From The Japan Times:
A Japanese oil company on Thursday requested test-drilling rights in the East China Sea, in disputed waters just a few kilometers from where China is preparing full-scale drilling.
Teikoku Oil Co. submitted an application to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to drill for oil and natural gas in three areas totaling 400 sq. km. Two of the areas lie flush against the Chun Xiao and Duan Qiao gas fields, where China’s drilling rigs are set up along the border of the exclusive economic zone claimed by Japan.
If Japan is going to piss off China by prospecting in contested waters, the least they could do is give the license to a company with a less offensive than than IMPERIAL OIL! If you look at any random Japanese article on this topic then you’ll see that ‘Teikoku Oil’ is written as ‘帝国石油’ – and that Teikoku(帝国) is the Japanese/Chinese word for Empire. It’s like they’re writing their China’s anti-Japan propaganda for them.