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BEIJING (Kyodo) A unilateral move by Tokyo to explore the seabed for resources near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea may “trigger a clash” with Beijing, state-run media quoted Chinese analysts as saying Tuesday.

China will “definitely oppose the plan,” Zhou Yongsheng, a professor of Japanese studies at the China Foreign Affairs University, was quoted as saying by the China Daily. Tokyo should first talk to Beijing if it decides to proceed with its exploration plan, Zhou said.

Sources in Tokyo were quoted Monday as saying Japan will carry out full-scale exploration for seabed resources, including rare metals, by maximizing the use of its exclusive economic zone.

According to an undersea resource strategy, Japan plans to carry out explorations over an area totaling 340,000 sq. km. The huge expanse extends from the median line between Japan and China to the Ryukyu Islands in the East China Sea and the line around the Izu-Ogasawara islands, in the Pacific Ocean south of Tokyo.

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