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Japan witnessed the signs of renewed Chinese gas exploration

Japan witnessed the signs of renewed Chinese gas explorationJapan has protested to China over signs it is pressing ahead with maritime gas exploration in the East China Sea despite Tokyo's repeated requests to stop, Reuter reported on Wednesday.

The exploration platforms are on the Chinese side of the median line between the two countries, but Japan accuses China of ignoring a 2008 agreement to maintain cooperation on resources development in an area where no official border has been drawn.

China said in July it had every right to drill in the East China Sea close to waters disputed with Japan, adding that it did not recognize the "unilateral" Japanese median line setting a boundary between the two.

Ties between China and Japan, the world's second- and third-largest economies, have already been strained by their conflicting claims over a group of tiny East China Sea islets and the legacy of Japan's wartime aggression.

"Earlier this month, flares were newly witnessed at two of the gas exploration platforms China had installed in the East China Sea," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

"It is extremely regrettable that China, despite our multiple representations, is carrying on with unilateral development in an area where no maritime border has been set. We protested to China through diplomatic channels right away," he added.
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