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China - Japan petrochemical rivalry

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  • Christopher Miller
    An item on BBC news today: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4439171.stm An excerpt: «««««««««««««««««««« Japan risks China anger
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 13, 2005
      An item on BBC news today:


      An excerpt:

      Japan risks China anger over gas


      Both countries have claims over East China Sea deposits
      Japan has begun allocating gas exploration rights in an area of the
      East China Sea also claimed by China.

      The move is likely to anger Beijing, at a time when tensions between
      the two nations are already rising.

      Violent protests took place in China at the weekend against Japan's
      approval of history textbooks, which critics say play down its wartime

      Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura is travelling to Beijing
      on Saturday to try to resolve the row.

      According to a BBC correspondent in Beijing, Louisa Lim, the rivalry
      between the two countries as they jostle for supremacy in Asia is at
      the heart of the tensions.

      In a statement on Wednesday, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and
      Industry said it would begin reviewing applications from companies that
      wanted to explore the disputed gas fields.

      Government spokesman Hiroyuki Hosoda insisted the timing of the
      decision had nothing to do with the escalating row between Beijing and

      "It just happened that awarding exploration rights began today," Mr
      Hosoda told reporters.




      China and Japan increasingly competing for natural resources
      Have never agreed a maritime border
      Also dispute ownership of Senkaku/Diaoyu islands


      Textbook row concerns Japan

      Japanese companies have been waiting for 40 years to be given the
      go-ahead to drill in what it sees as its exclusive economic zone (EEZ),
      which has a potentially vast reserve of natural gas and oil.

      Both China and Japan are heavily dependent on imported energy, and
      both are seeking new sources of energy to power their economies.

      In recent years China has conducted surveys of the disputed area, and
      has refused Japanese requests to stop or provide details of its

      Now it is China's turn to be annoyed. Japan's decision to allocate
      drilling rights in the region comes just one day after Beijing warned
      Tokyo against precisely such a course of action.

      In the past Beijing has made it plain that the East China Sea dispute
      is an important one, characterising it as one of the main bilateral
      sticking points with Tokyo.

      Christopher Miller
      Washington DC/Mount Rainier, Maryland

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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