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PacNet #53 – Yasukuni Shrine: Time to Make a Deal

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi remains in denial over the negative impact his continued visits to the Yasukuni Shrine are having on Japanese and U.S. national security interests. ROK President Roh Moo-hyun and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao just provided the latest clear example when they refused to arrange a three-way side meeting with him during the East Asia Summit (EAS) meeting scheduled for Kuala Lumpur on Dec 14. The three nations make up the “Plus 3” component in the ASEAN Plus Three (A+3) arrangement that remains at the core of this first-ever EAS and its leaders and senior officials traditionally have met to discuss closer political and economic cooperation among the three major East Asia economies whenever the A+3 convenes.