(Reuters) - Sports ministers from neighboring countries of South Korea, China and Japan held talks to build a platform to ensure the success of upcoming Olympic Games in the region.
The three countries will host the next three Olympic Games in Northeast Asia -- PyeongChang hosts the 2018 Winter Games, Tokyo will stage the 2020 Summer Games and the 2020 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing.
After the two-day meeting between the Asian nations, South Korean sports minister Cho Yoon-sun announced the "PyeongChang Declaration", under which the countries agreed to expand their sports exchange and cooperation, and sought their counterparts' expertise to ensure the smooth running of the Olympics.
"For the success of PyeongChang 2018, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, the three nations will share their know-how and undertake joint efforts to create excitement for the events," the declaration read.
"Through sports exchanges, South Korea, China and Japan will strengthen mutual understanding and trust, and will use that as a base for peaceful co-existence in Northeast Asia."
The neighbors will also seek to step up anti-doping efforts and agreed to create an "Olympic Legacy".
"South Korea, China and Japan are the oldest neighbors in the world, and we've all established brilliant and unique civilizations on common ideological and cultural foundation," Cho was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.
"In addition to the success of the Olympics in the region, I hope this sports ministers' meeting will offer a vision for the future that can bring about the co-prosperity of the three countries."
(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)