25 Apr 2014

Seized ship released by China

11:40 am on 25 April 2014

China has released a Japanese cargo ship that was seized over a war-time debt after compensation was paid.

The Baosteel Emotion.

The Baosteel Emotion. Photo: JIJI Press / AFP

The Shanghai Maritime Court seized the Baosteel Emotion, owned by Mitsui OSK Lines, on Saturday.

In a statement, the Supreme Court said the ship's seizure was lifted after the company "fully fulfilled obligations".

The court said Mitsui paid 2.9 billion yen ($US28 million) in compensation. A further 2.4 million yuan ($US384,600) was paid for court fees.

In a statement, the company said that the ship was preparing to leave port.

The ship was seized over unpaid compensation for two Chinese ships leased by Daido, a company that was a precursor to Mitsui, in 1936. Kyodo news agency said they were later used by the Japanese army and sank at sea.

The court ruled in 2007 that Mitsui had to pay compensation. Mitsui appealed, but the decision was upheld in 2012.

The BBC reports ties are severely strained between Tokyo and Beijing over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.