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“We will make every effort to implement the agreement this year,” the spokesman said.
In particular, Japan plans to hold seminars in October to discuss the issue. “Together with the Russian side our ministry seeks the speedy implementation of the agreement,” the spokesman added.
The agreement envisages that every batch of crab from Russia should have an official certificate confirming that this seafood was caught and sent abroad legally. These documents should be also issued when crabs are sold through third countries.
Although Russia and Japan concluded the deal in 2012, Japanese business circles have opposed its speedy implementation.
Poaching of crab in the territorial waters and the economic zone of Russia and its further illegal sales in Japan has been a matter of serious concerns over the past decades and another irritant in bilateral ties.
Russian officials said the illegal crab trade costs the country’s budget billions of rubles. According to 2012 figures, every fifth crab off Russia’s Far East coast was caught illegally.