Tokyo (AFP) April 19, 2011
An independent Japanese judicial panel on Monday ruled that the captain of a Chinese trawler that collided with two Japan coastguard ships should be indicted, a report said.
The incident last September off a disputed but uninhabited chain of islands in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, provoked a major diplomatic row between Beijing and Tokyo.
Prosecutors dropped charges against the skipper, Zhang Qixiong, in January but a judicial panel ruled on Monday that he "merits indictment" after being asked to review the case, Kyodo News reported.
Zhang was arrested and held for nearly three weeks, sparking a massive showdown between Beijing and Tokyo, leading to a freeze in political exchanges and affecting exports of rare earth minerals, a key component in Japan's high-tech sector.
Tokyo eventually backed down amid mounting pressure from Beijing and sent Zhang back to China.
In February the Japanese coastguard reportedly sent Zhang a $170,000 bill to cover repairs to its damaged ships and other expenses stemming from the collision.
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Despite Gulf tragedy, more spills possible: Allen
Washington (AFP) April 18, 2011
The United States cannot rule out another oil disaster in its waters, the official who led the response to last year's Gulf of Mexico spill told AFP, as the country marks one year since the tragedy. "We're never going to be able to prevent an event from happening out there," said retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who has worked on oil spills since the 1980s and led the government respo ... read more
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