Japan to Buy Disputed Islands

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.”