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Japan To Release Chinese Boat Captain

Japanese prosecutors have said they will release a Chinese fishing boat captain whose detention two weeks ago sparked the worst diplomatic row between the two states in years.

The captain, Zhan Qixiong, was arrested on September 8 after his fishing boat collided with two Japanese coast guard ships near islands in the East China Sea claimed by both nations.

Japanese authorities accused the captain of deliberately striking the patrol vessels.

China demanded that Japan immediately release him.

The incident has strained relations between the two neighbors, with Beijing suspending high-level contacts with Tokyo.

U.S. officials have repeatedly called on the two nations to quickly resolve their dispite.

It was not immediately clear when the captain will be released, but Japanese media reports said he will be sent home.

compiled from agency reports