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21

Japan, China Still Argue Over East China Sea Gas Fields

"At this moment in time, we couldn't reach an agreement. But we were able to further understand each other's position through the talks"

Japan and China failed Wednesday to resolve their dispute over gas fields in the East China Sea at senior working-level talks in Tokyo.

The two countries have agreed to conduct joint exploitation but still remain apart on the details, including which areas to develop, and have been trying to strike a compromise.

Tokyo is pushing to make progress on the issue before Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's visit to China, which is expected to happen by year's end or early next year.

"At this moment in time, we couldn't reach an agreement. But we were able to further understand each other's position through the talks," Kenichiro Sasae, who heads the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, said after emerging from the meeting.