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Twenty fishing boats set out Saturday from Rausu, northern Japan, to catch walleye pollack in waters off the Russian-held island of Kunashiri, which is claimed by Japan.

Under the terms of a 5-year-old agreement between Tokyo and Moscow, Russia has guaranteed that Japanese fishing boats can operate safely in waters around Kunashiri and three other Russian-held islands off Hokkaido if Japan pays Russia. The three other disputed islands are Etorofu, Shikotan and the Habomai group of islets.

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