News / Asia

Reports: Japan to Buy Disputed East China Sea Islands

A group of disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen from the city government of Tokyo's survey vessel in the East China Sea, September 2, 2012.
A group of disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen from the city government of Tokyo's survey vessel in the East China Sea, September 2, 2012.
VOA News
Japan's government has agreed to buy a group of East China Sea islands at the center of a heated territorial dispute with China.

Japanese media reported Wednesday that the central government will pay private Japanese landowners $26 million for the three main islands in the chain, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

The mostly uninhabited islands are controlled by Japan, but claimed by China and Taiwan. They sit on top of what are thought to be vast oil deposits and have a long history of straining relations between China and Japan.

South China Sea Dispute MapSouth China Sea Dispute Map
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South China Sea Dispute Map
South China Sea Dispute Map
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei called the reported purchase "illegal and invalid," saying Beijing will take "necessary measures to defend its national territorial sovereignty."

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura would not confirm that Tokyo has struck a deal with the Japanese family that owns the islands, but said talks were under way.

"Of course, we are negotiating with the owner while we try to grasp where the situation stands between [the central government] and the Tokyo metropolitan government. I cannot talk about the content of our discussions whatsoever as they are still in process," said  Fujimura.

Earlier this year, Tokyo's outspoken nationalist governor, Shintaro Ishihara, offered to have his metropolitan government buy the islands, saying Japanese leaders were not doing enough to protect the territory from Chinese claims.

Observers say Ishihara's move effectively forced the hand of Tokyo's central government, which is anxious to avoid a confrontation with Beijing. China does not recognize the Japanese family's ownership of the islands, and has repeatedly warned against Tokyo's attempts to purchase them.

Tensions involving the islands were further raised in August when Japan arrested a group of pro-China activists who planted a Chinese flag on the islands in support of Beijing's claim. The activists were quickly deported, but the event prompted a series of anti-Japan demonstrations across China. Last week in Beijing someone ripped the national flag off the Japanese ambassador's car, in the latest flare-up.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
September 05, 2012 7:10 PM
Taiwan president Ma yingjiu is visiting Diaoyu island some time recently. Taiwan is also planing a military drill on Taiping island in south China sea.
Taiwan claims the whole south China sea and Diaoyu island. Given Taiwan is part of China, so SCS and Diaoyu also belong to China.


by: Emil from: melbourne
September 05, 2012 10:03 AM
Hitler agenda on rise... This is legacy of Mao and it continues till date.. That crazy general did lot of worse for its own people (see videos and websites - Deaths by 1000 cuts) and had more wars in his hands than any general in history... He invaded tibet in 14 days bloody war, he killed people who opposed him and china in Tibet with Death by 1000 cuts, then tried to challange Tiwan, Then occupied Manchuria which was never part of china and virtually wiped it off the map and history, then korean war and later attacked India ... And we still keep chinese communist entertained and offered UNSC seat.. haha
This is all WWII in action similar to Hitler attacking Czech and Poland with help of Russia... and propoganda of Nazism.. here communism is mantra and occupying lands and seas is the agenda.. lets see will it be churcill standing in the way and then Stalin and later Americans.. or who fires first bullet against communiust Nazis....

In Response

by: Jerry from: Canada
September 09, 2012 6:55 PM
For God's sake, please read and learn history first before you spout these nonsense. it is really misleading. Are you a teenager? I am just curious why you learnt nothing in your past 10-20 years. India's forward policy has passed both McMahon Line and traditional border, so the fact is India invaded China and China just fought back. WWII, Japan invaded Manchuria, a part of China, and entire China in 1931-1945, and cause catastrophic damage to China. Western Countries invaded China in the past 100 years several time. Do you know this history? Again, please read something before you spout here, for God's sake.

In Response

by: Peter from: USA
September 06, 2012 2:20 PM
What are you talking about Challenge Taiwan? That was Civil War continued. Occuped Manchuria? Manchuria puppet state created by Japanese in occupation of Chinese land since 1931 and the government of China then was the Taiwan's KMT party. What history are you reading?

China only joined Korean War when their side was bombed by USA military. Attacked India? India's forward policy made India setup control points even over the McMahon Line in which China don't even recognized by for the sake of peace maintained. Again, what history are you reading?

All these history are documented in Western academic communities as well. Do some research instead of sprouting nonsense

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