Somali pirates have picked up a million euro ransom for the Japanese ship, the Stolt Valor, seized in September, with 22 crew onboard. Two other ships could be released before the end of November. As the freed vessel set sail for Mumbai another Japanese cargo ship, carrying 23 sailors, including five South Koreans was hijacked.
Piracy off Somalia has plagued the shipping lane linking the Middle East Gulf to Europe and Asia, making the routes through the Gulf of Aden the most dangerous in the world. The International Martime Bureau says 63 incidents of piracy have been reported off the Somali coast this year.
Last week, the Russian navy reported Russian and British ships repelled an pirate attack on a Danish vessel in the waters. South Korea said it is considering sending a fleet to protect its vessels.