Japan might station government workers on disputed islands: Official
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan might station government workers on disputed islands in the East China Sea to defend its sovereignty, the top government spokesman said on Tuesday, raising the possibility of action that would inevitably anger China.
Relations between Asia's second- and third-biggest economies have been strained over the uninhabited isles which Japan controls but both countries claim. The isles are known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
A year ago on Wednesday, the Japanese government bought three of the isles from a private owner, inflaming anger in China where there were big anti-Japan protests over the purchase.
Aircraft and ships from the two countries have played cat-and mouse in the vicinity of the islands ever since, raising fears that an accidental encounter could spark conflict.