Education ministers of South Korea, Japan and China on Saturday gathered for a three-way meeting in Seoul, the first of its kind between the countries that often spar over differing views of the wartime history described in school books.

History education wasn't on the agendas of this meeting, where ministers will mainly talk about holding their gatherings regularly and strengthening student exchange, said Yoo Jiwan, an official at Seoul's Education Ministry.

Further discussions are needed for history issues to be taken up in future meetings, he said. The countries have already agreed to at least two more meetings between their educational ministers, including one in Japan next year and another in China in 2018, Yoo said.

The Northeast Asian neighbors have struggled to settle disputes stemming from Japan's brutal colonial rule of Korea in the early 20th century and its wartime aggression of China, and school books have often been part of such arguments.