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Japan Buys Islands Also Claimed By China, Taiwan

Agnus Dei Farrant |
September 11, 2012 | 7:34 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

A map of Japan's claimed boundaries, China's claimed boundaries and the disputed islands (Creative Commons).
A map of Japan's claimed boundaries, China's claimed boundaries and the disputed islands (Creative Commons).
Japan purchased a group of islands in the East China Sea for $26 million that both the country and China claim. Japan ignored warnings from China and said it had bought the islands from a private Japanese owner, Reuters reported. 

China's official media said two patrol ships had been sent from Beijing to reassert its claim, according to Reuters. Japan’s coastguard said it hasn’t taken any special measures in response to the ships, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. officials cautioned the countries, saying tensions between them would have global repercussions.

"This is the cockpit of the global economy and the stakes could not be bigger and the desire is to have all leaders to keep that squarely in mind," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said in Washington.

The islands are known as Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China and are also claimed by Taiwan, according to the AP. 

Japan said it only had peaceful intentions in the purchase of the three uninhabited islands.

From the AP:

Japan has claimed the islands since 1895. The US took jurisdiction after the second world war and turned them over to Japan in 1972. But Beijing sees the purchase as an affront to its claims and its past calls for negotiations.

The news organization reported that Taiwan’s foreign ministry called the purchase an “extremely unfriendly move” that “not only harms the longtime co-operation between Taiwan and Japan but will also aggravate regional tensions in east Asia."

Reach Executive Producer Agnus Dei Farrant here.



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