Japan Set To Raise Stakes In China Row – David Pilling and Victor Mallet

From Financial Times:

Japan is preparing new laws to protect offshore oil and gas rigs in a move that will raise the stakes in a long-running dispute with China over maritime boundaries in the .

Two separate bills, enjoying cross-party support, would set out a "basic law" of the sea and provide legal protection for Japanese rigs and vessels in the country's exclusive economic zone.

The bills could go before parliament as early as next month, people familiar with the legislation said, and be passed fairly quickly. They will not be made law before Wen Jiabao, China's premier, visits Tokyo in mid-April. [Full Text]

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