Thursday, September 06, 2012

Japan govt to buy islands disputed with China - media

Japan's central government has agreed to buy a group of islands in the East China Sea at the center of a territorial dispute with China, major Japanese newspapers reported on Wednesday.

The government will soon sign a contract to buy the islands claimed by both countries, known in Japan as Senkaku and in China as Diaoyu, for 2.05 billion yen ($26 million) from its Japanese landowners, the Yomiuri Shimbun said, quoting government sources.

Deputy Chief Cabinet secretary Hiroyuki Nagahama met the landowners on Monday and struck the deal to buy three major islands in the chain, including Uotsurijima, the largest island, Yomiuri said.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's cabinet would soon confirm the nationalization of the islands and allocate reserve funds for the purchase, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

Noda plans to formally inform the Chinese about the move on the sidelines of this year's UN assembly later this month, Asahi said.

Testy Japan-China ties took a turn for the worse in August after pro-Beijing activists landed on one of the islands, which are controlled by Japan. They were arrested by Japanese authorities and deported.- Interaksyon (September 05, 2012)

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