The foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea held their first in-person talks in more than four years on Sunday, with the three agreeing to hold a trilateral leaders’ summit at the "earliest" possible time.

Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, South Korea’s Park Jin and China’s Wang Yi spent around 100 minutes in talks that focused on a broad swath of issues, amid Beijing’s growing regional military assertiveness and Tokyo and Seoul’s deepening security ties with Washington, their mutual ally.

The trilateral talks in Busan, South Korea, were seen as a steppingstone toward reviving the three-way summit between the leaders of the trio of Asian powerhouses, but progress on hammering out a specific date appeared elusive.