World / Asia-Pacific

Island 'owner' refuses Japanese govts purchase offer

( Updated: 2012-07-31 19:50

The so-called Japanese private owner of the Diaoyu Islands in East China Sea has refused an offer by the government of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to buy the disputed islands for 2 billion yen ($25.5 million), according to Kyodo News.

Some sources told Kyodo News that Hiroyuki Kurihara, the so-called owner, prefers to negotiate with Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, the right-wing activist who announced plans to buy the Diaoyu Islands in April and cast a shadow over the 40th anniversary of the normalization of relations between China and Japan.

Kurihara refused the Japanese government's offer because he did not want to make Ishihara "lose face", some sources close to the Kurihara family told Kyodo on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday morning, Osamu Fujimura, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, acknowledged that the negotiations had taken place and declined to give more details about them.

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