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Japan puts off Asian summit after PM quits

Japan said that it was putting off this month's first three-nation summit with China and South Korea after PM Yasuo Fukuda's abrupt resignation.

world Updated: Sep 03, 2008 10:03 IST

Japan said on Wednesday that it was putting off this month's first three-nation summit with China and South Korea after Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's abrupt resignation.

But the government still hopes to welcome the leaders of China and South Korea later this year, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura told reporters.

"Preparation was under way to hold the summit between Japan, China and South Korea in September but it became impossible due to the state of the things in Japan," said Machimura, the government's spokesman.

"Since the summit is important, the government will continue to arrange a new date, keeping in mind the possibility of holding it in our country by the end of the year," Machimura said.

Fukuda, who proposed the three-way summit earlier this year, tried to repair relations with other Asian nations, which have been tense due to the legacy of Japanese imperialism.

Fukuda suddenly quit on Monday after failing to lift a rock-bottom approval rating.