Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Japanese government has made a bid of ¥2 billion ($25 million) for the purchase of a number of islands at the centre of a bitter territorial feud with China, according to Kyodo reports.The deal could be completed as soon as next month, sources told the Japanese news agency.
The move comes after the outspoken governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, made a similar offer to buy the Senkaku Islands from their private owner earlier this year. The islands, known as Diaoyu in China, have been the centre of territorial disputes between China and Japan for decades, and it’s thought the sale could strengthen the Japanese government’s hold on them.
China has laughed off threats to buy the uninhabited islands before. “No one will ever be permitted to buy and sell China’s sacred territory,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said earlier this year. However, there has been rising tensions over the islands in the past few weeks, with Japanese protesters swimming to the islands and anti-Japanese riots in some Chinese cities.
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