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Japan releases detained Chinese fishermen

Feb. 5, 2013 at 12:35 AM

BEIJING, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The Japanese coast guard released a Chinese fishing boat and its 13-member crew after detaining them for a day, Chinese consular officials said.

The official Xinhua News Agency, quoting the Chinese consulate in Fukuoda, reported the fishing boat Qiong Yang PU and its skipper and crew were detained last Saturday near Okinawa prefecture and were released Sunday. The boat had been detained for alleged unauthorized coral fishing in the Japanese exclusive economic zone near the waters of Okinawa.

The release came after the Chinese consulate paid their bail, the report said.

China and Japan are locked in a bitter territorial dispute over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Tensions over the islands worsened after the Japanese government purchased three of the islets from their private owner last September.

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