Tokyo to buy Senkaku islets

Featured - May 3rd, 2012

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara has set up a bank account for money donated for the purchase of three islets of the Senkaku chain. About 5,428 people and organizations have given money totalling ¥76 million to help the Tokyo Metropolitan Government purchase the islands from their owner. The Senkaku Islands are administered by Okinawa but are also claimed by China and Taiwan. Ishihara states that the purchase of the islets is a statement of patriotism and dissatisfaction with the central government’s “soft” stance against Chinese claims. The metropolitan assembly must give its approval before purchasing the islets if the price exceeds ¥200 million and the size of the land is greater than 20,000 sq. meters. An auditing panel must also approve purchases exceeding ¥40 million. The uninhabited islets combined are 4.49 sq. km. The smallest of the five is 60,000 sq. meters. The Japanese Coast Guard patrols the islands 24 hours a day.