• Kyodo


Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi paid her respects Sunday to the family of the fisherman who was shot and killed last Wednesday by Russian border patrol authorities.

“We will never repeat (such a tragedy),” Takahashi told Satomi Morita, 46, the wife of Mitsuhiro Morita, 35, at a community center in Nemuro.

Talking to the families of three other crew members of the Kisshin Maru No. 31, who are still in custody on Russian-administered Kunashiri Island, Takahashi said, “We will make utmost efforts to seek immediate release (of the three).”

Morita’s body was returned to Japan on Saturday from Kunashiri.

After the shooting incident early Wednesday, Russian authorities seized the 4.9-ton fishing boat and towed it to Furukamappu on the island, where the crew members have been detained. Russia claims the fishermen are to blame for the incident since they were poaching in Russian territorial waters.

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