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Japan says ban on drift-net fishing not linked to Russia’s counter-sanctions

June 25, 2015, 10:17 UTC+3 TOKYO
The bill on drift-net fishing was not aimed against Japan and recommended that ‘our Japanese partners’ should fish in a more civilized manner in Russian waters, Russian lawmaker said
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© ITAR-TASS/Ruslan Shamukov

TOKYO, June 25. /TASS/. Tokyo does not regard Russia’s move to adopt a bill on banning drift-net fishing as part of Moscow’s retaliatory sanctions, a Japanese top government spokesman said on Thursday.

"I think this is not so," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. He stressed that the Japanese government "has exerted influence on the Russian side for the continuation of the work of Japanese fishermen."

"It is regrettable that despite this the Federation Council [Russia’s upper house of parliament] approved this bill after this had been done by the State Duma [lower house]," he said.

The representatives of Japan’s Foreign Ministry and the Fisheries department told TASS earlier that the Japanese government expressed regret amid the adoption of the bill which Tokyo says could result in the loss of more than $200 million for the country’s fisheries.

"The situation is not promising," a Japanese diplomat said.

The bill, which was initiated by Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko, stipulates a ban on drift-net fishing from January 1. According to the Federation Council speaker, the law aims "to preserve the country’s economic security and improve the social and economic situation in coastal regions."

Matviyenko said on Wednesday the bill on drift-net fishing was not aimed against Japan and recommended that ‘our Japanese partners’ should fish in a more civilized manner in Russian waters.

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