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Japan protests over fishing off Kurils

BBC World Service, Wednesday 1 August 2001, 13:03 GMT 14:03

Japan has made a formal protest about South Korean fishing boats operating off the disputed Kuril islands.

A Japanese foreign ministry statement said it would never accept South Korean vessels' right to fish in the area.

The islands were seized by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II and Japan still lays claim to them.

South Korean boats have been given permission to fish by Russia, but the authorities in Tokyo say the ships are encroaching into Japanese waters.