Russia bans Japan from fishing around disputed Kuril islands


Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia is suspending an agreement that allows Japanese fishing companies to harvest in waters near the disputed Kuril Islands.

The presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District said on Friday during his visit to Vladivostok that Japan had refused to pay for the quotas of fish caught in front of the Kuril islands, so their rights would be withdrawn.

The Kuril Islands were a group of islands in the Pacific ocean rich in fish, which were taken from Japan by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II.

However, disputes had continued around the four southernmost islands, to the extent that there had not been a peace accord between the two countries.

In recent years, it seemed as though Russia and Japan were getting closer to settling the issue, but since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Japan had joined in on western sanctions.

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Tokyo recently banned the export of building machinery and loaded vehicles to Russia.

Since March, Moscow had paused the peace negotiations with Japan, and Tokyo subsequently spoke of an “illegal occupation” of the islands.

The Russian ban on Japanese fishing might escalate the conflict further.

Reported by DPA/NAN

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