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Japan releases Chinese fishermen detained for 'illegal fishing'

Published on Feb 3, 2013 9:42 PM
This handout photograph taken by the Japan coastguard on Feb 2, 2013 shows a coastguard vessel (R) chasing a Chinese fishing boat near Miyako island in Okinawa prefecture, in East China Sea. Japan's coastguard arrested the captain of a Chinese boat on suspicion of illegal fishing in the country's exclusive economic zone amid a festering territorial row between the two countries. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING  (AFP) - Japan on Sunday released the captain and crew of a Chinese boat who had been detained on suspicion of illegal fishing, Chinese state media reported amid a festering territorial row between the neighbours.

The 100-tonne coral fishing boat with a crew of 13 was stopped on Saturday by a Japanese coastguard patrol in waters some 45km north-east of Miyako island in the southern Okinawan chain.

The skipper and all his crew were released after the Chinese consulate general in Fukuoka submitted a bail guarantee, Xinhua news agency said, quoting the consulate general.

The fishing boat and all its crew departed Miyako for China late on Sunday, it said.

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