Russian deputy PM says Japan to have no fishing right near islands

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev has weighed in on Moscow's decision to suspend the implementation of a fishing agreement with Japan.

Trutnev, who is also in charge of Russia's Far East, was speaking to reporters on Friday.

He said his country will strip Japan of the right to fish in waters near four Russian-held islands claimed by Japan.

Russia controls the islands. Japan claims them. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. It says the islands were illegally occupied after World War Two.

Trutnev also repeated Moscow's claims that Japan has refused to pay for catch quotas.

On Tuesday, Russia's Foreign Ministry announced that it will suspend the implementation of the agreement, which was signed in 1998 to allow Japanese fishing boats to operate safely near the islands.

The two governments hold negotiations each year to decide the fishing period, quota and fees.

On Thursday, Trutnev said Russia had a shortage of regions for productive fishing, and that he was sure Russian fishing companies would take the place of Japanese fishers.

Earlier in the week, Japan said it was regrettable that Russia had unilaterally suspended the implementation of the agreement.

Japan plans to continue consultations with Russia so that Japanese fishery workers can operate safely.