Japan releases draft 5-year basic plan on ocean policy

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The Japanese government on Monday released a draft of five-year basic plan on ocean policy, aiming at promoting undersea resources development and enhancing surveillance capability around its surrounding waters.

According to the plan, Japan will explore the reserves of seabed methane hydrate and rare earth in the coming three years and develop technology for commercial production of methane gas from methane hydrate starting in 2018.

The draft also seeks to enhance Japan's maritime surveillance capability in its surrounding waters by reorganizing and outfitting planes and ships of Japanese Coast Guard and Self- Defense Forces and realizing information sharing between the two forces.

The draft is expected to replace current oceanic plan compiled in 2008 and will be finalized in middle of April, local media reported. Endi

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