Japan, China talks end without breakthrough
Updated: 2006-05-18 19:47
Japan and China ended talks in disagreement Thursday over their competing
claims to gas reserves in the East China Sea and planned to meet again next
month, an official said.
Both sides exchanged details about their positions on the dispute and
underlined the importance of managing boat traffic in the area to minimize the
chance of an unexpected confrontation, Foreign Ministry spokesman Akira Chiba
But neither side presented new ideas in the 5 1/2-hour one-day meeting that
could break the impasse, he said.
"There was no breakthrough," Chiba said. "There was a deepening of
understanding of the viewpoints of each side."
The issue has strained relations between Beijing and Tokyo. China claims it
has rights to the gas reserves under the sea bed in the East China Sea's Pinghu
field, but Tokyo says the two countries should share them.
Repeated meetings between the countries have failed to resolve the dispute,
and earlier this week, China had warned not to expect any breakthrough at the
Delegates from the countries are eyeing another meeting next month, possibly
in Beijing, but a date has not been set.