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May 23, 2017

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Taiwan concerned about Japan exploring Diaoyutais

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan expressed concern yesterday over a Japanese plan to explore seabed resources around a disputed island group in the East China Sea.

Chen Tiao-ho, secretary-general of the East Asia Relations Commission, said Taiwan's representative office in Japan has voiced concern about the likelihood that Japan will explore the resources, including rare metals, in waters around the Diaoyutai Islands, known in Japan as the Senkaku Islands. Taiwan's move came after Japan's Kyodo News Agency disclosed a day earlier a Japanese official document detailing the country's strategy to ensure undersea resources and energy through seabed exploration in its sovereign waters, including part of the East China Sea.

Taiwan, Japan and China all claim sovereignty over the island group, which offers the possibility of plentiful oil reserves under the continental shelf below the islands. Relations among the three become strained whenever disputes over the islands arise.

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