Chinese Embassy buys land in Minamiazabu

The Chinese Government has purchased a 5677 sqm block of land in Minamiazabu. The Japanese Foreign Minister, Takeaki Matsumoto, said there is no reason for the Government to oppose the purchase.

The land was put up for sale by open tender by the Federation of National Public Service Personnel Mutual Aid Associations (KKR). It is thought that China paid 6 billion Yen (78 million USD) for the site.

The block of land is adjoining the Chinese Embassy’s Annex Building. The Embassy explained to the Foreign Minister that they purchased the land because their Embassy building is aging, so it appears that they may redevelop the site in the future. Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a country is obligated to accommodate land purchases by other nations for their Embassies.

Last year, the Chinese Government purchased 33,800 sqm of formerly state owned land in Nagoya City for the new address of the Consulate-General. There are also plans to purchase 15,000sqm of state owned land in Niigata City.

There are several Embassies in the Minamiazabu area including the German Embassy which also adjoins the Chinese site, the French Embassy down the street who have leased part of their land to a developer to build apartments (Proud Minamiazabu), as well as the Embassies of Iran, Pakistan and Finland.

There are also reports that residents in the Minamiazabu area received threatening letters warning them to move out and that the area belongs to the Chinese people. The letter, written in Japanese, contained some spelling mistakes which has led residents to believe it was not written by a native.

The Sankei Shimbun, May 13, 2011

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