Japan opposes Beijing’s East China Sea drilling

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 14:57

Tokyo: Japan protested against China
possibly drilling for natural gas in a field in the East China Sea, arguing that the move violates their agreement to jointly
develop gas resources in the disputed area, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Wednesday.

Tokyo also called for bilateral talks to resume soon on
signing a treaty to jointly develop gas in the sea, since they
have been stalled due in part to a spat over maritime
collisions in 2010 near the disputed Senkaku Islands,
government officials said.

Fujimura said at a press conference that a flare was seen
in the gas field known as Kashi, and Japan protested against
China on Tuesday over the suspicious move to develop natural
gas there.

"The chances are good that China has been producing
(natural gas) since September 2005," Fujimura said, adding
that unilateral development of the gas field is "not allowed"
because there is no agreement on the maritime boundary between
Tokyo and Beijing.

Kashi, known as Tianwaitian in China, is located just
west of what Tokyo claims to be the median line between the
exclusive economic zones of Japan and China.

In 2008, Japan and China agreed to continue discussions
toward a joint gas development project in Kashi and other gas
fields, but China has carried on developing Kashi even though
the talks have been stalled since 2010.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 14:57

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