Japan, China likely to resume talks on undersea gas

Updated: 2006-12-24 19:46

TOKYO - Japan and China are expected to resume talks on their competing claims to gas reserves in the East China Sea early next year, according to a news report.

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The talks are likely to be held sometime after mid-January, Kyodo News agency reported late Saturday. The report quoted unnamed diplomatic officials.

The bilateral talks were last held in July in Beijing. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Hu Jintao have agreed to continue a dialogue on the issue during their first summit meeting in Beijing in October. Abe took office in late September.

Both countries claim rights to undersea resources in the waters. Tokyo has proposed joint exploration, but China has refused and went ahead with its own drilling.

Officials at the Japanese Foreign Ministry were not available for comment Sunday. An official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry could not immediately confirm the report.

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