Japan discloses photos of China’s gas development in East China Sea


Japan made public Wednesday a map and aerial photos of 12 offshore structures as evidence of China’s unilateral gas field development near the median line between its shoreline and that of Japan in the East China Sea.

Speaking at a news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Japan has known about the 12 on the Chinese side of the median line since June 2013. The total number of such structures there is now 16.

The map and 14 photos provided by the Defense Ministry have been made available on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

Suga said that of the 12, five were found to have been built in the past year alone.

He criticized China for continuing with the unilateral resource development, which violates a 2008 bilateral accord on joint gas development in the East China Sea.

While the two governments have yet to agree on a boundary between their exclusive economic zones in the East China Sea, Japan is concerned that China may siphon off resources from beneath the Japanese side of the line.

Explaining the rationale for releasing the photos, Suga said the government “took into consideration the overall situation, including increasing attention at home and abroad over unilateral actions (by China) to change the status quo.”

The top government spokesman earlier dismissed Beijing’s claims that Tokyo’s annual defense white paper, released Tuesday, “deliberately plays up a so-called China threat and stirs up tensions.”

The paper also expressed strong concern about Beijing’s “assertive measures” in pressing its territorial claims in the East and South China Seas.

It goes on to say that Japan has “repeatedly protested” China’s move that could strengthen its monitoring of Self-Defense Forces and U.S. military activity in the East China Sea.

The references to China’s actions were added after the Liberal Democratic Party rejected a first draft of the defense white paper. The party reportedly said it lacked details about the Chinese platform and its potential military applications.

  • zer0_0zor0

    It’s part of China’s continental shelf (not Japan’s) and would seem to be fully compliant with UNCLOS.

  • Toolonggone

    I think this sounds much more economic concerns with Japanese officials than an island(Senkaku/Daiyou) between Okinawa and Taiwan.

    • zer0_0zor0

      Yes, and that’s why it’s a diversion, because the real issue is with defensive perimeter.

      China offered (and Japan agreed) to jointly develop the mineral resources before the nationalists started claiming the islets as Japan’s.

  • Chuckiechan

    The Chinese take what they want and don’t give a rat’s azz who objects. We should start levying duties on their imports that incorporate or have been designed with stolen technology.

  • JimmyJM

    So, Japan should start siphoning off the gas on its side instead of letting China suck it dry. If Japan doesn’t it has no room to complain (on this matter at least).

  • timefox

    Consideration of Japan will only encourage the invasion of China . It became clear in matter of time. The disclosure of information to the public more I want to further recommended.

    The invasion or consolidation in 1946 East Turkestan Republic
    1950 Korea and participated in the war
    The invasion or consolidation in 1951 Tibet countries
    1962 India , invaded Kashmir ( Sino-Indian dispute )
    1969 Daman skiing Island incidents and Sino-Soviet military conflict
    The suddenly insist 1971 Japan Senkaku Islands territorial rights of , aggression declaration .
    1974 Vietnam territory , Paracel Islands ( Paracel ) aggression .
    The invasion in 1979 Vietnam , eliminated
    1992 Spratly Islands ( Nansha ) aggression .