South Korea's trade minister says South Korea, China and Japan will soon start talks for a free trade pact encompassing the three Asian economic powers.
Bark Tae-ho said Monday that the decision to start talks will be officially announced Tuesday at the East Asia Summit in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.
Bark said the trade pact would help boost economic growth and pave the way for more stable political relationships in the region where China and Japan have been at odds over the sovereignty of islands in the East China Sea.
Relations between South Korea and Japan have also been strained by a territorial dispute.
China and Japan are the world's second and third biggest economies. South Korea is the 15th largest and home to giant companies such as Samsung.