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
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.