Japanese man detained off Kunashir – Kyodo

TOKYO, August 22 (Itar-Tass) — Russian border guards on Sunday detained a Japanese man off Russia’s Kunashir Island. It is believed that the man was trying to illegally get there on a rubber raft.

The reasons of that are not yet clear, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported on Monday. Russian authorities are studying how to pursue judiciary action against him, the news agency quoted sources as saying.

The man, Keisuke Kuriyama, was transferred on Monday to the city of Yuzhno-Kurilsk in Russia, they said. The man did not have a Russian visa, the news agency reports.

Japanese fishermen are episodically detained off Russia’ s Kurile Islands on suspicion of poaching, but this case has nothing to do with poaching. The official Tokyo bans Japanese nationals’ trips to South Kuriles, as they say a need to obtain the Russian visa indirectly confirms Moscow’ s rights on that territory. The exception is made only for the so-called visa-free exchanges, which are made on reciprocal basis since 1991.

At the same time, despite the ban trips of Japanese nationals to the South Kurile Islands via Sakhalin have become more frequent. Both tourist and business visas are issued for these visits.


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