YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, May 5 (RIA Novosti) - A court in Russia's Far East ruled on Monday to confiscate four Japanese fishing vessels detained late last year for illegally fishing in Russia's waters.
On December 13, Russian border guards detained four Japanese fishing vessels for poaching near Russia's South Kuril Islands, a former Japanese territory.
On January 16, a Russian court found the four captains guilty of border violations and fined them each 100,000 rubles ($4,117).
Confrontations over poaching between Russian authorities and Japanese fishing vessels are frequent in Russia's Pacific waters. In August 2006, a Japanese fisherman was shot dead near the Kuril Islands when Russian border guards opened fire on his boat after it refused to stop.
Russia and Japan have contested the ownership of the Kuril Islands since the end of WWII. As a result of the dispute, the two countries have never signed a formal peace treaty.