Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 143

Border forces in the southern Kurile islands will be augmented with patrol boats and aircraft in order to ensure that Japanese fishing vessels do not cross Russia’s sea border, the Federal Border Service has announced. The Service reports that the Putina-95 operation had revealed an increasing number of Japanese fishing vessels–up to 70 on some days–concentrating at the fringe of Russian territorial waters. (9) The tactics may be designed to put pressure on Japan to begin negotiations over fishing rights in the disputed waters off the Russian-held southern Kuriles. Russian officials say the Japanese could be given rights under a fishing agreement. So far, however, Tokyo has shown no interest in a commercial fishing treaty, for fear it would be interpreted as an acknowledgment of Russian sovereignty over the islands. The islands were seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War Two, but Tokyo calls them its "northern territories" and demands their return.

Russian Politicians Glance at the "Near Abroad."