Japan to Buy Disputed Islands

    A team of Japanese surveyors conducts an offshore survey from boats near Uotsurijima island, part of the disputed island chain known in Japan as Senkaku and Diaoyu in China, on September 2, 2012. A team of Japanese surveyors on September 2 sailed to a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea which the nationalistic governor of Tokyo wants to buy amid a widening diplomatic row with China. JAPAN OUT  AFP PHOTO / JAPAN POOL VIA JIJI PRESS        (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/GettyImages)

    Jiji Press, AFP / Getty Images

    Japan plans to purchase a number of privately held islands in the East China Sea that have been the subject of disputes with China, according to reports in Japan on Wednesday. Japanese government officials would not comment on the deal, but three Japanese news companies cited unnamed sources who said that the country would purchase three of the five main contested islands. The islands are claimed by China, and tensions between the two countries flared earlier this year when the governor of Tokyo sent teams to explore the islands for development. Chinese officials have resisted Japanese claims on the islands and called the idea of a purchase “illegal and invalid.”

    Read it at Associated Press