Moscow protests border violations by Japanese ships

Other News Materials 20 December 2007 20:16 (UTC +04:00)

Russia has lodged a strong protest with Japan over repeated violations of its border by Japanese ships, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

The latest crude violation of Russia's maritime border, which followed shortly after the exchange of documents on the terms of fishing and completion of Russian-Japanese inter-government consultations "arouses particular regret," the Foreign Ministry said.

The chief of Japan's diplomatic mission was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in connection with the incident.

" Moscow expresses its strong protest against the illegal crossing of the Russian state border by Japanese ships," the ministry said. "If the Japanese side fails to take effective action in the near future to prevent any violations in the area subject to the operation of the agreement between the Russian government and the Japanese government on some aspects of cooperation in the sphere of extraction of marine biological resources of February 21, 1998, and not just make verbal promises to do so, the Russian side will reserve the right to raise the theme of Japanese fishing boats' presence in this area again," the Foreign Ministry said.

"Of particular regret is the fact that the yet another violation by Japanese fishing boats took place immediately after the exchange of diplomatic documents setting the terms of fishing in 2008 and soon after the Russian-Japanese inter-government consultations and Japan's written and verbal promises it will take every measure to ensure its fishermen observe the clauses of the agreements concerning the agreement between the Russian government and the government of Japan of February 21, 1998," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"This is not the first case of crude abuse by Japanese fishermen in the area of the South Kuril islands, committed lately," the ministry recalled. "Despite Tokyo's official promises to enforce strict compliance with the terms of the agreement there has been no improvement in that sphere to this day. On the contrary, the number of violations has soared, and the violations themselves have been ever more daring," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Russia, for its part, "confirmed its firm intention to keep strengthening traditional and mutually beneficial relations in the sphere of fishing between our countries on the condition of strict observance of the existing mutual agreements."

A patrol ship of the Sakhalin border guards department spotted four Japanese fishing boats inside Russia's territorial waters, which had crossed the Russian state border. The ships tried to escape. ( Itar-Tass )