CHINA / National

China, Japan to discuss energy, environment

Updated: 2006-05-19 16:57

Japan and China, who are in dispute over natural gas fields in the East China Sea, will hold a conference to discuss energy conservation and the environment as they seek to mend strained relations.

About 250 Chinese government officials and executives and about 350 from Japan are expected to participate in the May 29-31 meeting in Tokyo, Japan's trade ministry said today.

Asia's two biggest economies are arguing over gas drilling rights as competition for energy resources increases. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors the country's military dead, including 14 Class A war criminals, have worsened ties.

"The conference will provide a new route for building Japan-China relations," Trade Minister Toshihiro Nikai told reporters today. "It will also expand cooperation between the nations' industries and help develop more environmentally sound businesses."

The conference will include discussions by committees representing the steel, power, gas, and automobile industries, the ministry said in a statement.


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