Japan govt to buy islands disputed with China: media
TOKYO – Japan's government has agreed to buy a group of islands in the East China Sea at the centre of a territorial dispute with China, Japanese dailies said on Wednesday.
The central 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 (US$26 million) from their 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.
Government officials were not immediately available to confirm the reports. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's cabinet would soon confirm the nationalisation 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 the UN assembly meeting later this month, Asahi said, but a Japan-China summit has not yet been set.
The chain comprises at least eight islands and groups of rock 2,000km from Tokyo but less than 200km from Taiwan.AFP