The governments of Japan, China and South Korea will begin negotiations for a trilateral free trade agreement and discussions will begin next year.
Japan's minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming and South Korean Minister for Trade Bark Tae Ho came to an agreement to begin talks on free trade agreement during their meeting in Cambodia's capital. The development is a positive sign amid growing rift between Japan and China over disputed islands.
Japanese officials said that the discussions on free trade agreement will be held separate to the issue of Takeshima islands with South Korea and the Senkaku Islands with China. The trade ministers of the three countries met in a joint meeting for the first time in since May.
The three countries agreed on the summit meeting in Beijing in May to begin negotiations on the free trade agreement during the next year. Experts say that the dispute over the islands has the potential to derail the whole process agreements but current indications are that the countries are looking at the free trade agreement seriously.