Kurihara’s family has owned three of the eight islands and reefs that make up the disputed Diaoyus since 1981. But they found themselves in the middle of a diplomatic showdown last month when Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara said he intended to buy the islands, part of the chain the Japanese call Senkaku, for the municipal government. Beijing responded by asserting the Diaoyus belong to China.
“Beijing’s claims are crazy,” Kurihara, 65, says. “The islands are Japanese territory. You can’t just change something like that because a government says so.”
Kurihara says Ishihara has been trying to persuade him and his brother Kunioki to sell the islands for 30 years. “I’ve always said no, until now, because if I was going to sell the islands, I would never sell them to…
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