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China pledges to defend territory after Japan says it will buy islands

BEIJING — China pledged Wednesday to take “necessary measures” to defend its territory after Japanese media said the Japanese government had agreed to buy a contested group of islands.






Japan’s government will pay private Japanese landowners 2.05 billion yen ($26 million) for three of the islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, the reports said, citing unnamed government sources.

“We cannot help but ask where is Japan trying to lead China and Japan relations to,” said foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei in response to a question about the reports. “The Chinese government is monitoring developments closely and will take necessary measures to defend its national territorial sovereignty.”

The chain, which lies on vital shipping lanes, is believed to sit on top of potentially rich gas fields.

Often testy Japan-China ties took a turn for the worse in August when pro-Beijing activists landed on one of the islands, Uotsurijima. They were arrested by Japanese authorities and deported. Days later about a dozen Japanese nationalists raised their country’s flag on the same island, prompting protests in cities across China.

Last week the Japanese ambassador’s car was targeted in Beijing when an unidentified man ripped the national flag off the vehicle.





SOURCE : japantoday

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Tags: news, politics
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