Captain's Release Sparks Furor in Japan

BY AYAI TOMISAWA, The Wall Street Journal

TOKYO—Tensions continued to simmer through the weekend between Japan and China, even after the Japanese government met Beijing’s demands to release a Chinese fishing-boat captain detained following a ship-collision row near disputed islands.

The sudden Friday release also touched off an unusually intense political firestorm in Japan, with the media and opposition politicians hammering Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s government for handling the incident in a way that seemed to portray Japan as weak and succumbing to pressure from China.

The Chinese government demanded on Saturday that Japan apologize for the incident, suggesting that China’s steady intensifying actions against Japan over …

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