A Japanese energy company says Tokyo has given it permission to drill in a gas field in the East China Sea along a disputed sea border with China.
Teikoku Oil said Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry informed the company Thursday, it can explore the deep-sea gas deposits.
The area is inside territory that Japan regards as its exclusive economic zone, but Beijing disputes the demarcation.
China says a Japanese authorization of drilling in the area will infringe on China's sovereignty and complicate the situation in the East China Sea.
Japan and China have been feuding over a range of territorial and diplomatic disputes, including claims to the undersea gas deposits.
Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.