Japanese Fishing Boat Seized by Russia

Society

Sapporo, May 29 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese fishing boat has been seized by Russia while operating in waters off the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, according to a local fisheries organization.

The No. 172 Eiho Maru, which belongs to the Wakkanai Trawl Fisheries Cooperative Association in the Hokkaido city of Wakkanai, was captured by Russian security authorities after being searched when it was operating east of Cape Soya in Hokkaido around 11 a.m. Friday (2 a.m. GMT), the Hokkaido Trawl Fisheries Cooperative Federation said the same day.

According to a report submitted in advance to the Wakkanai cooperative association, 14 crew members would be aboard the 160-ton fishing boat. The Japan Coast Guard's first regional headquarters, which is in charge of Hokkaido, and the Wakkanai municipal government are investigating details of the incident.

Russia's Interfax news agency reported Friday that border guard authorities in Sakhalin in the Russian Far East region said they blocked illegal operations by a Japanese fishing boat in Russia's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Okhotsk on the day.

The authorities fired a warning shot as the fishing boat did not follow their order to stop and attempted to flee from the scene, according to the report. The fishing boat was taken to the port of Korsakov in Sakhalin.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press