Japan, China, South Korea begin summit in Tokyo

By the Associated Press | May 21, 2011 | 11:14 PM EDT

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak holds a Japanese girl who survived from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at a shelter in Tagajo, northeastern Japan, Saturday, May 21, 2011.(AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa, Pool)

TOKYO (AP) — The leaders of China, South Korea and Japan are holding a summit aimed at smoothing over differences on Japan's handling of its post-tsunami nuclear crisis and building ties strained by trade and security issues.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan hosted Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Sunday's summit. On Saturday, the three leaders met in Fukushima to demonstrate their joint desire for Japan's recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The disasters left more than 24,000 people dead or missing and sparked an ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Japan is hoping the meeting will present a unified front after Beijing and Seoul criticized its response to the nuclear crisis.