Arrived in the Kuril Islands by Charter, the Japanese want the next time to travel by sea

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Krasnoukhova in fotobounce on the Mendeleev volcano and the village of Yuzhno-Kurilsk on Kunashir island. Archival photoArrived in the Kuril Islands by Charter, the Japanese want the next time to travel by sea© RIA Novosti / Sergey Krasnoukhova the image Bank

Participants flying in from Japan to the southern Kuril Islands complained of feeling unwell and would like next time to travel by sea, reported RIA Novosti sources in JSC «Aurora airlines», whose plane flew the day before on a Charter flight from Hokkaido for Kunashir and Iturup with a group of former residents of these Islands.

«Many of them were bad, they complained and said that I would rather swim the sea», — said employees of the airline, wishing to remain unnamed.

On the eve of Nakashibetsu plane «Aurora» brought a group of 70 Japanese, mostly very old age on the island of 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.

To pick up a group of Japanese from the Kunashir including Deputy foreign Minister of Japan, Kazuyuki, Nakane, the plane must sit on Kunashir and then return to Nakashibetsu, weather permitting. If not, then the possibility of their return by sea.

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.