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Japan says no change to trilateral summit plan following Park's offer to step down

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-30 09:18

TOKYO - The Japanese government said Tuesday that Japan's plan to hold a trilateral summit between leaders of Japan, China and South Korea before the end of this year was not changed after South Korean President Park Geun-hye expressed her willingness to step down before her term ends.

Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami told a press conference after Park's announcement that there has been "no particular change" to the government's efforts to arrange the trilateral talks before the end of the year.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, for his part, said Japan will continue the efforts to hold the trilateral summit before the end of the year as "the Japan-South Korea-China summit is an extremely important framework for dialogue."

Japan has been trying to bring forth the annual trilateral summit in December, but whether the scandal-hit South Korean President could attend the meeting have evoked question.

Park, who has been embattled by a corruption and influence-peddling scandal since late October, said on Tuesday in a nationally televised address that she would entrust the parliament with the task of making decisions on her fate, including a shortened presidency.

Her statement came ahead of a scheduled parliamentary vote on a bill to impeach the president as early as Dec 2 and no later than Dec 9.

China, Japan and South Korea have been taking turns to host trilateral summits since 2008, except for a three-and-half-year suspension since May 2012 due to heightened regional tensions.

The sixth China-Japan-South Korea leaders' meeting was held in Seoul, South Korea in November last year.

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