Photo: AFP
Despite their squabbles, Japan, South Korea and China are now partners. Photo: AFP

Japan, China and South Korea have agreed in principal to holding a three-way summit in early May, The Mainichi reports Tuesday, citing several diplomatic sources.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at a press conference in Beijing that he planned to visit Japan in the first half of this year for the trilateral meeting. He would be joined by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, marking the first time that a Chinese premier or South Korean president visited Japan since 2011.

The meeting is a sign of thawing relationships between the three neighbors, which have seen ties deteriorate in recent years amid disputes over territory and history. The development also comes as US President Donald Trump signals there may be conditions placed on US support in the region as part of his efforts to negotiate better trade relations with allies, including South Korea.

The countries look to discuss steps to boost cooperation in the fields of economy, environment and culture, according to Mainichi. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to discuss a possible visit to Beijing with the Chinese Premier and broach the subject of “comfort women” with his South Korean counterpart.