(Asahi: July 26, 2015 – p.10)
Letter from Akio Yasui, a 71-year-old English Teacher in Kanagawa Prefecture
The Japanese government made public the actual state of affairs regarding China’s development of gas fields in the East China Sea. Although Tokyo and Beijing agreed in 2008 on joint development, the negotiations have remained suspended. Under the circumstances, China is unilaterally proceeding with developing facilities, which shows Beijing has no intention of undertaking joint development.
Because China did not respond to Japan’s request to cancel the development or to resume negotiations, I believe Japan should immediately begin developing gas fields on its own on the Japanese side of the EEZ boundary between Japan and China. Doesn’t Japan possess the technical ability to develop gas fields without China’s cooperation?
Japan just keeps protesting to China without taking any action. This is damaging to Japan’s national interest. There is the view that the issue should be “resolved diplomatically without escalating the tension militarily.” But this an unrealistic, overly optimistic view based on wishful thinking.
The Chinese government stresses advancing national interests by expanding its territories and territorial waters. Regaining a relationship of mutual trust is an impossible task.