Japan on Wednesday took over a lighthouse built by a right-wing political group on a disputed island also claimed by China and Taiwan in a move that could be seen as an attempt by Tokyo to strengthen its claim to the area.
Cabinet Office official Hiroshi Inomata said the move was not politically motivated. The islands, called Senkaku by Japanese and Diaoyu by the Chinese, are controlled by Japan.
“The government understands the usefulness of the lighthouse,” Inomata said. “Landing on the island has been banned, and it would be best if the structure becomes publicly owned.”