Okinotori uri ddang!
This is really a public service announcement for all those people who bang on about the Koreans and their irrational obsession over some rocks in the Stroke Sea* and how the much more 'civilised' Japanese have moved beyond trifling nationalistic matters and into the post-modern sunset of peace and universal love.
Japan's favourite rightwing loon Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has decided to stir things up by making a visit to some coral reefs claimed by Japan and China. OK, so you say, that's remarkably similar to what some Korean nationalists get up. But, hang on a minute, because this makes the whole Tokto thing look strangely sane:
It will take Governor Ishihara two days to get there across the Pacific Ocean and when he arrives, he and his entourage will not have much to see, because only a patch of rock the size of a tennis court remains above water at high tide.
Japan has spent hundreds of millions of dollars fortifying the islands with concrete, to prevent them being completely washed away.
In addition, 122 Japanese citizens have also registered Okinotori as their place of origin, although there is no evidence anyone has ever managed to live there.
Now a wealthy Japanese foundation is funding research into making the coral grow a lot faster, in the hope that a few decades from now Okinotori may look more convincingly like islands and not just rocks - as China describes them now.
"Hundreds of millions of dollars..." the mind boggles. Why don't they just take a leaf out of Dubai's book and build themselves some completely new islands. I mean, they could put them anywhere they like. Personally I'd go for somewhere in the Caribbean.
*The sea formerly known as the East Sea stroke Sea of Japan.