Japan opposes Beijing’s East China Sea drilling



Japan opposes Beijing’s East China Sea drilling 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