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The 23 season of visa-free exchanges between residents of Japan and the Kuril Islands of the Russian Federation ended

This week ended the 23-th annual season of visa-free exchanges between Japanese citizens and residents of the South and Middle Kuriles.

"The current season of visa-free exchanges ended on Thursday with the return on Thursday of the last Russian delegation of 72 residents of the Southern and Middle Kuriles, who visited the Japanese prefecture of Nagasaki," Gennady, director of the Kuril-Japanese Friendship House in Yuzhno-Kurilsk, told Interfax-Far East. Novokhatny.

As he said, the Kuril delegation visited the Nagasaki nuclear bombing museum, laid wreaths and flowers at the graves of Russian sailors at a cemetery in this Japanese city, and talked to local residents. As the source noted, for the 23 of the year of visa-free exchanges, the residents of the Kuril Islands made many friends in Japan and maintain constant friendly companionship with them, they come to visit each other.

This week in Japan at the Russian-Japanese consultations with the participation of representatives of the Sakhalin Oblast government and the Kuril municipal authorities, the parties summed up the current visa-free exchange season.

"Both sides were satisfied with the current season of visa-free exchanges, it passed without incidents. The plan of visits of visa-free delegations for this year has been fully implemented, except for two Japanese delegations in May and August, which did not take place due to unfavorable weather conditions and a storm at sea." - said G. Novokhatny, who took part in the work of the Russian-Japanese consultations.

Over the past season, visa-free trips, according to his data, 948 Japanese citizens visited the Kuril Islands, 340 Russians (residents of the Kuril Islands) visited Japan.

In March, the 2015 of the year at the Russian-Japanese consultations in Japan, the parties traditionally agree on the plans and the number of visits of delegations in the framework of visa-free exchanges of the 2015 of the year.

Regional consultations on visa-free exchanges have been held annually since 2006, alternately in the Sakhalin Region and in Japan. As part of the intergovernmental agreement 1968, Japanese citizens had the opportunity under the simplified system to come to the Kuril Islands to visit the graves of their ancestors. In the framework of the intergovernmental agreement 1991 of the year, visa-free exchanges between residents of the Kuril Islands and Japan are carried out, a document from 1999 of the year introduced free visits to former places of residence in the Kuril Islands by Japanese citizens.

In total, over the previous 22 years of visa-free exchanges, the Kurils visited more than 19 thousand Japanese, and Japan almost 9 thousand Russians. During this time, almost 150 residents of Kuril Islands underwent medical treatment and diagnostics in clinics in Japan.

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