Posted by: mulrickillion | February 2, 2012

Japan protests China’s possible East China Sea gas drilling

The Mainichi Daily News, Feb 1, 2012 — TOKYO (Kyodo) — 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 the talks 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 near what Tokyo claims to be the median line between the overlapping exclusive economic zones of Japan and China.

In 2008, Japan and China agreed to jointly develop an area near a gas field, known as Longjing in China and Asunaro in Japan. Japanese companies would join the development of the Chunxiao gas field with China, known as Shirakaba in Japan.

The two nations also decided 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.

Japan has made a protest whenever China shows signs of developing a gas field in a unilateral manner.

Japan protests China’s possible East China Sea gas drilling – The Mainichi Daily News

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