Fishing boat seized by Russia returns to home port

A Japanese fishing boat seized by Russian authorities last month has returned to the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido.

The vessel, named Eihomaru, arrived at the port of Wakkanai on Friday morning after being released the previous day. It had been held for about two weeks in a port in the province of Sakhalin in Russia's Far East.

The trawler's 14 crewmembers reportedly have no health problems. They were expected to leave the vessel after quarantine inspections.

Russian authorities seized the boat on May 28 off the coast of Wakkanai. They alleged the vessel was operating in Russia's exclusive economic zone.

Russia says the vessel was fined about 82,000 dollars for violating fishing rules in the EEZ, and that the whole amount has already been paid.

The boat belongs to a fishing cooperative in Wakkanai. It has criticized the Russian side, calling the seizure of the vessel unjust.