“Traitor” Company Will Sell Japanese Island to China


Japanese officials and nationalists alike are aghast at the plans of a landholder to sell his island to the Chinese, their concerns made all the more acute by the fact it contains a partially complete military base.

The controversy centres on “Mageshima Island,” an uninhabited 8.2km² island just off Tanegashima Island, at the southern tip of Kyushu and close to Okinawa.

The island’s only claim to fame is that it was apparently named (馬毛島: “horse hair island” – the “hair” here likely referring to “hairy barbarian”) after a horse reared there which was used in the introduction of muskets to Japan by Portuguese missionaries on neighbouring Tanegashima.

It is currently 99.6% owned by an obscure construction firm, “Tateishi Construction Corporation.”

Their CEO has recently caused considerable by upset by suggesting he would do well to sell the island to China:

“We have all sorts of interest in the island from Chinese enterprises. Depending on Japan’s interest, we may well sell it to them.”

Ministry of Defence officials are up in arms about the possible sale:

“We didn’t believe they were serious about this, but after the recent trouble over the Senkaku islands all that changed. The isle is situated near US bases at Sasebo and Okinawa, and is of considerable geopolitical significance as a result. The ministry is extremely concerned about critical consequences for national defence if China really did get it.”

“The companies which approached them offering to buy it were a Shanghai real estate developer and a resort developer – both of which are without doubt connected to the Chinese government.”

Previously his company was involved in efforts to build an airstrip on the island and sell or lease it as a US base relocation candidate., but these plans fell through after opposition from Tanegashima locals and fishermen.

The fact it now houses a partially completed airstrip and other facilities is also likely to cause additional concern:


The 15 billion yen the CEO claims to have invested in the island (although his company was recently found guilty of tax evasion, so the validity of their accounting is open to doubt) is also more than 3 times the largest sum the government was prepared to offer for the isle.

There is more than a little suspicion that the company is as much interested in blackmailing the Japanese government into buying up the island at an inflated price as it is in actually selling it to the Chinese – Ishihara’s provocative offer to buy part of the Senkaku islands enabled the owner of those islands to sell to the state at an inflated price.

Although any change in private ownership of the island would have no (immediate) impact on its Japanese sovereignty, it would allow the owner to potentially construct a listening post there, as the government has no legal right to either prevent a foreign buyer owning the island or to inspect whatever it is they do there, say officials.

Not unsurprisingly, the issue has inflamed the patriotic fervour of  Japan’s do-little nationalists:

“If China comes in and buys it for 30 billion, what’ll the government do?”

“Expect the current owner to suffer an unfortunate traffic accident before then…”

“Japan should learn from China and ensure he meets an accidental flattening under a steamroller! Property rights are not worth having if it means harm to the nation.”

“It is still well within Japan’s EEZ and the only way to get there is by first legally entering Japanese territory.”

“Let him sell it. It has no water, no fuel, no port, and inspection and permission are required for any large buildings. If they build anything illegally they are vulnerable to legal action. They aren’t going to get permission for an airport or anything there.”

“He’s obviously just trying to slyly bid up the price.”

“Foreign ownership of our islands should be banned!”

“What the hell did he spend 15 billion yen on there?”

“This guy is a literal ‘traitor!'” [the Japanese for ‘traitor’ – 売国土, baikokudo – literally means “selling the country” ]

“What is the problem here? Who cares if Russia, China and Korea buy up all our land, it doesn’t change the fact it is Japanese land subject entirely to Japanese law.”

“Ban foreigners from owning Japanese land already.”

“Just expropriate it from him!”

“Confiscate the land from this traitor.”

“Just kill him, end of problem.”

“Seize it from him, for the sake of national security!”

“You guys sound as if you want to make Japan into China…”

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    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    01:06 07/11/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Just like Russians buying up Finland these days...

    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    01:21 07/11/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Well the Russians couldn't get it the old fashioned way by stealing Finland back in the 1939 because the Finns kicked the asses good (Field Marshall Mannerheim!). So I guess buying it is plan B.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:28 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Oh god, this reminds me of when I played Civ III and just bought off enemy civs' cities until all they had left was their capitol and then I rolled in my tanks

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:57 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Finland lost two out of three campaigns in the Winter Wars, losing 20% of their territory and one third of their economy, quantity beat quality that time.

    However, they did well to survive.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:22 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dude, Finland lost that war, and all the territories that Russia wanted. Don't they teach history in schools any more?

