Japan, China, South Korea Aim for Common Ground

Commentary | August 23, 2016

On Wednesday (August 24), foreign ministers from Japan, China and South Korea will hold a summit in Tokyo to discuss areas of cooperation. As EWI East Asia Fellow Jonathan Miller writes in Deutsche Welle, ties between these nations remain strained.

The chasm was fuelled largely as a result of the toxic state of bilateral relations between Tokyo and Beijing over their territorial dispute in the East China Sea surrounding the Senkaku (Diaoyu to China) islands. Compounding the tensions in this triangle are historical issues from the World War II period and the perception, widely held in Seoul and Beijing, that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is bent on revising the traditional narrative of Japan's culpability during the war.

Despite the rocky relations, there remains a pressing need for trilateral cooperation between the three sides. Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul are highly interdependent economically and—combined—have a gross domestic product worth more than 16.5 trillion USD (14.7 trillion euros), nearly matching that of the United States and more than doubling that of India, Russia, Australia and ASEAN combined.


To access the entire commentary on Deutsche Welle, click here.