Beijing: China and Japan have decided to
hold discussions over plans to jointly exploit oil and gas
fields in the disputed East China Sea, a top official said on Thursday.
The decision was arrived at after a meeting between
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Japanese
counterpart Okada Katsuya on the sidelines of the ASEAN
Ministerial Meeting in Hanoi, according to Foreign Ministry
The decision was reached after consultations between
the two nations` relevant departments, Qin Gang, the foreign
ministry spokesman, was quoted as saying in a release.
Officials plan to meet on Tuesday in Tokyo in the
first talks on the issue since both countries leaders` pledged
to tackle the issue at a summit in May.
Two years ago both countries agreed to drill jointly
for oil and gas in the north of the East China Sea, with
Japanese companies meant to take part in exploiting the
Shirakaba field, known as Chunxiao in Chinese.
The talks between the two nations since the June 2008
agreement have been stalled. Japan had accused China of
beginning unilateral operations on the Chinese side of the
median line, with ships reportedly observed taking equipment
to the area.
According to Qin, the two countries` foreign ministers
expressed their satisfaction about the state of China-Japan
relations in their meeting.