TOKYO — Japanese prosecutors decided Friday to release the captain of a Chinese fishing boat involved in a collision near disputed islands whose detention raised tensions between the Asian neighbors.
The incident had driven relations between China and Japan to their worst in years. Beijing angrily demanded the captain be released and cut off ministerial-level talks with Japan.
Prosecutors in Okinawa, southern Japan, where the captain has been in custody for more than two weeks, said they would let him go, citing the damage done to relations with China. It was unclear when authorities would release him.
The case is still pending, but it looked increasingly unlikely that charges would be filed.