Japan will provide Vietnam new patrol vessels, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said today on the last stop of his four-nation tour to boost his country’s trade and security engagements in Asia amid China’s rising dominance.
“The two countries will further strengthen security and defense cooperation and this time Japan has decided to provide (Vietnam with) newly built patrol vessels at Vietnam’s request,” Abe said at a news conference in Hanoi with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc. “We will strongly support Vietnam’s strengthening its maritime law-enforcement capabilities.”
Vietnam already has six used patrol vessels provided by Japan and how many were in the fresh offer wasn’t mentioned.
Both countries have maritime disputes with China- Vietnam in the South China Sea and Japan in the East China Sea. The two leaders called for the upholding of international law in resolving disputes in the South China Sea.
“The two sides agreed on the importance of ensuring peace, security and safety of maritime navigation and overflight in the East Sea, promoting the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, no use of force or threat to use force,” Phuc told reporters, referring to the South China Sea by Vietnamese term.
Phuc said Abe has committed to give Vietnam more development assistance amounting to 123 billion yen ($1.05 billion) in the fiscal year of 2016 for maritime security, responding to climate change and water treatment.
It’s not clear whether the new loans will cover the purchase of new patrol vessels.
The two leaders also pledged to deepen their two countries’ strategic partnership.
Japan is one of Vietnam’s top investors and trading partners and is the communist country’s single largest bilateral donor.
Abe has already visited the Philippines, Australia and Indonesia on his trip.