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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Talks on Kuril Islands

MOSCOW () -- Russia and Japan began talks Monday over fishing rights in the waters off the disputed south Kuril Islands off northern Japan, diplomats said.

The two countries are in frequent confrontation in the waters around the islands which were seized by Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II.

Russia accuses Japanese boats of poaching and of violating its territorial waters, and its coastguards have shot at Japanese fishing vessels, in some cases injuring fishermen.

"This is the first occasion on which the two sides are in formal negotiations [on fishing in the area]," a Japanese Embassy official said Monday.