A maritime court in Shanghai today released a Japanese ship that was seized on Saturday at a port in Zhejiang because of ongoing reparations dispute between Japan and China from the 1930s. The Japanese shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, which owns the vessel BAOSTEEL EMOTION, paid 2.9 billion Japanese yen in delayed rent and losses to a Chinese firm, according to Xinhua.
The 80-year-old shipping dispute began with two Chinese ships leased to a Japanese firm that were sunk during WWII. China has sought reparations for the ships ever since, but the Japanese firm had merged with a new company, which then merged with another company, and the original agreement was lost in the move, so to speak.
The Japanese company was sued in 1988 over alleged delays in rent payments and a court ruled in 2007 that it should compensate the firm with 2.9 billion Japanese yen. Shanghai’s Municipal Higher People’s defended the judgment in 2010.
The court ordered a ruling at 8:30 to lift the ship’s detention after the Japanese firm also paid 2.4 million yuan in court fees.
China’s seizure of the ship was solely about the delayed rent and not because of any other underlying grudges it’s holding against its rival nation, 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,”