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China, Japan Hold Talks on Disputed Gas Field Issue

China and Japan on Saturday concluded their two-day senior working-level talks, third of its kind, over the disputed issue of gas and oil exploration in fields in the East China Sea.
Cui Tiankai, who heads the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Asian Affairs Department, and Kenichiro Sasae, who heads the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, exchanged views on the issue and agreed to hold the next round talks in October in Beijing.
The two sides will further discuss the issue on the basis of peace, cooperation and joint benefits. The two countries held similar talks in October last year and this May.
The disputed gas field is located just east of what Japan claims the median line separating the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of Japan and China in the East China Sea.
China does not accept and acknowledge this median line since it was unilaterally drawn by Japan without discussing with China. The EEZ was claimed by China on the continental shelf basis, while the drilling activities are being conducted on the Chinese side in the area.
However, the Chinese government calls for negotiation to solve the dispute and to conduct joint exploration.

(Xinhua News Agency October 1, 2005)


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