Japan frees 14 crew members of Chinese ship

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 13, 2010 05:44

TOKYO — Japan freed 14 crew members of a Chinese ship Monday nearly a week after their vessel collided with two Japanese patrol boats near disputed southern islets, but kept the captain in custody in a case that has angered China.

After authorities had questioned them, the 14 men left on a Chinese chartered plane that was sent to pick them up from where they were on a nearby Japanese island, said the Foreign Ministry, which arranged the flight back.

China has demanded that Japan release the entire crew, including the captain, Zhan Qixiong, who was arrested for allegedly obstructing official duties during the collision last Tuesday. A Japanese court has granted permission to prosecutors to keep him in custody until Sept. 19 to decide whether to formally indict him.


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