• Jiji

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Former Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada asked the government on Thursday to station civil servants permanently on the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.

Inada handed the request in writing to Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato at the prime minister’s office.

Inada is the leader of a group of lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party calling for the promotion of surveys of the Senkaku Islands.

“(China’s) attempts to change the status quo are unacceptable, and it is a very important issue,” Kato said.

China claims the Japanese-administered islands, which it calls Diaoyu.

The letter of request was jointly drawn up by Inada’s group and one led by former Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada, a study group for realizing the permanent stationing of government workers on the Senkaku Islands.

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