Japan to increase China tensions by nationalising islands

China News

Japan may nationalise hundreds of unclaimed islands off its coast in a bid to bolster its territorial claims, reports said, in a move that could complicate already simmering relations with China over existing maritime disputes.

Quoting government sources, the Yomiuri newspaper reported yesterday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s government was planning to set up a multi-agency task force to identify around 400 islands that are not already explicitly identified as Japanese territory and confirm their ownership and the names of the islands.

If it was not possible to ascertain ownership, the island would be given an official name and nationalised, the paper said.

“This does not come as a surprise really and it’s something that the Japanese government had to do sooner or later,” Go Ito, a professor of international relations at Tokyo’s Meiji University, said.

“It’s also significant because they are acting now before China can start lodging…

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