The boat's Japanese captain, Nobuo Inoue, 56, spoke by phone with the shipping company's president and confirmed that he and his two abducted crew members were safely released, according to Japanese Foreign Ministry official Masahiro Takagi.
Takagi declined to comment further until he was able to meet with Inoue, Kuroda and the Filipino sailor, Edgardo Sadang, 41. The ministry official declined to say whether ransom was paid.
Japan's public broadcaster NHK said the sailors were released early Monday in the southern Thai province of Satun. Thai authorities plucked the three from a small boat in the waters about 12 miles off the coast, NHK said.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Pirates release 3 kidnapped Asian sailors