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Japanese govt 'in last stage of talks to buy Senkakus'
Publication Date : 04-09-2012
The central government is in the final stage of negotiations to buy three of the Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, directly from the owner for about 2 billion yen (US$26 million), according to sources close to the government.
The government plans to buy the islands, which China also claims, with reserve funds, the sources said.
With the aim of buying the islands before the central government, the Tokyo metropolitan government has collected more than 1.4 billion yen in donations from citizens.
The central government hopes to convince the owner of the need to bring the islands under state control and to offer him more than Tokyo has collected, the sources said.
The Tokyo government started negotiations to purchase the islands with the owner before the central government did.
However, when the Tokyo government filed a request for permission to land on Uotsurijima island, one of the Senkaku Islands, in August, it did not include a letter of agreement from the owner, prompting some government officials to suspect negotiations between Tokyo and the owner have bogged down.
But the Tokyo government has not changed its plan to buy the islands. On Sunday, a team of surveyors dispatched by Tokyo surveyed the islands and conducted research from boats in the sea surrounding the islands.
Therefore, the central government hopes to speed up negotiations with the owner to sign a purchase contract as soon as possible.