"The seizure of the boats, which were operating under a bilateral agreement on fishing around the islands, occurred because Russian authorities suspected discrepancies between the amount of fish caught by the boats and the figures recorded in their daily logs, Japanese government officials said", the outlet wrote.
Kunashiri is held by Russia, though there is no final and ultimate agreement among Russia and Japan on this matter. On the other hand, there are bilateral deals that regulate fishing activity in these waters. They allow the Japanese fishermen to fish around the islands, with the fishing quota being reconsidered on the annual basis.
The Japanese fishermen adhered by the norms of fishing in the area, but the Russian officials doubted the amount of extracted fish and seafood.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry filed a claim, asking to release the fishermen.
The boats belong to several fishing companies in Nemuro, in the eastern part of Hokkaido. There are 24 crew members on these vessels. The companies cannot regain connection with them.