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Shanghai court releases Japanese ship after US$28.5m payment

A MARITIME court in Shanghai today released a Japanese ship after its owner paid 2.9 billion Japanese yen (US$28.5 million) in delayed rent and losses to a Chinese firm.

The ship, named BAOSTEEL EMOTION and owned by Japanese shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), was seized Saturday at a port in east China's Zhejiang Province.

The Shanghai Maritime Court today said Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has fulfilled the obligations in a legally effective verdict in a civil case and paid 2.92 billion Japanese yen in delayed rent and losses.

The court handed down a ruling at 8:30am ordering a lift on the ship's detention.

The Japanese shipping firm also paid 2.4 million yuan in court fees.

The Japanese shipping firm was sued in 1988 over alleged delays in rent payments for two ships and economic losses dating back to the 1930s.

The maritime court ruled in 2007 that it should compensate the Chinese firm 2.9 billion Japanese yen. Shanghai Municipal Higher People's Court made a final verdict in 2010, defending the 2007 judgement.

China's seizure of the Japanese ship was solely for delayed rent and losses owed to a Chinese firm, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Monday.

"As a commercial lawsuit, the enforcement of the verdict was carried out at the request of the plaintiff. It is unrelated to wartime compensation," Qin said.


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