Japanese activists on the disputed islands
By Cal Widdall
The Japanese government has outbid the Tokyo metropolitan government with an offer of ¥2 billion (160 million RMB) for the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, hoping to bring them under state control within the next month and inspire more crazy Japanese-themed parties like those seen in cities across China last week.
The idea of buying the islands originally came from Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, who commented that China’s claim to the islands was like “a thief declaring publicly that he intends to break into a house.” Over a million dollars in donations soon came flooding in and the bid became a reality.
The current owners declared at this point that they would only entertain bids from Tokyo but sources have suggested they have ‘recently taken a more flexible stance on accommodating the government’s desire to buy them.’ With 160 million RMB on the table they’re no doubt stretching their legs behind their head as we speak, ready and willing to accommodate any bidder.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Noda and Goivernor Ishihara met to discuss their separate bids for the islands and, speculation suggests, what to do with the donations collected by Tokyo. A bid for The Spratly Islands, perhaps?
Or maybe they’ll need the money to police anti-Japanese protests in Tokyo once their city loses out on the islands to the national government.