#AceFinanceNews – BEIJING – April 24 – A Chinese court released a seized Japanese freight ship Thursday after owner Mitsui OSK Lines agreed to pay about $39 million in a dispute dating back more than seven decades.
Including interest payments, Mitsui O.S.K. agreed to pay 4 billion yen ($39 million), the Kyodo News Service and other Japanese media said.
Chinese authorities seized the container vessel on Saturday, as ordered by the court, after Mitsui failed to pay compensation as ruled in an earlier lawsuit.
The Shanghai court said it levied the judgement against Mitsui based on the lease costs, operating loss and damage to the two Chinese vessels, which sank while in the hands of Mitsui’s predecessor Daido Kaiun.
The seizure and release of the boat came at a time when the relations between Beijing and Tokyo are tense over sovereignty claims over a chain of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea.
The Shanghai Maritime Court said that it freed Mitsui’s Baosteel Emotion after the company paid more than $28 million in compensation for two leased Chinese ships it lost in 1938 and 1944 and also court costs, AP reported.
Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga downplayed the possibility that the settlement might encourage similar lawsuits by Chinese companies.