Japan protests over signs of renewed Chinese gas exploration


Chinese naval vessels participate in a drill on the East China Sea, China, August 1, 2016. Picture taken August 1, 2016. China Daily/via REUTERS

Chinese naval vessels participate in a drill on the East China Sea, China, August 1, 2016. Picture taken August 1, 2016. China Daily/via REUTERS

Japan has protested to China over signs it is pressing ahead with maritime gas exploration in the East China Sea despite Tokyo’s repeated requests to stop, Japan’s top government spokesman said on Wednesday.

The exploration platforms are on the Chinese side of the median line between the two countries, but Japan accuses China of ignoring a 2008 agreement to maintain cooperation on resources development in an area where no official border has been drawn.

China said in July it had every right to drill in the East China Sea close to waters disputed with Japan, adding that it did not recognize the “unilateral” Japanese median line setting a boundary between the two.

Ties between China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, have already been strained by their conflicting claims over a group of tiny East China Sea islets and the legacy of Japan’s wartime aggression.

“Earlier this month, flares were newly witnessed at two of the gas exploration platforms China had installed in the East China Sea,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

“It is extremely regrettable that China, despite our multiple representations, is carrying on with unilateral development in an area where no maritime border has been set. We protested to China through diplomatic channels right away.”

Japan is also at adds with China’s South China Sea claims.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims.

Japan has no territorial claims over the waters, but much of the trade is to and from Japanese ports.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: Reuters “Japan protests over signs of renewed Chinese gas exploration

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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3 Comments on “Japan protests over signs of renewed Chinese gas exploration”

  1. Joseph says:

    Ignoring the 2008 agreement? What is it about? The median line? So how come a simple memorandum of understanding can be more important than treaties? It is not even legally binding, even if it is, China’s drillings are still well within the stipulated agreement. Japan has violated every treaties it made with China regarding the Diaoyu island, and those treaties are legally binding. Japan clearly demonstrates the behavior of a guilty party. So jitter the other party would violate them in the same way they always do. Even the prospect of violation is a concern, because if it is the Japanese, the next step they will do is a direct blunt violation, with American backings, of course. They will not even care whether the American can or will do the ‘backing’.

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  2. Steve says:

    Japan Needed a Poke in the Bum…..China is doing just that…Poke’em.

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  3. Fre Okin says:

    Per recent PCA ruling, Diaoyu/Senkaku is a rock and only entitled to 12 NM. There is nothing for Japan to fuss about.

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