What in the world is China going to do with 5,000 tsubo — about four acres — of land in Niigata City? Build a new consulate general, it says. But that seems like an awful lot for a consulate in a regional city whose main activity since it initially opened has been issuance of commercial visas.

China’s acquisition of such a large plot of land — a third again larger than its embassy in Tokyo — is raising suspicions. Masahisa Sato, a member of the Diet’s House of Councilors and formerly an officer in the Ground Self-Defense Force, tells Shukan Post (June 15) that China two years ago passed a military mobilization law that obliges all citizens, including those living abroad, to serve the nation in time of war.

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