TOKYO » Japan’s purchase of several disputed islands from their private owners was aimed at keeping nationalist activists at bay and reducing tensions with China, but now Tokyo must deal with Beijing’s anger over the move.
The government was left with little choice but to buy the rocky outcroppings in the East China Sea after the stridently nationalistic governor of Tokyo announced a plan to buy the islands and then develop them — a prospect that was sure to upset China.
The central government bought the islands Tuesday for 2.05 billion yen ($26 million). It has no plans to develop them.
Beijing has threatened "serious consequences" and sent two patrol ships to waters near the islands, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.