Japan Frees China Boat Crew, Calls for Gas Talks
Japan on Monday freed the crew of a Chinese fishing boat detained last week in disputed waters, but held onto the captain at the center of a territorial rift between the two neighbors.
China demanded Japan release captain Zhan Qixiong after the 14 crew took a charter flight from the southern Japanese island of Ishigaki to the southeastern Chinese coastal city of Fuzhou, China’s official Xinhua news agency said. The fishing boat is also on its way back to China.
A spokesman at the prosecutors’ office on Ishigaki said Zhan was still being held after a court approved extending his detention on Friday. Prosecutors can hold him for up to 20 days while deciding whether to take legal action after his boat collided with two Japanese coast guard ships.