China frees Japanese cargo ship in $28m deal

Seizure, relating to unpaid compensation for Chinese ships leased in 1936, sparked Japanese formal diplomatic complaint.

Last updated: 24 Apr 2014 05:30
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The seizure came amid ongoing tension between Japan and China over islands in the East China Sea [AFP]

China has released a Japanese cargo ship after its owners paid $28m to settle a pre-war debt, a court has said.

The Shanghai Maritime Court announced on Thursday that a large freight vessel, owned by the Tokyo-based Mitsui OSK Lines, had been released from "detention" because Mitsui had "fulfilled its obligations" by paying compensation and additional court costs of around $390,000.

It did not name the Chinese party awarded the compensation, the news agency AFP reported.

According to a statement from Mitsui, Saturday's impounding of the Baosteel Emotion was connected to two freighters that were chartered in 1936 from a Chinese shipowner by the Japanese firm Daido Kaiun.

These were commandeered by the Japanese government and subsequently lost at sea.

The Shanghai Maritime Court referred to a 2007 judgement stating that Mitsui should pay the plaintiffs about $30m for the "hire, operating loss, damage of the vessel Shun Feng and the vessel Xin Tai Ping and fruits incurred".

The seizure came amid ongoing tension between Japan and China over a dispute about islands in the East China Sea that both nations lay claim to.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.