As if the dispute over the islands in the East China Sea is not enough to keep the rift between China and Japan, another serious concern has called the attention of the latter. A China-owned drilling rig was found being constructed near the borders of the neighbours. The archipelago fears that their mainland neighbour is planning to utilize a gas field in the East China Sea, violating their bilateral agreement.
China has been suspected of violating their agreement over a territory believed to be rich in gas resources. Like the Senkaku Islands, China and Japan claim ownership on the territory, which is declared by both to be part of their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Suga, the drilling site is located 16 miles (26 km) west of China and Japan’s median line, which the latter considers as an indicator of their borders unlike China that bases their territories on the continental shelf, among others
What troubles Japan is China’s drilling activities, which may include a territory that Japan claims. “Our position remains that we cannot accept China’s unilateral development in this region where Japan’s and China’s claims overlap, while delimitation in East China Sea remains undefined,” said Suga. When Japan expressed concern over the matter, the secretary said that China has not given any response. In a statement on Tuesday, Yoshihiko Suga said, “We have conveyed to China our serious concern about the activities of the crane vessel. We told them, through diplomatic channels, we cannot accept it.”
[via Asia One]
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