Japan nationalises 273 uninhabited remote islands amid territorial concerns

In Friday's meeting led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a basic policy that designates 148 islands in 29 areas near other countries as "inhabited remote islands near borders" was agreed upon.
In Friday's meeting led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a basic policy that designates 148 islands in 29 areas near other countries as "inhabited remote islands near borders" was agreed upon.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (WASHINGTON POST) - Japan's Headquarters for Ocean Policy on Friday (April 7) reported that it had registered 273 uninhabited remote islands as national property, among other remote islands that serve as base points for the demarcation of territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone.

The registration was made to clarify the property rights of such islands and also to reinforce the management of territorial seas, with an eye on China's aggressive maritime advances and land purchases by foreign capitals.

In Friday's meeting at the Prime Minister's Office, the headquarters, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also agreed on a basic policy that designates 148 islands in 29 areas near other countries as "inhabited remote islands near borders", and to support the lives of residents on such islands.

The current Basic Plan on Ocean Policy, compiled in April 2013, was supposed to be reviewed after five years.

Mr Abe urged for discussions to start on the next basic plan, saying: "We'll extensively cover maritime security. We'll also reinforce measures against issues such as the surveillance of territorial waters, maintaining law and order, and disaster control."