When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Japan

Japan To Nationalize Disputed Senkaku Islands

ASAHI SHIMBUN, KYODO, NHK (Japan)

Worldcrunch

TOKYO - The Japanese government has agreed to buy three disputed islands for 2.05 billion yen ($26 million).

The Asahi Shimbun reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's government had struck a deal with private landowners to buy three of the Senkaku islands.

The islands, which are uninhabited, have caused a diplomatic rift between Japan and China, recently who both lay claim to them.

Hong Kong activists last month landed on one of the islands and were subsequently detained, sparking anti-Japan demonstrations in China.

Kyodo news agency reports that the central government is allegedly rushing to buy the islands in an attempt to prevent Tokyo's outspoken Governor Ishihara, who has previously shown interest in buying the islands and has a record of angering Beijing officials, from succeeding in purchasing them. Following Ishihara’s announcement in April that Tokyo would buy the island group, the city’s metropolitan government has received more than 1.4 billion yen ($17 million) in donations from people across Japan.

Kyodo reported that Chinese Foreign Minister Gong Lei said in a statement: "the Japanese action will end in futility," declaring that the move will not hamper Beijing's right to exert sovereignty.

Members of the cabinet are expected to meet sometime in September to finalize plans to nationalize the three islands: Uotsurishima, Kita-Kojima and Minami-Kojima.

Since potentially lucrative gas reserves were discovered there in the 1970’s, the islands have been under Japanese control but claimed by China and Taiwan, which know them as Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai respectively.

NHK reported that Japan launched a team of specialists to inspect the islands on Monday:

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Society

Why Every New Parent Should Travel Alone — Without Their Children

Argentine journalist Ignacio Pereyra travels to Italy alone to do some paperwork as his family stays behind. While he walks alone around Rome, he experiences mixed feelings: freedom, homesickness and nostalgia, and wonders what leads people to desire larger families.

Photo of a man sitting donw with his luggage at Athens' airport

Alone at Athens' international airport

Ignacio Pereyra

I realize it in the morning before leaving: I feel a certain level of excitement about traveling. It feels like enthusiasm, although it is confusing. I will go from Athens to Naples to see if I can finish the process for my Italian citizenship, which I started five years ago.

I started the process shortly after we left Buenos Aires, when my partner Irene and I had been married for two years and the idea of having children was on the vague but near horizon.

Now there are four of us and we have been living in Greece for more than two years. We arrived here in the middle of the pandemic, which left a mark on our lives, as in the lives of most of the people I know.

But now it is Sunday morning. I tell Lorenzo, my four-year-old son, that I am leaving for a few days: “No, no, Dad. You can’t go. Otherwise I’ll throw you into the sea.”

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest