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Ever since Hiroyuki Kurihara and his family took title to the Senkaku Islands in the 1970s, they have firmly kept to the will of the previous owner: The islets are not to be sold to anyone but the Japanese government or a public organization.

And so for decades the Kurihara family has continued to own four of the five uninhabited rocky islets in the East China Sea, turning down all offers from a number of private corporations.

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