Russia Releases 5 Japanese Fishing Boats

Politics Society

Sapporo, Dec. 24 (Jiji Press)--Five Japanese fishing boats seized by Russian authorities were released around 10 a.m. Tuesday (1 a.m. GMT), Hokkaido government officials said.

The five ships, captured off Hokkaido on Dec. 17, returned to the Hanasaki port in Nemuro in the northernmost prefecture in the afternoon.

The 24 crew members of the ships are in good health, the Hokkaido officials said.

A Russian court fined the captains of the five ships and others 6.43 million rubles, which apparently was paid, according to a report by Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency.

The border guards of Sakhalin in Russia's Far East say the boats fished 7.5 tons more than the amounts stated in their logbooks.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press