The top trade negotiators from Japan and the United States have expressed optimism about reaching a mutually-beneficial trade agreement in September.
Japan's Minister for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Japan-US trade negotiations, Toshimitsu Motegi, spoke after meeting US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington on Friday.
South Korea says the Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers will hold talks in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday.
South Korea's foreign ministry announced on Wednesday that Kang Kyung-wha and her counterpart Taro Kono will meet Thursday morning on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in the Thai capital.
A senior Japanese government official has criticized South Korea for refusing to agree to an arbitration panel over a wartime labor dispute.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura spoke to reporters on Wednesday, a day after a senior South Korean official said his country would reject Japan's request for an arbitration panel.
A senior US State Department official for East Asia has expressed readiness to hold wide-ranging discussions on security cooperation with Japan.
David Stilwell is visiting Japan for the first time since becoming assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs last month. Stilwell spoke to NHK on Friday.
Leaders from the world have wrapped up their first day of meetings at the G20 summit in the western Japanese city of Osaka.
Despite expressing concern over trade tensions, leaders appeared jovial during an initial meet-and-greet. But Japanese officials say many are worried about the risk to the global economy posed by ongoing disputes.
World leaders are gathering in Osaka for the two-day G20 summit. Besides the formal sessions, bilateral talks between key leaders on the sidelines are also generating a lot of attention. One of them was Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's meeting with US President Donald Trump.
At the onset of the talks, Abe said, "I'd like to welcome President Trump to Osaka. This visit for G20 follows my visit to the United States in April, and the President's visit to Japan as a state guest in May. Such frequent mutual visit by the leaders of the two countries in such a short span of time is the evidence of how robust Japan-US alliance is. I'd like to express my gratitude once again last month, as the first state guest to Japan in the new era of Reiwa.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has met Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to help defuse regional tensions caused by the US withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.
Abe and Khamenei held talks in Tehran for about an hour on Thursday morning. On the previous night, Abe met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.