LDP exec Ishihara to visit China

Kyodo

Nobuteru Ishihara, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party and the eldest son of Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, will visit the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Xian from Friday through Monday, the LDP said Wednesday.

The visit follows his father’s remarks Monday in Washington that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is negotiating with the owner to buy three of the main islands in the Senkaku chain.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded sharply to the revelation, asserting Beijing’s claim to the islands, which Japan administers as part of Okinawa Prefecture.

Ishihara is scheduled to give a lecture concerning the political situation in Japan at Tongji University in Shanghai and hold talks with Xian Mayor Chen Baogen and others in Xian.

In Tokyo on Wednesday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda indicated the central government may consider nationalizing the islands, a day after Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura indicated the government may buy them if necessary and reiterated they are an integral part of Japanese territory.