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Chinese ship captain indicted by prosecutors

Date Posted: 2012-03-23

After twice deciding not to prosecute, Naha prosecutors have indicted the captain of a Chinese trawler who sent his vessel into two Japan Coast Guard cutters in 2010.

Court-appointed attorneys indicted 42-year-old Zhan Qixiong on charged he deliberately collided his trawler into the Japanese patrol boats while the Coast Guard was trying to order the Chinese vessel away from the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Zhan was arrested following the September 10, 2010 incident, but was released and returned to China.

Zhan was indicted in absentia, and is not expected to voluntarily return to Japan to face the charges. Officials say the indictment must be served within two months. If the indictment is not served within the required time, it will be invalidated.

Naha prosecutors had considered bringing charges against the Chinese captain twice, but decided not to. An independent 11-member panel convened to study the incident thought differently, and last July 21st recommended the captainís reckless actions posed risks to human lives that warranted the charges being filed.

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