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Russia Frees Captain Of Japanese Fishing Boat

(RFE/RL) October 3, 2006 -- Russia has released the captain of a Japanese fishing boat held since the summer after a poaching incident.

Noboru Sakashita was freed after paying a fine equivalent to some $18,500.

Sakashita was seized in August when Russian border guards shot at the vessel after it refused to surrender in disputed territorial waters around the Kurile Islands off Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido.

One fisherman was killed in the incident, which took place at the height of crab season in disputed waters where the Japanese are accustomed to fish.