Japan inspects Chinese offshore project

Jun 23, 2004 02:00 AM

A Japanese minister inspected a Chinese offshore natural gas project from the air to determine if the project extends into Japanese waters.
Shoichi Nakagawa, minister of economy, trade and industry, flew to the East China Sea aboard a Coast Guard aircraft, in the first ministerial inspection of the area. He was to observe whether Chinese companies working on the Chunxiao natural gas project are drilling within the borders of Japan's exclusive economic zone.

China does not acknowledge the boundary. Earlier, Nakagawa declined a Chinese suggestion that the two countries jointly develop the natural gas field, which is estimated to hold reserves of 7 tcf.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said the underwater gas field may extend beneath the sea floor into Japanese territory, thus China could be tapping Japan's natural resources.

Source: United Press International
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