Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said the summit would be rescheduled to perhaps later this year.
"We have judged that it is difficult to hold the summit due to the political situation of the Japanese side," he said, adding South Korea and China had agreed to putting off the meeting, Kyodo news service reported.
Even prior to Wednesday's decision, Japan couldn't make the summit dates final with South Korea because of a territorial dispute, which resurfaced in July, the report said.
The summit would be the first such among the three countries.
Workers accuse National Zoo of animal mismanagement
Couple calls 9-1-1 over missing hash browns; assault McDonanld's employees