A group of Japanese took off from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Kunashir

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Krasnoukhova in fotomonster Kunashir. Archival photoA group of Japanese took off from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Kunashir© RIA Novosti / Sergey Krasnoukhova the image Bank

The aircraft of the airline «Aurora» with a group of Japanese on Board, who yesterday could not land on Kunashir and forced villages on Sakhalin island on Saturday managed to fly to the Kuril Islands, told RIA Novosti the representative of the press service of the airport.

«The plane flew in 14.03 (06.03 GMT) from the airport Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport «Mendeleevo» on Kunashir» — said the Agency interlocutor.

On the eve of Nakashibetsu plane «Aurora» brought a group of 70 Japanese on Kunashir, where former residents of the Islands were divided, and part of the group went to Iturup island. Due to the bad weather the plane was unable to return to Kunashir in the day to pick up the rest, and return to Japan, and was redirected to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Visa-free exchange between residents of the Russian South Kuril Islands and Japan has been conducted since 1992 on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement to improve mutual understanding between peoples of the two countries, the decision on the conclusion of a peace Treaty between Russia and Japan. Such visits were many, but each time a significant amount of time was spent on the movement of sea transport and bureaucratic procedures.

To relieve this burden for older participants in the visits, in April this year during the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Moscow, the two governments agreed on giving the Japanese the opportunity to visit the Islands without a visa by plane. The first attempt was made in June of this year, when a few days assembled in Japan, a group of former residents of the South Kuril Islands and their relatives were waiting for the weather before leaving Nakashibetsu, but did not wait. The flight was rescheduled and took place on 23 September. However again not without complications.

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