China has raised objections to Tokyo's sudden announcement of plans to buy parts of the Diaoyu Islands, and claimed the island has China's 'undisputable sovereignty'.
Tokyo's Governor Shintaro Ishihara said that he is negotiating with the so-called "owner" of the islands, who apparently are a Japanese family, and is aiming at "buying them by the end of this year", the China Daily reports.
Ishihara said in a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation that he had begun negotiations to purchase three islets of the Diaoyu Islands.
However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin, clarified that the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islets have been China's territory since ancient times, and the nation has undisputable sovereignty over the islands.
"Any unilateral action taken by the Japanese side over the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islets is illegal and invalid, and will not change the fact that these islands belong to China," Liu was quoted, as saying.
Interestingly, Japan's own Government was reportedly taken aback by the governor's announcement.
"I received no report about Ishihara's remark before it came out," Japanese Foreign Minister, Gemba Koichiro said.
Following the controversy related to the ownership of the islands, analysts remarked that sudden announcement would "inevitably draw fire" from China and would "give rise to a new round of frictions between both countries".
Relations between Tokyo and Beijing have already been strained due to the disputes over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands, which have given rise to frequent friction between the two countries and have cast a shadow over bilateral relations. (ANI)