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:01 10/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dude, Soviets wanted to force total occupations on Finland... On a country that had a population of roughtly 3million people. They managed to fight soviets back and survive. I would call that a victory even if they lost some lands.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:31 12/04/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Rose tinted glasses.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:26 07/11/2012 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    Because russians been don`t know how to fight with finns in 39. They just need burn and bomb all citys and villages. Why they don`t do that on 39? weak people.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:58 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Finland is the land of badass snipers. I'm sure they want to buy wherever the Finnish train their snipers.

    Avatar of ayami123
    Comment by ayami123
    20:30 12/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Implying there's anything in Finland worth buying up?

    well they might find sniper wolf there :))

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:09 08/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not all people who speak on russian language is real russians. Most people who speak on russian calling them self russians. And i really don`t know what kind of people want to live in northern countrys. Bandits? probably.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:37 08/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well we are still better place to live than Russia, so rich russians buy houses here. Thought somalis are ruining the country fast.

    Avatar of gyakusouhime
    Comment by gyakusouhime
    06:47 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anon 06:40

    So you're implying Russians are stupid for desiring Finn real estate?

    Comment by Anonymous

    Implying there's anything in Finland worth buying up

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:08 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah baby, yeah. >:)
    And not only Finland.

    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    01:06 07/11/2012 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Sounds like the CEO is just trying to drive the price up but the Japanese government should call his bluff and take possession of the island out of "national
    security" reasons.

    Doesn't the Japanese government have any laws on the books such as "Eminent Domain" where they could seize the island for national security reasons or for the public good.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:29 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    No. Which is exactly why the whole problem exists in the first place.

    Drafting any law takes ages of debate. Introducing new expropriation laws in the current era is in particular a can of worms since it breaches fundamental human/constitutional rights (right to property). Even if it is passed retrospective effect will also be an issue, since the deal will probably have been completed by then.

    Avatar of Erranty
    Comment by Erranty
    09:49 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I do believe they can limit who they can sell to out of National Security reasons though, since doing business with a hostile nation is a Treasonous offense.

    What the owner's SHOULD do is finish that airport and turn the island into another Okinawan style resort.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:15 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I... I don't understand this.
    Is the island nobody's territory?
    My family owns pieces of land, but those are still part of our country and I can't imagine just selling these to China, bam, chinese territory with chinese soldiers and everything.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:03 11/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    China has enough space. Give it to Japan japan is small and needs more room!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:51 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Eminent Domain? Are you a fascist? I doubt you will want your government to do it to you and your family that is IF you own any land to begin with.

    This corporation has a hot commodity and should take advantage of it to the fullest if they decide to sell. Owning land → everything else. In the USA, the Chinese has bought land as goes with other foreigners, this is a fact. Each government wants to be exactly like North Korea having unlimited power and subjugating it's people.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:04 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Those shit bags in Jersey are already doing it, so the rich can have more beachfront property.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:38 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well....technically thanks to Sandy, instead of a beach"front" property, it's now property buried under the beaches >.>

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:14 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    14:38 If it destroys rich peoples summer homes, I'm for it. At least one entitled cunt was on the radio, worrying about her precious beach home, while others lost everything. This country really has gone to shit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:19 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope everybody understand under Eminent Domain the government must pay fair market value. Which, if this goes on sale to China, will be considerably more than the Japanese would have originally paid for it. The construction company would love for the land to be taken under Eminent Domain, but they'll settle for selling to either side.

    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    01:19 09/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anon 10:51

    I wasn't planning on selling my house to what must be considered a hostile power (due to the PRC's continued contentiousness) so your position doesn't hold water.
    Also this is Japan not the US. China I suppose can buy property in the US just like other countries have done but I wouldn't recommend installing a missile battery or listening post on it.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Not taking sides but as an outside observer...

    It's unlikely the Japanese government could seize the island for "national security"

    The fact is that both China and Japan consider it to be theirs, so any seizure by one side will prompt the other into action.

    Japan tried to play it wisely by "purchasing" the island from the landowner but apparently underestimated the landownder's greed or perhaps China's sheer purchasing power.

    The tables have turned and China is playing Japan's own game against it.

    Now that Japan opened up the precedent for purchasing the island it will be hard pressed to justify ownership of the islands if China actually manages to buy it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:15 07/11/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    "The fact is that both China and Japan consider it to be theirs, so any seizure by one side will prompt the other into action."

    Have you even googled where this island is before opening your mouth? It's located off the southern tip of Japan's mainland islands, miles away from an inhabited island. There's no disputing who owns this one, that's Japanese water.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:25 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    If China buys it for 15 billion, it's 15 billion more foreign money injected into the Japanese economy. If Japan buys it, it's jack.

