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Japan releases Chinese captain, crew arrested for illegal fishing south of disputed islands

The Japanese Coast Guard has released the captain and crew of a Chinese boat who was arrested for illegal fishing southwest of islands claimed by both countries.

Coast Guard official Yasuhiko Oku said the captain and 12 crewmembers of the 100-ton boat were released Sunday after the Chinese Consulate in Fukuoka guaranteed payment of a 4 million yen ($44,000) bail.

Oku said that the captain admitted he was inside Japanese exclusive economic waters off Miyako Island on Saturday.

The incident happened about 200 kilometers (125 miles) southwest of Japanese-controlled islands called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. The islands are at the center of a diplomatic spat between the Asian neighbors.