September 24th, 2010
02:18 PM ET

Chinese fishing captain freed, boards homebound plane

Protesters shout slogans in front of the Japanese Embassy in Beijing last week.

The detained captain of a Chinese trawler left Japan on Saturday on a China-bound flight, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Zhan Qixiong, the trawler captain detained by Japanese authorities since September 8, left with officials from China's Foreign and Agriculture ministries.

"We decided to suspend the charges in consideration of the Japan-China relationship," said the Japanese prosecutor in the case.

In China, the captain's wife, Chen Tingting, said she was thrilled.

"We are so happy. We are just really very happy to hear the news," she said.

His home is Jinjiang cit  in the southern province of Fujian. The captain was arrested off the disputed Diaoyu Islands after his vessel crashed into two Japanese patrol boats. He was accused of obstructing Japanese public officers while they performed their duties.

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Filed under: China • Crime • Japan
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