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EU will voice concern at summit about Japan’s strained ties with China, South Korea

Kyodo

The European Union, during a regular summit scheduled for Nov. 19, will communicate to Tokyo its concern about Japan’s tense relations with China and South Korea and call for renewed diplomatic efforts, an EU diplomatic source said.

“The Asian region is characterized by a paradox of enormous economic interdependence with a growth of some tensions in security and regional issues,” the source said Wednesday. “Architecture of the region for dealing with these tensions, for channeling them into diplomatic processes — processes around tables, rather than ships meeting at sea — is underdeveloped.”

Apparently referring to South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s criticism about Japan’s militarist history, the source said, “We wish to see them (Asian partners) managing differences in a diplomatic, political manner.”

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and other top officials of the regional bloc are scheduled to hold talks with Park in Brussels on Friday.

After the Japan-EU summit, European and Chinese leaders are expected to meet in Beijing on Nov. 21. The EU chiefs may also express similar concern to South Korea and China about the security situation in East Asia.

During the talks with Japanese leaders, the EU is planning to emphasize the bilateral free trade accord they have been negotiating, according to the source.