Improving Marine Security

Japan is considering giving patrol boats to the Philippines as part of its official development assistance (ODA) to help its Asian neighbor boost maritime security in the East China Sea in line with the policy taken by the United States.

Japan considers giving patrol boats to Philippines to help boost marine security

Japan is considering giving patrol boats to the Philippines as part of its official development assistance (ODA) to help its Asian neighbor boost maritime security in the East China Sea in line with the policy taken by the United States.

Japan is expected to urge the Philippines to formally file a request for the patrol vessels during a vice-ministerial “strategic” dialogue to be held in Tokyo on March 23. The Philippines faces China across the South China Sea, and Washington has been stepping up its military support for Manila. Under these circumstances, Japan plans to fall in line with the United States to help the Philippines improve its maritime security.

Japan started to consider giving patrol boats in the form of ODA after it was sounded out by the Philippines about the assistance. After receiving a formal request from the Philippines, Japan will dispatch a team of researchers from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and accelerate bilateral talks aimed at reaching an agreement on the extension of the ODA by the end of this year.

After relaxing the country’s so-called ”three principles” on arms exports last year, Japan has been able to extend “weapons” to foreign countries for the purposes of contributing to peace and international cooperation. Japan’s plan to give patrol boats to the Philippines is in line with the revised rules on weapons exports.

When Japan gave three patrol boats to Indonesia as part of its ODA project in June 2006, the Japanese government issued a statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary which said the deal was an “exception” to the three principles on weapons exports. But because the three principles have since been eased, the Japanese government does not need to issue such a statement this time, making it easier for the government to extend the overseas assistance.

The Japanese and Philippine governments, however, plan to prepare signed documents to pledge that the patrol boats would never be used for other purposes or given to third countries.
Source: Mainichi

 

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