Japan declares island near Senkakus new national asset

Kyodo

Japan has registered one of the four islands near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea as a national asset, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Monday.

The move came after Tokyo earlier this month formally named the four islands in Okinawa Prefecture, which outline Japan’s vast exclusive economic zone in the ocean.

The islands are administered by Japan but claimed by both China and Taiwan, including the new national asset, which was named Kitakojima, Fujimura said at a press conference.

The three other islands are unlikely to be registered as national assets because they are owned by civilians, government officials said.

Last August, the government placed the 23 uninhabited islands on which Japan’s 200-nautical-mile EEZ is based under state control, but the four islands near the Senkakus were left exempt out of consideration for China.