal of South Korea’s fast-track export status from Aug.28.
“If Japan attempts to harm our economy, the Korean Government also has countermeasures with which to respond.,” he said.
“Even at this moment, the Korean Government does not want a vicious cycle of tit-for-tat. There is only one way to stop this. The Japanese Government must withdraw its unilateral and unwarranted measures as soon as possible and take a path toward dialogue,” he added.
Cutting South Korea from a so-called “white list” of favoured export destinations could require Japanese exporters to obtain permits, potentially slowing down exports of a wide range of goods that could be used to produce weapons.
“What we take even more seriously is the fact that these moves by the Japanese Government carry the clear intention to attack and hurt our economy by impeding our future economic growth,” Moon said.
Relations between the two U.S. allies began to deteriorate late last year following a row over compensation for wartime forced labourers during Japan’s occupation, but the language used by President Moon was the starkest yet. (REUTERS)
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