VLADIVOSTOK, Russia: Russian border guards shot at two Japanese fishing boats in what Russia considers its territorial waters near four disputed Pacific islands, news agencies reported on Saturday.
The incident happened at 06:20 Moscow time (0320 GMT) on Friday some 1.5 nautical miles off Kunashir Island, after the Japanese boats ignored orders to stop for examination, the Sakhalin coast guard department of Russia's Federal Security Service said in a statement.
After warning shots, Russian coast guards fired at the boats from a helicopter. The boats then stopped and returned to the Japanese port of Rausu.
A joint investigation into the incident had been launched with the Japanese side, the statement said.
The four islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia, were occupied by Soviet troops in 1945 and are currently under Russian control.
Russia and Japan have long been at odds over ownership of the islands, with the dispute blocking the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries since the end of World War II.