TOKYO (Dow Jones)–A vessel carrying Japanese nationals is believed to have been seized by Russian border control authorities near a disputed island, a Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday, Kyodo News reported.
The Japanese ministry was informed by Russia around 2 p.m. that the vessel is now under its control, the official said, adding that details, including the size of the vessel and where it is from, are still unknown.
There is information that two Japanese nationals were on the vessel. A possibility exists that the vessel was seized off Kunashiri Island around 1 a.m. after it refused an order from the Russian authorities to stop, the official said.
Kunashiri, located near Hokkaido, is one of the four Russian-held islands claimed by Japan. They are known as the Northern Territories in Japan and as the Southern Kurils in Russia.
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