45 Years of Oil Beneath China-Japan Dispute Islands

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China and Japan sat down for talks and agreed to jointly develop a natural gas field under the East China Sea, defusing a dispute between Asia’s biggest economies over who owns the reserves. That was in 2008. The accord, hailed as a model for cooperation at the time, has yet to be carried out and the countries now face a new territorial dispute, also in the East China Sea. The quarrel over who owns the uninhabited islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan is again linked to a prize beneath the ocean that may hold enough oil to keep China running for 45 years.

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