Japan confirms China’s new facility in East China Sea

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Foreign Ministry head office is seen in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Nov. 1, 2020.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japanese government said on Monday that it has confirmed the completion of a new platform linked to China’s gas field development in the East China Sea.

Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force has confirmed the installation of drilling equipment on the platform, the 17th such structure, in waters west of the Japan-China median line, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Takehiro Funakoshi, director-general of the ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, lodged a protest with Yang Yu, charge d’affaires ad interim at the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, over the phone, saying that it is extremely regrettable that China is proceeding with the unilateral development.

Earlier this month, Japan also confirmed China’s moves to build the 18th such structure.

The Japanese and Chinese governments agreed on joint gas field development in 2008, but working-level talks on the matter have been slow to progress.