• Kyodo News

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The Japan Coast Guard has demanded ¥14.29 million in damages from the Chinese captain of a fishing boat that collided with two of its cutters in September near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, coast guard officials said.

The coast guard’s 11th Regional Headquarters in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, sent the claim by mail Thursday to the 41-year-old skipper in China, seeking ¥12.39 million in costs for the repair of the two coast guard cutters and the remainder for miscellaneous costs, including money spent to mobilize officials and move the ships, they said.

The bill is addressed to the skipper as an individual, and not to China as a state. No response has been reported yet.

The repair costs have been paid out of the coast guard budget and any damages paid from the captain will go to state coffers.

“We will continue demanding the money in a businesslike manner until payment is made,” a coast guard official said.

The Chinese trawler collided Sept. 7 with the two patrol vessels — the Mizuki and the Yonakuni — near the Senkaku Islands, which are administered by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan.

The Chinese skipper was arrested on suspicion of deliberately colliding with one of the patrol boats but was later released and returned to China after a diplomatic dispute flared with Beijing. Japanese prosecutors dropped the case in January.

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