HONG KONG – The Chinese trawler captain who was detained on suspicion of obstructing Japan Coast Guard personnel from performing their duties says he wants to go back to the disputed Senkaku Islands and fish there again, Hong Kong newspapers reported.
Zhan Qixiong, 41, was quoted as saying the islands belong to China and he is not afraid of the Japanese government.
Zhan made the comment arriving early Saturday on a chartered plane in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, in southern China. Prosecutors in Okinawa Prefecture decided Friday to release him, citing consideration of Japan-China relations.
He was detained Sept. 8 along with 14 Chinese crew members on suspicion of deliberately banging his vessel the previous day against a Japanese patrol boat that was pursuing the trawler near the islands in the East China Sea.
The 14 crew members were released a week later, but Zhan remained in detention while the prosecutors carried out an investigation.
The incident gave rise to an acrimonious spat between the two countries.
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