(Khaleej times) - Russia on Tuesday released a Japanese fisherman involved in a fatal skirmish with Russian border guards in disputed waters in mid-August, a Japanese foreign ministry official said.
Noboru Sakashita, captain of the Japanese boat, left Kunashiri, one of the disputed Kuril islands, for Japan early Tuesday after paying a fine for fishing in Russian-controlled waters, a Japanese foreign ministry official said.
The captain, aboard a chartered ship, is on his way back to Hokkaido,' the nation's northern main island, the official said, adding that he is scheduled to arrive at the port of Nemuro later Tuesday.
Sakashita had been detained since August 16 when a Russian coast guard boat opened fire on his vessel and killed one of the four crew members. The two other survivors were released August 30.
Sakashita was found guilty last month of poaching and illegally entering Russian waters off the Kuril islands, and was fined 18,500 dollars for illegal entry and harm caused to the environment.
The incident inflamed tensions over four Kuril islands, which were seized by Soviet troops days after Japan's surrender in World War II and are still claimed by Tokyo.
The dispute over the islands has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty officially ending the war, impeding economic and political ties, reports Trend.