The state is almost certain to deny an application by the Tokyo metropolitan government to land on the disputed and uninhabited Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
The Tokyo metropolitan government said it was hoping to visit the islands on Aug. 29, ahead of purchasing them outright. The islands are held privately.
However, the Noda administration has made clear it intends to purchase the islands instead.
The Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea are administered by Japan, but are also claimed by China and Taiwan.
Osamu Fujimura, the chief Cabinet secretary, told reporters Aug. 22 the central government will soon announce its decision with regard to the application. He hinted strongly that it will be denied.
“The central government will study the metropolitan government’s request, based on the central government’s purpose of renting the islands to maintain them peacefully and in stable fashion,” he said.
Fujimura noted that the application is not accompanied by documents from the owners of the islands giving their consent for metropolitan officials to make the visit.
If, as seems likely, the application is rejected, the metropolitan government plans to conduct a survey from the sea instead.
In response, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara told reporters the same day: “A facility for fishing boats to temporarily avoid high waves must be built on the islands. I have no doubt that the central government must give its approval for this to happen.”
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