Japan extends patrol ship carrot to Vietnam, plus ¥96 billion loan

Kyodo

Japan and Vietnam will discuss the idea of providing Japanese patrol ships to the Vietnam coast guard to help counter China’s growing claims to contested reefs and islands in the South China Sea, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday.

“Our countries’ cooperation is extremely important for regional peace and stability, especially for maintaining maritime order as well as international aviation order,” Abe said at a joint press conference with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung after their talks in Tokyo.

And to boost Vietnam’s economy, Abe pledged about ¥96 billion in new loans mainly for highway and port construction projects.

Vietnam and some other ASEAN states are at odds with Beijing over overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea. In July, Japan said it would provide Manila with 10 coast guard patrol ships through a yen loan.

In Sunday’s meeting, Dung told Abe that he “understands” Japan’s concern with China’s newly declared air defense identification zone over the East China Sea, which covers the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, said Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko.

“There is a need to secure peace, stability and prosperity in the region by ensuring freedom of overflight and freedom of navigation in line with international law,” Dung said.

Dung was quoted by Seko as saying that he is worried about coercive moves to change the status quo in the South China Sea and hopes that an effective and legally binding Code of Conduct can be drafted to prevent potential conflicts over such claims.

In a joint statement issued Saturday after the main summit talks concluded between Japan and ASEAN, Japan praised the fact that official talks on such a code were launched between China and ASEAN in September.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

  • dangluong

    Thanks to Mr. SHINZO ABE – Japan Prime Minister, in hearing that Japan shall shortly assist Vietnam 10 patrol ships,as by long sea coast from north to south points , we need much ship patrol as well as other defense facilities to protect our maritime right from foreign china claiming. It is like japan’s right to protect Senkaku Islands. Hoping, in near furture , Japan will sharing expreriences of sea islands protecting – managing with Vietnam.

    The term ”South china sea ” was not used in our country, but is was called ” Bien Dong”, Thank you !

  • hai_nguyen

    Since Japan and Vietnam are in discussions of how best supply Coast Guard Patrol ships to Vietnam as well as previously promised similar arrangement with the Philippines, perhaps speed and synergy can lead the process:
    . Vietnam has mature, proven quality and low cost ship building industry with significant excess capacity and idle equipments. This industry can quickly be revived without additional costs of upgrade.
    . Japan can provide licensed models, advanced technology, navigation systems and supervision… as financial packages, including assistance to meet the Filipino needs.
    . This joint venture will economize costs, quadruple what currently 1 supplied vessel to 4 vessels and easily match Chinese South China Sea forces in the next 5 to 10 years with sufficient quantities and required state-of-the-art quality.