Two Japanese fishermen were injured Wednesday when a Russian coast guard patrol fired on their boats near the disputed Kuril Islands. Kunio Horiuchi, 44, was hospitalized after being hit in the left hip and Akira Takiguchi, 54, was still able to walk after being hit in the left thigh, according to a Japanese coast guard official. He spoke on condition of anonymity.
The incident happened off Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido, about 640 miles northeast of Tokyo.
Russian border guards spotted the two Japanese boats moving inside Russian territorial waters, and warned them several times before opening fire, a Russian spokesman said.
When the boats refused to halt, the Russian ship fired warning shots in the air and then shot at the boats, coast guard spokesman Vitaly Sedykh told a news conference in Vladivostok.