Japan’s Finance Minister will allocate 10.1 billion yen (US$970 million) in the fiscal 2005 budget to build a ship for gas exploration in the East China Sea, where Japan and China are embroiled in a territorial dispute, according to the Japan Times newspaper.

 

The move is seen as retaliation against what Japan says is China’s attempts to secure gas from Japanese waters, the newspaper reported.

 

“Japan doesn’t have a single ship equipped to conduct precise measurements of the resources under its vast waters, and has to borrow ships from other countries, which takes time,” Trade Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said after a 10-minute final negotiation with Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki.

 

China is exploring for gas just within its side of what the Japanese government claims is the line separating the two countries’ exclusive economic zones, but is capable of tapping into gas deposits that extend into Japan’s side. China says its waters go much further along its continental shelf.

 

The two countries have agreed to resolve the dispute through talks. Officials at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said they hope that using the ship, scheduled to begin in fiscal 2008, will lead to more concrete dialogue between the countries.

 

The funds will be newly allocated within the budget that the Finance Ministry has drafted.

None of the funds for building the ship were originally approved. The draft budget already includes 12.93 billion yen for research into Japan’s natural gas reserves, up 240.3% from the previous year.

 

Some Japanese businesses are concerned that the months-old dispute will dampen their chances of securing state contracts in China.

 

JAPAN: Finance ministry allocates 10.1 billion yen to build vessel for gas exploration in East China Sea


 

Japan’s Finance Minister will allocate 10.1 billion yen (US$970 million) in the fiscal 2005 budget to build a ship for gas exploration in the East China Sea, where Japan and China are embroiled in a territorial dispute, according to the Japan Times newspaper.

 

The move is seen as retaliation against what Japan says is China’s attempts to secure gas from Japanese waters, the newspaper reported.

 

“Japan doesn’t have a single ship equipped to conduct precise measurements of the resources under its vast waters, and has to borrow ships from other countries, which takes time,” Trade Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said after a 10-minute final negotiation with Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki.

 

China is exploring for gas just within its side of what the Japanese government claims is the line separating the two countries’ exclusive economic zones, but is capable of tapping into gas deposits that extend into Japan’s side. China says its waters go much further along its continental shelf.

 

The two countries have agreed to resolve the dispute through talks. Officials at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said they hope that using the ship, scheduled to begin in fiscal 2008, will lead to more concrete dialogue between the countries.

 

The funds will be newly allocated within the budget that the Finance Ministry has drafted.

None of the funds for building the ship were originally approved. The draft budget already includes 12.93 billion yen for research into Japan’s natural gas reserves, up 240.3% from the previous year.

 

Some Japanese businesses are concerned that the months-old dispute will dampen their chances of securing state contracts in China.