Hanoi has informally proposed hosting a second meeting of top leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China and South Korea at the end of the year, government sources said Tuesday, but Tokyo may say no.

The sources said Japan plans to turn down the proposal before the ASEAN foreign ministers meet in Manila late this month, but that a final decision to do so has not yet been made.

A historic meeting of top leaders from ASEAN members and Japan, China and South Korea was held in Kuala Lumpur in December during an informal ASEAN summit. At the same time, ASEAN also held separate meetings with the three nations, hence the summit’s name.

There does not seem to be a consensus among the nine ASEAN members that the ASEAN-plus-three summit be held again this year, the sources said, and no formal decision was made to hold the summit again or turn it into a regular event.

But if all the ASEAN members are enthusiastic about holding ASEAN-plus-three again this year, Japan may reconsider the proposal, one source said. It was noted that such a summit would improve Vietnam’s stature.

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