Japan releases Chinese boat captain amid dispute

TOKYO — Japan on Saturday morning released a Chinese fishing boat captain involved in a collision near disputed islands, following intense pressure from China in the worst spat between the Asian neighbors in years.
The move will likely ease the escalating tensions sparked when Japan arrested the captain earlier this month after his trawler collided with two Japanese patrol boats near islands in the East China Sea claimed by both countries.
Beijing suspended ministerial-level dialogue with Tokyo and postponed talks on developing disputed undersea gas fields. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao earlier this week sternly threatened "further action" against Japan if it did not immediately release the captain.