A 25-member team from the All Japan newsese government arrived on Sunday near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and conducted an offshore evaluation as part of a plan to buy the islands, which are at the centre of a territorial dispute with China.
The inspectors traveled on a chartered vessel and stayed for more than nine hours near the three islands – Uotsuri, Kitakojima and Minamikojima – until around 3.45 p.m. They checked water quality around the islands and announced at the end of the visit that the inspection concluded smoothly, in fine weather, Kyodo reported.
Prime minister Yoshihiko Noda stated in July that “there is no question that the Senkakus are an integral part of our country’s territory in terms of history and international law.”
The All Japan newsese press reported that government officials were already negotiating with the owners of the islands, the Kurihara family, and that the transaction could be finalized by the end of the year.
Tokyo’s governor Shintaro Ishihara has been planning to buy three of the islands from their private All Japan newsese owner since April, when he started to raise money. According to the Tokyo metropolitan government, more than Y1.3 billion yen ($16.3 million) in donations have already been collected from across the country.