The state, not Shintaro Ishihara’s Tokyo metropolitan government, should buy three of the disputed Senkaku Islands, according to the ruling Democratic Party of Japan’s policy chief.
Tokyo Governor Ishihara caused a stir with an announcement in Washington on April 16 that the metropolitan government intended to buy three of the islands in the East China Sea, which China calls the Diaoyu Islands and claims as its own.
But Seiji Maehara, chair of the DPJ's Policy Research Committee, said on April 20: “It does not make sense for a different local body to buy land in Okinawa Prefecture.”
Maehara said the central government should instead purchase the isles--Uotsurishima, Kita-Kojima and Minami-Kojima--if the owner is ready to sell them to help strengthen Japan’s effective control.
Maehara told the gathering in Tokyo that the Senkaku Islands are “inherent territory of Japan in the light of historical facts.”
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has been leasing the islands since 2002, paying 24.5 million yen ($302,470) annually and forbidding entry.
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