China, ROK and Japan say cooperation 'completely restored' following key summit
The leaders of China, the Republic of Korea and Japan said on Sunday that cooperation between the three countries has been "completely restored". [Special coverage]
The declaration followed the first trilateral summit between the nations in more than three years. In a joint statement issued after the meeting in Seoul, the countries said, "We shared the view that trilateral cooperation has been completely restored on the occasion of this summit."
They also pledged to hold a leaders' summit every year, with the next one scheduled to take place in Japan.
ROK President Park Geun-hye said at a joint news conference with Premier Li Keqiang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the resumption of the cooperation is historically important. "I think we took a big step toward peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia," Park said.
Li said, "Due to obvious reasons, trilateral cooperation has been disturbed. ... We expect the trilateral leaders' meeting mechanism to be free from disturbances in the future.
"We agreed to ... face history squarely, advance toward the future and take measures to properly handle historic and sensitive issues."
For his part, Abe said his country will use the outcome of the latest trilateral summit as the starting point.
The summit had been held annually from 2008 to 2012 before being suspended due to actions by Japan on historical and territorial issues that angered China and the ROK.
Sunday's meeting took place amid warming ties between Japan and its two neighbors. The Abe administration had asked repeatedly for a resumption of trilateral and bilateral meetings.
Also on Sunday, visiting United States Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in Seoul that his country is seeking a resumption of the long-stalled Six-Party Talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary that resumption of the trilateral summit "is conducive to reactivating the Six-Party Talks mechanism, and thus settling the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue".
It said that the three countries "play important roles among the six parties", which also include the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.
Li said the three leaders agreed to strive for a rapid resumption of the Six-Party Talks.