Japan and China agree to further talks on East China Sea dispute

Oct 11, 2004 02:00 AM

In a meeting, Japan's Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura and his Chinese counterpart, Li Zhaoxing, agreed to further talks to resolve a dispute between their two countries over a gas field in the East China Sea.
The two countries are at loggerheads over China's development of a gas field that lies close to the border of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) claimed by Japan.

The possibility of joint development is expected to be raised at the counsellor-level talks, which the Foreign Ministry says could begin as early as November.
The gas field at the centre of the dispute is located close to the boundary to the EEZ claimed by Japan. With China's drilling only 4 km from that line, Japan fears that resources in its EEZ will be tapped by China.

"It is important to have a frank and practical exchange of views," Li said in proposing the talks to Machimura. "We want through dialogue to find a mutually acceptable way of resolving the issue."
Machimura responded that the talks would be "of benefit to both countries."

Source: PIN
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