China, Japan start fresh talks on E.China Sea issue

Updated: 2007-10-11 19:28

BEIJING -- China and Japan started the 10th round of talks on the East China Sea issues in Beijing on Thursday.

Director of Chinese Foreign Ministry's Department of Asian Affairs Hu Zhengyue attended the talks as top Chinese negotiator.

The Japanese delegation is represented by Kenichiro Sasae, head of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and Harufumi Mochizuki, director-general of Japan's Natural Resources and Energy Agency.

China will continue to push forward the consultation with a positive and pragmatic attitude, in accordance with the agreement reached by the leaders of the two countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said here Thursday.

China hoped Japan would make the same efforts so as to find a joint exploration plan accepted by both sides, Liu said.

The two sides will discuss, among other topics, the maritime area of joint exploration and the meeting is open-ended, sources with Chinese Foreign Ministry revealed.

During Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan in April, China and Japan agreed to speed up talks over the joint development of oil and gas fields in a "relatively wide area that is acceptable to both sides", and to report concrete measures to the countries' leaders by this fall.

The two countries have conducted nine rounds of East China Sea talks since October 2004. The last round of talks was held in Tokyo in June. The two sides made in-depth discussions and exchanged views on the joint development of the gas and oil resources in East China Sea.

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