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Chinese trawler captain released

Japan has released a Chinese trawler captain at the centre of a fierce row that has threatened ties between Asia's two biggest economies, Kyodo news agency reported. The agency had earlier said the captain would return to China on Saturday.

A prosecutor from Naha city on Japan's southern Okinawa island said the decision to release the Chinese captain reflected consideration for Sino-Japanese ties. The captain's trawler collided this month with two Japanese patrol boats in a potentially resource-rich area near islands that both sides claim.