Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

AFP: Japanese released by Russia, recants admission by Kyoko Hasegawa

EXTRACT: Aso pressed Russia over its cancellation last month of a key permit on the huge Sakhalin-2 energy project. Japanese firms hold a 45 percent stake in the mega-project. The halt in the work was widely seen as a Russian attempt to reassert control over its energy resources. “What is important is that the project is not stopped in a one-sided manner,” the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement.

The two countries have yet to sign a treaty formally ending World War II…

THE ARTICLE

2 hours, 27 minutes ago

TOKYO (AFP) – A Japanese fishermen returned home after a month and a half in Russian custody and swiftly recanted his admission in a dispute which has raised tension between the two countries.

 Boat captain Noboru Sakashita had been detained after a skirmish with border guards in which one of his crewmates died. Russia released him after he paid a fine for fishing in Russian-controlled waters.

But on returning to Japan, a tired-looking Sakashita took back his admission of poaching.

“To put it in an extreme way, I was forced to admit the allegations,” Sakashita, 59, told reporters in Nemuro on the coast of the northern island of Hokkaido.

“I was told it would take three or four months to end the whole trial process. When I asked if there was a way to come home sooner, they told me there’s a way to go home in a month — that’s to get a lawyer and a translator.”

Asked if he admitted the charges just to be released quickly, he said: “Yes, that’s right.”

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.

“They suddenly shot us, without illuminating fire and without an order to stop,” Sakashita said Tuesday about the incident.

His remarks could anger Russia, which has complained that Japanese fishermen have repeatedly violated its territory and released Sakashita after appeals from Tokyo.

Sakashita was found guilty last month of poaching and illegally entering Russian waters off the Kuril islands. He was fined 18,500 dollars for illegal entry and harm caused to the environment.

Russian authorities in Kunashiri, one of the disputed Kuril islands where he was detained, handed over the captain to a chartered Japanese ship which sailed back to Nemuro.

Shortly after his release, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov spoke by telephone and remained far apart on key disputes.

Aso pressed Russia over its cancellation last month of a key permit on the huge Sakhalin-2 energy project.

Japanese firms hold a 45 percent stake in the mega-project. The halt in the work was widely seen as a Russian attempt to reassert control over its energy resources.

“What is important is that the project is not stopped in a one-sided manner,” the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement.

The two countries have yet to sign a treaty formally ending World War II due to the dispute over four Kuril islands, which were seized by Soviet troops days after Japan’s surrender in 1945.

Tokyo still claims the four islands, whose Japanese residents were expelled and replaced by Russian settlers.

Lavrov said the two countries would “continue negotiations over issues related to signing a peace treaty,” the statement said.

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

0 Comments on “AFP: Japanese released by Russia, recants admission by Kyoko Hasegawa”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: