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Japan and Russia negotiate fishing rights

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Japan and Russia negotiate fishing rights

Japan and Russia are expected to conclude their negotiations on bilateral fishing quotas today.

The 40th gathering of the Japan-Russia Fisheries Committee (JRFC) commenced negotiations on 11 March in Tokyo. The discussions were focused on 2024 salmon and trout fishing quotas by Japanese fishermen in their Economic Exclusion Zones (EEZ). The agreement allowing commercial fishing in each other’s EEZ is based on a similar 1984 Soviet-Japanese agreement.

The JRFC has continued its annual meetings on fishing quotas despite the frosty Russo-Japanese relations post-2022, with last year’s quotas reduced by 33%. Tensions around fishing around the disputed Kuril Islands escalated in 2021 when Japan claimed sovereignty over the islands, resulting in a strong rebuke from Russia. In June 2022, Russia claimed that Japan had not paid it’s agreed amounts as part of the 2022 negotiations and suspended fishing around the islands.

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Expect negotiations to produced reduced quotas for the JRFC committee. The current volatile geopolitical space will mean both Russia and Japan will look to reduce reliance on each other’s EEZ. Furthermore, the Kuril Islands dispute will not be discussed in this forum as Japan will hope to reduce the amount paid to the Russian government for use of its waters.

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