National / Politics

Abe says meeting with South Korea's Moon being arranged for later this month in China

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday he is arranging a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in when he visits China for a trilateral summit in late December.

Abe also unveiled plans to visit India from Dec. 15 to 17 for a summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Abe will then go to China from Dec. 23 to 25 for this year’s trilateral summit in Chengdu with Moon and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Abe’s meeting with Moon would be the first since Japan and South Korea averted the termination of a military intelligence-sharing pact last month, after Seoul backpedaled on its earlier decision to scrap the agreement.

Attention will be focused on whether the two leaders can set the stage for improved bilateral ties, which have worsened to the lowest level in decades since South Korean court rulings ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation for wartime forced labor.

Abe revealed the plans during a meeting of government officials and ruling coalition lawmakers.

In India, Abe is expected to seek enhanced cooperation in achieving a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” as the two countries deepen economic, diplomatic and security ties.

Japan and India are making arrangements for the signing of an acquisition and cross-servicing agreement that will enable them to share defense capabilities and supplies including fuel and ammunition.

Abe may also visit the northeastern Indian city of Imphal, the site of a fierce battle between Japanese and Allied forces during World War II.