Thursday, September 06, 2012

Senkaku Owner Keeps the World on Hold

The owner of the Senkaku Islands will agree to sell the four of the five Senkaku Islands under his ownership to the Japanese Government for 2.05 billion yen in the next couple of days. Unless, of course, he doesn’t. It looks suspiciously like the owner is playing the two Tokyos against each other until the last moment to see if he can’t further enhance what is already a generous if not quite Juwan Howard-territory offer* from the national government. (Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara appears to have wised up and is having none of it.)

If I were the Noda administration, I would tell the owner to stick the islands where they belong and then walk away. After all, the Japanese Government’s sovereign rights and obligations around those islands would be virtually unchanged if it lost its lease as a tenant under the Civil Code. In the meantime, though, the owner is keeping reports from at least two news outlets in the can while he makes up his mind.

* To be sure though, the 2.05 billion yen offer is within reason only by virtue of the absurdly expensive 29 million yen/year (estimate) lease.

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