Japan, China, South Korea to start FTA talks: reports

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-11-15 23:55:14

Japan, China and South Korea will hold ministerial discussions next week and are expected to agree on the launch of three-way free trade talks, media reports said Thursday.

The meeting will be held Tuesday on the sidelines of an East Asia summit in Cambodia, broadcaster NHK said, despite a spike in tensions between Japan and its neighbors over two separate territorial disputes.

Top leaders from the three East Asian powers are seeking to formally announce by year-end the start of talks on a trilateral free trade agreement (FTA), the reports said.

An official at the Japanese foreign ministry told AFP Thursday he could neither confirm nor deny the reports of talks next week.

But he recalled that the top leaders from Japan, China and South Korea had basically agreed at a summit in Beijing last May to launch the FTA talks by the end of this year.

He also said that officials from the three countries had completed three rounds of preparatory consultations.


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