September 11th, 2012
01:19 PM GMT
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Japan (CNN) - They are called Senkaku by Japan, and Diaoyu by China, and these East China Sea islands are the topic of an increasingly bitter dispute between the two countries.

Both Japan and China claim the uninhabited islands, which lie between Taiwan and Okinawa and are rich in natural resources.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told CNN’s Paula Hancocks a deal is almost done to buy them from the Japanese family who owns them, and to nationalize them. The deal is reportedly worth $26 million.


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