Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL)-owned cargo ship Baosteel Emotion has been released after the company’s pre-war debt was settled, the Supreme Court of the Republic of China has said.

The 320m long Baosteel Emotion ore carrier was seized on 19 April following an order by the Shanghai Maritime Court.

In a statement, the Chinese court said that the ship’s seizure was lifted after the company ‘fully fulfilled obligations’. MOL did not reveal the amount of the settlement.

However, the court’s statement on its official microblog was cited by media sources as saying that Mitsui paid $28m in leasing fees, including interest and damages, and $384,600 was paid in legal fees.

“The Chinese court said that the ship’s seizure was lifted after the company ‘fully fulfilled obligations’.”

MOL said that the vessel was released after continued talks with the Shanghai Maritime Court as ‘the situation may result in obstacles to its services, which may result in a negative impact on MOL business activities in China’.

The event became a cause of concern due to strained relationships between the countries over a territorial dispute in the East China sea.

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The ship was taken into custody due to unpaid compensation for two Chinese ships, Shun Foong and Hsintaiping, which were leased in 1936 and then sank or were lost at sea by the Japanese army.

The two vessels were chartered from Chinese shipowner Chung Wei Steamship Co., by Daido Kaiun, the predecessor of Navix Line, which merged with MOL in 1999.

MOL was instructed by the Shanghai Maritime Court to pay Chung Wei Steamship around JPY2.92bn ($28.46m) on 7 December 2007.