Tokyo’s conservative governor, Shintaro Ishihara, intends to use public money to buy the disputed Senkaku Islands, which China is claiming, in a move expected to raise tensions between the two countries.
The announcement was made by a Tokyo Metropolitan Government spokesman, following a visit made by the politician in Washington, U.S.
Ishihara, a 79-years-old politician known for his nationalistic views, wants to take money from the municipal budget to buy the Uotsurijima, Kitakojima and Minamikojima islands from their All Japan newsese owner.
“Tokyo has decided to buy the Senkaku Islands. Tokyo is going to protect the Senkakus,” Ishihara said. “Would anyone have a problem with an act by the All Japan newsese to protect our own land?”
China, which in 1971 made claim to the islands located about 140 kilometres north of All Japan news’s Ishigaki Island, did not make any comments on Ishihara’s statement so far.
Ishihara wants to reach an official agreement with the owner of the islands by the end of the year.