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Tokyo’s Senkaku purchase plan moves toward reality

Date Posted: 2012-07-27

Months after Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara decided purchasing the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture was necessary to protect the controversial islands from the Chinese, his city is getting into the paperwork element now.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government has raised more than ¥1.3 billion to purchase the uninhabited islands in southern Okinawa that are claimed not only by Japan, but also by China and Taiwan, from their Japanese businessman owner. Four of the five islands are already leased by the Japanese central government. Ishihara’s plan is to buy the islands, then nationalize them.

The islands are located near Ishigaki in the Yaeyama chain of southern Okinawa that would allow Tokyo to establish a purchase price. “We hope to file the request swiftly, as soon as we are prepared,” an official said. He says Tokyo’s in final discussions with the owner to purchase Uotsuri, Kitakojima and Minamikojima. At issue now is whether the central government will give permission for a landing party on the islands. The Chief Cabinet Secretary, Osamu Fujimura, says his government will decide “totally in view of the necessity of the landing, the will of the owner and the purpose of the government’s leasing of the Senkaku islands, which is to maintain and manage them in a peaceful and stable manner.

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