    Japan wouldn't be in the economic hole if their right wing idiots focus on what matters instead of stomping out tattoos and otakus.

    -The Cold War wasn't won through military power, but rather economy.

    -Ancient Japan was ancient China's vassal state not because of military power, but rather economy. Ancient China had neither capacity nor incentive to send a massive occupation force across the east china sea.

    -It broke free because economic ties/supply line was no longer necessary.

    -Japan occupied large parts of China in the early 20th century because of its newly reformed/invigorated economy.

    -Japan lost everything at the end of WWII because its economy collapsed under pressure from US on one side and resource drain in occupied Chinese territory on the other.

    -Japan will again become China's vassal state without one shot being fired, and without them even realizing it, because of its failing economy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:42 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I don't know why his comment was downvoted so much, what he said was essentially correct. It's not pro-PRC to state the obvious reality that China is trouncing Japan politically and economically. Many insecure people here.

    Avatar of ryusoma
    Comment by ryusoma
    10:57 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)


    No, unfortunately he is *absolutely* right. Japan today is full of hypocrites and self-indulgent toads resting on the laurels of 50 years of progress.

    Japan has been treading water politically and economically for 15+ years now, while China has raped and stolen its way to the top of the heap, with our complicity. Japan hasn't done anything of note to defend itself or its interests, and has no real goals or objectives just like its NEET population. As it stands, Japan has been on a long, slow, painful slide into obscurity since the 1990s and neither the DPJ or LDP have any presented any meaningful reform to prevent this despite economic shocks, earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear disasters.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Pro PRC scrotum sucker alert!!!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:11 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You are talking about the wrong island... Did you even read the article?

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:34 07/11/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    its fucking 2012! there are no borders or nations when it comes to business. the bottomline is everything. if the japanese government want their land, then they should damn well buy it from the owner for a higher price than what china is willing to pay for.

    japan and china can bicker all they want, but neither side is actually going to war over it. all this disputing really means is that land owners are sitting on top of a hot commodity thats increasing in value

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    03:33 07/11/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    This is retarded. The Jgov is the gov - any ownership of Japanese land should be subject to existing Japanese law. You could sell privately to a Chinese company, but shouldn't be able to sell it "to China." I was just reading about tons of freshwater resources from Hokkaido being sold to China too. It's ridiculous.

    Avatar of luca
    Comment by luca
    03:17 07/11/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    It sounds like China is going to create it's own version of Cuba over there.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:58 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    reminds me of dance in the vampire bund.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:00 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's an idea. Don't want China to grab that island? Sell it to the vampires.

    Avatar of Lonesnipa
    Comment by Lonesnipa
    03:45 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Partially completely military base huh...

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:04 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Guess I know where my next evil villian island of doom is going to be

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:48 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    A partially completely military base? Come on now.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:35 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Now is the time mother nature needs to make a giant earth quake swollow up the island deep into the sea.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:25 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Sell it to the USA.

    Get gets rid off all the current drama with the rapes and beatings and osprey protests.

    America still gets a base in the area.

    It doesn't get into the hands of the Chinese.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:40 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Article says they wanted to, but the neighboring islanders stopped them. Meaning those island monkeys only have their selves to blame every time some drunken piece of shit screws it up for the rest of the servicemen.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:25 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They have 4 ways to resolve this:

    - Japanese government can buy it.
    - US can buy it.
    - China can buy it.
    - The Japanese government can block the land owner from selling to anyone else until the land owner go bankrupt or take it from them.

    In the first two cases, given the weak economy both Japan and US probably have to borrow money indirectly anyway from China to pay for it.

    FYI: Japan has a 200% debt to GNP ratio and the economy is in the shitter for the past 15+ years.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:33 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    true dat ham sammich.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:22 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Big mistake, china will keep pushing to get rid of Japan and we will lose animes, games, and tech. We will become caveman, if china get Japan.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:42 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Actually, Chinese government is putting in a lot of investment to grow its own gaming and animation industry (whose current products are unfortunately still of woefully poor quality), while Japanese government is seemingly doing everything to kill theirs.

    At this rate, Japan won't need anyone else's help in destroying its anime industry, or possibly its economy at large.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:07 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol it's illegal to sell game consoles in China, so they're not trying that.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:19 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    >lol it's illegal to sell game consoles in China, so they're not trying that.

    That has changed recently: http://micgadget.com/31278/sony-ps3-surprisingly-gets-approval-in-china-is-china-lifting-ban-on-game-console/

    With android smart phone, tablets etc., the people in China can already play games without consoles. These days, one can also hook up heir TV to their toy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:24 07/11/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    that hard*

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