• Kyodo

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The leader of Komeito, junior partner in the ruling coalition, is considering visiting China and South Korea in October to clear the way for an envisioned summit between the three countries, a top party member said Saturday.

Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi hopes to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Park Geun-hye during the trips to convey the importance of improving ties with Japan, the senior party member said. Yamaguchi will also seek their understanding over the contentious security legislation that could bring about the biggest postwar shift in Japan’s defense posture, the party member added.

Yamaguchi’s trips are being planned as Beijing and Seoul agreed late Wednesday to work toward a trilateral summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by late October at the earliest.

The summit of the three nations’ leaders has been suspended since May 2012 as tensions spiked over territorial and history-related issues between Tokyo and the two neighboring countries.

Yamaguchi handed a personal letter from Abe to Xi during his trip to China in January 2013. He also scheduled a visit to South Korea in 2014 but decided against the trip after the sinking of a South Korean ferry that claimed more than 300 lives.

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