Japan to dodge fishing talks with Russia over ongoing conflict in Ukraine

Tokyo is set to dodge talks with Moscow on conditions for salmon fishing by Japanese vessels in the Russian exclusive economic zone in 2022, as Japan is set to avoid fishing within the 200-nautcial-mile zone surrounding Russia.

Japanese media has reported that the country’s government will miss the annual negotiations with Russia amid tensions between the international community and Moscow over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Tokyo is believed to be concerned that, as countries, including Japan, impose sanctions on Russia over its military action, Japanese vessels could be seized in Russia waters. Relations between the two nations have fallen apart in recent months over the Ukraine conflict, with Russia placing Japan on its list of “unfriendly” nations and Tokyo joining the G7 to sanction Moscow.

Japan has already secured the salmon fishing quota for this year, having agreed it back in April, with the quota remaining unchanged from 2021.

Japan and Russia concluded negotiations for the current period, agreeing to a catch quote of 2,050 tons of salmon and trout this year in Tokyo’s 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone, according to the agency’s statement. The agreement is similar to the quota from the previous year, with Japan paying Russia between 200-300 million yen (€1.5-2.2 million) in fees this year depending on the actual size of the catch.

Read also: Japan and Russia reach agreement over annual salmon quote

Japanese fishing vessels require Moscow’s permission to catch salmon that originated within Russian waters, event in Japan’s own exclusive economic zone, under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Russia recently responded to sanctions from Tokyo by suspended peace treaty talks with Japan over disputed territory that Tokyo wants to regain control of. Fishing in the waters near the disputed territory around the islands north of Hokkaido had been on hold as Japan had a ban in place on Tokyo fishermen operating until negotiations were completed.

Talks within the private sector are thought to be underway, with discussions starting last week on fishing rights within waters near Kaigara island, part of the Russian-controlled islands which Japan claims territorial ownership of.


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