Japan has signed a ¥36.6 billion deal with Vietnam to provide the Southeast Asian country with six patrol boats
Japan and Vietnam ink first maritime patrol ship deal as South China Sea row heats up
Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 08:00 (GMT + 9)
Japan has signed a ¥36.6 billion ($345 million) loan agreement with Vietnam to provide the Southeast Asian country with six patrol boats to boost its maritime law enforcement capabilities, as Beijing steps up its claims in the South China Sea.
The deal comes as the United States has toughened its stance against China over what Washington says is Beijing’s “completely unlawful” maritime claims across most of the strategic waterway and its “bullying” of Vietnam and other claimant states in a bid to control offshore resources.
Japan has criticized China’s militarization of disputed areas, as well as expansion of its activities in the maritime and aerial domains, in the South China Sea, saying such acts represent unilateral attempts to change the regional status quo by coercion.
"A ship (top) of the Chinese Coast Guard is seen near a ship of the Vietnam Marine Guard in the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) off shore of Vietnam 14 May 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Nguyen Minh)."
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) inked the agreement with the Vietnamese government in Hanoi on July 28, according to the agency.
Japan has offered fishing vessels to Vietnam, but it will be the first time that Tokyo has provided Hanoi with patrol ships, according to a Foreign Ministry official.