Tokyo: Japan has voiced strong regret over
China`s reported unilateral start of development in a disputed gas field in the East China Sea.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said here that "it is
very regrettable" that this kind of report, based on remarks
by a named senior official at China National Offshore Oil
Corp, has been dispatched and that Japan is asking China to
verify whether it is true.
Edano said Japan will decide on its response to China
after receiving a reply from Beijing.
The gas field in question, called Shirakaba in Japan and
Chunxiao in China, is located near what Tokyo claims to be the
median line between the exclusive economic zones of the two
The development was first commenced by China. But due to
Japan`s opposition, the two countries struck a deal in 2008
that Japanese companies would invest in the project.
Japan and China are seeking to sign a treaty over joint
gas field development in the East China Sea. But talks over
the treaty have been stalled since China unilaterally
postponed them last year in protest at Japan`s handling of
ship collisions near a chain of Japanese islands,
claimed by Beijing.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told a news
conference this week that the two countries must first
``foster sound conditions and environment,`` in reference to
the deadlocked negotiations.
The Asahi Shimbun reported Wednesday from Beijing quoting
the state-owned company`s official as saying that China has
started drilling in the gas field.