The Japanese government said on Wednesday it is ready to provide Vietnam with new patrol ships, in its latest step to boost the maritime law-enforcement capabilities of countries locked in territorial rows with China.
On Tuesday, Japan agreed to provide two large patrol ships and lend up to five used surveillance aircraft to the Philippines, another country at odds with China over sovereignty issues in the South China Sea.
Japan itself has been at loggerheads with China over a group of tiny, uninhabited East China Sea islets.
Japan has already provided six patrol ships to Vietnam, but they were all used ones, a Japanese foreign ministry official said, adding that details such as the timing of the delivery and the number of ships to be provided have yet to be fixed.
Japan plans to extend a low-interest loan under its official development assistance program to Vietnam to facilitate the acquisition.
China has laid claim to almost all of the South China Sea, where about $5 trillion worth of seaborne trade passes every year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims in the sea believed to have rich deposits of oil and gas.
A court of arbitration in The Hague in July said China’s claims to the waterway were invalid, after a case was brought by the Philippines. Beijing has refused to recognise the ruling.
- China threatens to impose air defence identification zone in South China Sea (chinadailymail.com)
- China threatens restricted flight zone over entire South China Sea, giving them the right to shoot down unauthorised planes (chinadailymail.com)
- China must be stopped from blocking supply in the South China Sea (chinadailymail.com)
- China criticises US, Japan, Australia for ‘fanning’ tensions in South China Sea (chinadailymail.com)
- China told to behave in the South China Sea – or else (chinadailymail.com)
- Japan to provide patrol ships to Vietnam amid maritime row with China (channelnewsasia.com)
- Japan to Provide 5 Surveillance Aircraft and 2 Patrol Boats to the Philippines (chinatopix.com)
- Japan Agreed to Provide Assistance for Philippines Amid Sea Conflict with China | YallaKuwait (yallakuwait.com)
- Japan to provide planes, ships for Philippines amid sea dispute with China (dailymail.co.uk)
- Abe tells ASEAN that Japan is ‘seriously concerned’ by South China Sea tension (japantimes.co.jp)