The private owner of the islands yesterday accused the right-wing nationalist group which has been building lighthouses on the disputed territory since 1978 of trespassing and acting outside the law. Kunioki Kuribara, 54, who has owned the islands since the 1960s, denied he had ever had an agreement with Nihon Seinensha, the Japan Youth Federation, as its president Toyohisa Etoh has repeatedly claimed in interviews with the media. The Japanese Government has refused to take action against the federation or land on the islands and dismantle the lighthouses, claiming the land is private property. Speaking through his secretary Tashitani Yoshini from his Saitama office, Mr Kuribara said the group was guilty of unlawful entry. But the secretary said Mr Kuribara, a major landowner, would not do anything about it. He did not think he would be able to ask the police or the Maritime Safety Agency to dismantle the structures, because he believed this was a matter for civil rather than criminal law. Nor would Mr Kuribara go to the trouble, bureaucratic bother and expense of going to the island and dismantling the lighthouses himself. Mr Yoshini would not be pressed further on the subject but observers said right-wing groups had a history of intimidating and blackmailing those who stood in their way. Asked whether he thought the islands should be returned to China, Mr Yoshini said Mr Kuribara was a taxpayer and expected the Japanese Government to protect private property. He said there were no plans to develop the islands. Mr Yoshini said the owner had promised his partner and benefactor, the late Zenzi Koga, he would leave the islands undeveloped for many generations to come.