Japan intends to nationalize any unclaimed islands in its waters in order to put a stop to various international disputes over these territories.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government will have to delegate a team to research the owners and names of some 400 islands. In case the owner is not found, the government will give names to the islands and nationalize them.
“(Japan) plans to end the research next year and quickly take action, including nationalization, to remote islands with no ownership”, a daily local paper reported, quoted by the international media.
The 400 islands in question are located across waters in the Japanese archipelago. The team assigned to give the islands ownership includes officials from the finance and justice ministries as well as the coastguard.
The decision is part of a larger plan to preserve national maritime resources and also stop disputes with neighboring countries over different territories.
In 2012, Japan announced to name and nationalize 40 islands, including some that were in the center of a long term dispute the country has with China.
Tensions between the two nations grew as Japan recently accused China of sending ships to claim some of the islands that Tokyo is sovereign over, in the East China Sea.