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¥1+ billion raised to buy Senkaku islands

Date Posted: 2012-06-01

In less than one month, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara’s idea of buying a small set of uninhabited islands in southern Okinawa Prefecture to protect them from the Chinese has taken a life of its own, raising more than ¥1 billion.

Ishihara in April decided that Tokyo Metropolitan Government should step in and purchase three of the five Senkaku Islands located 2,000 kilometers from Tokyo from a Japanese family that owns them. Ishihara’s plan has fired up both China, which claims it owns the islands in the East China Sea and calls them Diaoyu, and Taiwan, which also claims sovereignty. Japan calls the Senkaku Islands part of Japanese territory.

Japan already leases the islands from the Japanese family at an annual rental pricetag of ¥24 million.

The controversy has already angered Beijing to the point it canceled a high-level military delegation trip to Tokyo to meet with its counterparts. The uninhabited islands are in the middle of rich fishing grounds, and some analysts say mineral deposits could also prove valuable in the future.

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