December is just a month away but Japan, China and South Korea still haven't decided when to hold their end-of-year meeting, prompting some to fear the tripartite talks may not happen at all.

Japan apparently suggested holding the summit meeting in Tokyo on Dec. 3 and 4, but China has still not RSVP'd, according to diplomatic sources.

The invite was sent out in late September, and a senior member of the Foreign Ministry said that the dates were “the only possible time frame before the year’s end,” especially given that Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit Japan in mid-December for his own tete-a-tete with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Tokyo believes the lack of a response shows Beijing is making a political point as Japan is siding with other Southeast Asian nations against China in territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Japan, too, is facing off against China over islands in the East China Sea.

“We hope for the dispute to be resolved by having the nations involved in it abide by the court ruling,” Abe said with regard to the South China Sea territorial issues when speaking at the East Asia Summit in Vientiane in early September.

He was referring to the judgment made by the arbitration court in The Hague in July over the quarrels.

In response, Beijing emphasized its stance at a brush-by meeting between Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the United Nations General Assembly held soon after the East Asia Summit.

“We are looking forward to the Japan-China-South Korea summit meeting taking place as scheduled. We are hoping an amiable atmosphere to be made to make that possible,” Li said at the time.

On the other hand, it was smooth sailing for Tokyo and Seoul in agreeing on a meeting date, or so it seemed.

Diplomatic relations between the two nations had been in the dumps, but temperatures were warming following an agreement in December 2015 to "finally and irreversibly" resolve the issue of “comfort women,” who were forced to provide sex to Japanese troops before and during World War II.

Regarding the date of the December meeting, the South Korean government had replied, “We will respond in a flexible manner.”

But things took a dramatic turn when President Park Geun-hye plunged into hot water in October for acknowledging that Choi Soon-sil, a cult leader's daughter she had a decades-long connection with, had edited some of her speeches and provided public relations assistance.

Park is suspected of providing confidential documents to Choi.

Some officials fear the summit meeting may not happen at all if the latest scandal spins further out of control.

“If South Korea decides to impeach its president, Park will be unable to leave the country,” said a Japanese government source.

The first trilateral meeting between the heads of the three nations took place in 2008. The countries had taken turns hosting the meetings until Japan-China and Japan-South Korea relations nosedived in 2012.

The hook-ups resumed last November in Seoul, the first in three and a half years.