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    • Thread Starter

    Not exactly breaking news but:

    Why didn't Japan buy them from Kurihara earlier? Was it because the US opposed it? Or because they feared retaliation from China?

    The Japanese government bought them from their private owner so as to head off any unwanted escalations (the owner being a fairly nationalistic Japanese individual).

    The 'buying' doesn't mean anything. It's like privately owned or government owned land in the UK, it has nothing to do with sovereign jurisdiction, which the British state would have in both instances.
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