Japan IS fretting that China appears to be drilling for oil or natural gas near a disputed border in the East China Sea. On Sept. 20, Economy, Trade & Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa announced that Tokyo had spotted a flame atop a Chinese drilling platform near the median line between the two sides. Japan says a U.N. treaty gives the countries shared rights to the East China Sea and that China's drilling near the median threatens to deplete deposits on Japan's side. China says its continental shelf gives it exploration rights beyond the median. Japan is weighing whether to begin its own drilling: It granted Teikoku Oil Co. the job in July. With a U.N. decision on international sea borders years away, no near-term resolution is in sight. Talks on a compromise were suspended in May.
Edited by Rose Brady