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Japan, China to meet on East China Sea gas

TOKYO, April 5 (UPI) -- Japan and China are due Friday to discuss the gas dispute between the two countries.

The meeting between technical experts from both nations will be held in Beijing, the Kyodo news agency quoted the Japanese Foreign Ministry as saying on Thursday.

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The two countries are trying to resolve the spat over gas exploration rights in the East China Sea, where they both claim common areas. It is hoped progress is made ahead of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan next week, Kyodo reported.

The two sides agree the dispute should be resolved through joint development of the gas-rich region but are split on where the work should occur, the Kyodo news service reported.

Both sides claim 200 nautical miles of the East China Sea's Exclusive Economic Zone; the sea is 360 nautical miles wide.

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