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No Breakthrough in Japan-China Talks on Gas Dispute

Japanese officials say talks with China on disputed energy resources in the East China Sea have ended without a breakthrough.

Tokyo says no new proposals were discussed when senior diplomats from the two sides met in Tokyo Thursday.

But, Japanese officials say the two sides gained a deeper understanding of each other's position. The talks focused on earlier proposals for Sino-Japanese cooperation in extracting oil and gas from the East China Sea.

Japanese officials say both delegations agreed to hold more talks on the issue soon, possibly next month.

China's foreign ministry said earlier this week it did not expect the talks to break the deadlock.

A Chinese consortium has been developing gas fields in the East China Sea near waters claimed by Japan. Tokyo says it is concerned that China's actions could siphon off Japanese energy resources.

Both sides have said they should jointly develop the East China Sea's resources, but they disagree on the location of their respective zones.

It is the fifth time the two countries have met on the energy dispute since October 2004. The previous rounds yielded few results.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.